Seborrheic keratosis is a form of benign, or noncancerous, skin growth. Typically, they are found in older adults. These spots usually show up on the face, shoulders, back, or chest. These growths are usually one of the following colors:
Typically, the growth appears to be elevated, scaly, and slightly waxy. Sometimes, a person will only get one of these growths. However, most of the time they appear in clusters. These growths do not become cancerous, but on first glance, even your doctor may think they appear cancerous.
These growths rarely cause pain, and normally do not require any treatment. If the growth bothers you, consult your dermatologist to see if it would be safe to remove it. This is especially true if they are in locations that can be easily irritated by clothing, or for cosmetic reasons to boost your self-image.
Seborrheic keratosis appears similar to a growth or a wart. The growths usually have a waxy type appearance, and come up on the chest, back, shoulders, or chest.
Each keratosis growth:
The growths are not painful. However, depending on their location, they can be irritating and rub against seams on clothing.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of seborrheic keratosis is not entirely known. However, certain factors and elements of the condition are known. Scientists do know that, in spite of the name, the condition is not entirely seborrheic in nature; the distribution of the condition is not consistent with the name, and the disorder is not caused by sebaceous glands.
Scientists believe that seborrheic keratosis is largely hereditary. Because the condition has been observed to run in families, there is likely a genetic component to the disease. Furthermore, the condition seems to increase with age; as one gets older, one develops a greater number of keratoses (the lesions symptomatic of the condition). Certain mutations in particular genes have been found in the keratoses. Seborrheic dermatitis is rarely seen in children, teenagers, or young adults.
Eruptive seborrheic keratoses may be triggered by an irritation to the skin – for example, dermatitis (a skin rash) or a sunburn. Solar lentigo – dark spots on one’s skin which tend to accumulate with age – may trigger seborrheic keratosis. Fortunately, scientists are confident that there is no viral component to the condition, and that the lesions brought on by the condition are benign in nature.
Treatment of the growths is not necessary, unless they are in a location where they are bothersome. However, many people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. A dermatologist can remove the growths using one of the following methods:
Never try to remove one of these growths yourself. It can lead to extensive bleeding and become infected rather quickly.