Seborrheic keratoses are common benign growths. They can vary in appearance from flat to raised, white to brown, scaly to waxy. They typically appear later in life and can occur anywhere on the body except the palms and soles. Because of their varied appearance, these harmless growths may be mistaken for warts or skin cancers.
Did you know…
that over 90% of adults over the age of 60 years have one or more seborrheic keratoses? Some people have over 100 of them! These growths are not contagious, but do seem to run in families.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can seborrheic keratoses ever be dangerous?
Although seborrheic keratoses are not dangerous, it sometimes may be difficult to tell them apart from a skin cancer. The dermatologist may examine the lesion closely under dermascopy to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes a skin biopsy is required for definitive diagnosis. It is always a good idea to have your skin checked at least once a year by a dermatologist to screen for any suspicious lesions.
How do dermatologists treat seborrheic keratoses?
Although seborrheic keratoses are harmless, they can get caught on clothing or jewelry, get irritated, or be unsightly. Treatment of one or a few lesions is easily performed in the office with local numbing and can be accomplished by cryotherapy, curettage and/or electrodessication, shave removal, or laser. However, there is no easy way to remove multiple or all lesions on the body at once.