What is Seborrheic Keratoses?
Seborrheic keratoses is a common benign skin condition. Although it has an unsightly appearance, it's not dangerous. These skin growths differ in color, are usually oval-shaped, and are often raised to mimic the scaly look of a wart or mole. They may grow anywhere on the body but commonly show up on the shoulders, chest, or back. Seborrheic keratoses aren't contagious and are typical in middle-aged adults. Possessing multiple skin growths is not uncommon. Measurements of these elevated growths might vary from pea-sized to quarter-sized. It is possible to get basal cell carcinoma and seborrheic keratoses at an identical location on your body. Therefore, an examination by a professional is strongly suggested. Dr. Adam Bodian at Bodian Dermatology in Great Neck, NY will offer a thorough skin evaluation and treatment options to reduce or remove this skin condition.
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The cause of seborrheic keratoses is unknown. In most patients, irritation might occur due to its elevated nature, but normally, it doesn't itch or cause distress. It is important to be aware that tight clothes may worsen the condition so try to avoid rubbing your clothes against the raised skin lesions. Accidently scratching, scraping, or puncturing seborrheic keratoses can be painful and result in bleeding. Although it's normal to have marginally elevated dimensions, they might also be flush with your skin. The pigment of seborrheic keratoses changes from black, brown, tan, yellow, or white. The texture of these skin lesions also varies from tough to scab-like or scaly in consistency.
A seborrheic keratosis usually resembles a waxy or wart-like lesion. They commonly appear on the chest, shoulders, face, or the back of the body. You could develop a single lesion or a few. A seborrheic keratosis:
- Varies in color, usually from pale tan to black or brown
- Is oblong or round in shape
- Features a standard "glued on" look
- Is flat or slightly elevated with a scaly surface
- Ranges in size from quite small to greater than one inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter
- Can itch
Seborrheic keratoses are not typically very painful, but they can be a nuisance, depending upon their location and size. Take care to not pick at, rub, or scratch them. This might lead to bleeding, swelling, and in rare cases, infection.
Depending on the severity of your skin growth, seborrheic keratoses may be removed by laser treatment, freezing, electric therapy, or scraping. Cryosurgery is also sometimes used to destroy lesions using liquid nitrogen and can be very effective. Electric treatment (or electrocautery) burns the lesions through electrical currents. Women and men with minor or flat growths are advised to get the lesions eliminated through scraping or curettage. After the elimination of seborrheic keratoses, the skin may be abnormally colored, but this normally dissipates over time, particularly with proper wound care. The removal of these skin growths does not guarantee that reoccurrence won't happen.
Seborrheic Keratoses FAQ
What do seborrheic keratoses look like?
Seborrheic keratoses can appear brown, tan, or black. They typically look scaly and can be raised. Additionally, they can develop on several areas of the body, including the face, back, neck, and/or chest.
What can trigger seborrheic keratoses?
In some cases, there is not a clear cause of seborrheic keratoses. However, some triggers of the condition can include skin aging, sun exposure, and genetics.
How do I know which treatment option is right for me?
During a thorough consultation at our facility, Dr. Bodian will assess the current condition of your skin and develop a treatment plan that is right for you. We may recommend a series of treatments for optimal results. You may also need to attend follow-up appointments to have your treatment progress monitored.
Receive a Detailed Diagnosis
We encourage you to see Dr. Bodian to identify seborrheic keratoses, as it mimics melanoma in physical appearance. Our dedicated medical team exceedingly strives to offer the most superior professional care. We invite you to schedule a consultation and diagnostic testing at our Great Neck, NY facility. A simple screening can alleviate your anxiety and set you on the path to clearer skin.