Seborrheic Keratosis/Skin Growths

What is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a form of skin disease where you have warts on the skin. These are non-cancerous growths that develop on the surface of the skin. The lesions are round or oval and appear like candle wax on the skin. These growths are usually brown in color and they multiply.

The lesions are usually seen on the chest, face, shoulders, back, and other areas. They don’t appear on the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, or on mucous coated areas (moist areas). The cells present in seborrheic keratosis multiply rapidly and may become cancerous too.

Causes of Seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is common in people aged 40 years and above. Occasionally, it may affect people of younger age. It tends to run in families, so if you have relatives with seborrheic keratosis, then the chances are higher that you may also develop this disease.

Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratosis

The most commonly observed symptom is itchiness and upon scratching, these lesions may bleed. Seborrheic keratosis occurs more often in people with white skin than dark skin. This disease does not cause any pain and does not spread to others.

Diagnosis of Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is diagnosed by your dermatologist during a physical examination. Your dermatologist may order a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis where a small patch of the lesion is excised for further examination.

Treatment for Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis can be treated with ammonium lactate lotion (should be applied once or twice every day). There are surgical procedures to get rid of this skin condition which includes cryosurgery, electrosurgery, laser treatments, and others. The best treatment is scraping out the growth or removal of the growth. The other surgical treatments are explained below:

  • Cryosurgery:– This treatment is performed by applying very cold nitrogen on the lesions or warts. This will freeze the lesions and will make the growths fall off within a few days, leaving behind a very light or no scar on the body.
  • Electrosurgery:– This treatment uses electrical currents to burn the lesions. A local or topical anesthetic may be applied to numb the treated areas.
  • Laser treatment:– In this method, a suitable cream/lotion will be applied to the lesions and then exposed to laser light. The lotion/cream will increase the effectiveness of the laser treatment.

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