What are Seborrheic Keratoses?
Seborrheic keratoses are common skin growths which can occur anywhere on the skin except the palms and soles. The most common areas are the chest, back, neck, face, and scalp. They may start as a small rough patch which grows larger and thicker. Some may grow to become very large. They are typically brown but their color can range from pink to black. They usually start to appear in middle age and progress over time.
Why do we get Seborrheic Keratoses?
We do not know what causes seborrheic keratoses, however, we do notice that they seem to run in families and they increase in size and number as we age. They are not necessarily associated with sun exposure and they are not contagious.
Should Seborrheic Keratoses be treated?
Seborrheic keratoses have no malignant potential and therefore do not require treatment. However, at times they may become sore, itchy or interfere with shaving, combing hair, or other activities. They may rub on clothing or jewelry becoming red, irritated, or start to bleed. If irritation occurs then treatment options could be considered. Methods of treatment include cryotherapy (freezing) or numbing the lesion and scraping it off.
Seborrheic keratoses can be mistaken for other kinds of skin growths such as warts, moles, and even skin cancers. For this reason, we recommend that any changing or suspicious growth be evaluated at Sutton Dermatology.