Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis often causes concern for patients worried about skin cancer. It is one of the more common benign skin growths. While some people only have one of these appear, they usually show up in multiple spots across the human body.

What do they look like?

  • Small rough bumps that develop into thick warty lesions
  • Smooth and waxy (As though candle wax was dripped on the skin)
  • Range in color from light tan to black

They can appear anywhere and are often confused for warts, skin cancer, moles and actinic keratosis. It’s imperative that if you notice this type of growth, you speak to an experienced dermatologist from High Valley Dermatology. While many of these growths are benign, you may not receive the most comprehensive diagnosis unless you see one of our doctors.

Causes of Seborrheic Keratosis

They typically appear as adults age towards their late 40’s and 50’s. The exact cause of these lesions is unknown; however, studies have found that genetics and sun may play a role. They are not contagious.

Diagnosis of Seborrheic Keratosis

Dermatologists can diagnose these just by looking at them. Sometimes, Seborrheic Keratosis can resemble skin cancer in which a biopsy will be recommended.

Treatment options

Because these lesions are harmless, treatment may not be needed. However, Seborrheic Keratosis can become itchy and irritated by clothing or jewelry.  Treatment options include:

  • Biopsy with scalpel (to rule out skin cancer) in some cases
  • Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) which allows it to fall off after a couple days
  • Electrosurgery and/or Curettage (under local anesthesia cauterization with an electrical current then scraping with a sharp round surgical instrument)
  • Laser treatment with our Gentlelase, IPL, or PicoWay Resolve

In these types of treatment, recovery is almost instant, and with little maintenance afterwards, patients see an improvement immediately in their skin.

High Valley Dermatology is here to answer your questions and provide treatment for seborrheic keratosis. Call to schedule an appointment for diagnosis 208-522-SKIN (7546).

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