Experts don’t fully understand what causes seborrheic keratosis. This type of skin growth tends to run in families, so there’s likely an inherited tendency. If you’ve had seborrheic keratosis, you’re at risk of developing more. Seborrheic keratosis is not contagious or cancerous.
Seborrheic keratoses can appear on the trunk, particularly the back, chest and under the breasts and the waist. Some people can have hundreds of lesions.
It is not clear what exactly causes seborrheic keratoses. They tend to run in families, so genes may be a cause. Normal skin aging plays a role as the growths appear more frequently with age. Too much sun exposure can also play a role.
Freezing a growth with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) can be an effective method of removing a seborrheic keratosis. It doesn’t always work on raised, thicker growths. This method carries the risk of permanent pigment loss, especially with black or tan skin. Scraping (curettage) or shaving the skin surface.
Some of the most common areas where keratoses form are the scalp, groin, underbreast and spinal region. Generally, they seem to cling to the surface of the skin like barnacles.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of seborrheic keratosis are limited to discolored skin lesions that appear to “stick” to the skin’s surface. These spots can appear suddenly, can vary in size, and tend to grow slowly.
Seborrheic keratosis does not turn into melanoma, but the two can be confused with one another. Both can be brown or black and appear anywhere on the body. However, there are some important differences: Seborrheic keratoses often occur in large numbers, while melanomas usually occur solitary.
Keratosis pilaris is a minor condition that causes small bumps on the skin, similar to goose bumps. It is sometimes referred to as “chicken skin”. On the other hand, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that often affects more than just the surface of the skin.
Seborrheic keratosis is not dangerous, but you shouldn’t ignore growths on your skin. It can be difficult to distinguish between harmless and dangerous growths. Something that looks like seborrheic keratosis could actually be melanoma.
Seborrheic keratosis and melanoma can look similar. Despite the visual similarity, seborrheic keratosis is not a risk factor for skin cancer or any form of precancerous disease.
Most seborrheic keratoses do not cause symptoms and do not require treatment. However, many people are bothered by their cosmetic appearance and want them removed. The growths should not be scraped off. This will not remove the growths and can lead to bleeding and possible secondary infection.
Forecast. Seborrheic keratoses do not go away on their own, but they can be removed if they become irritating or unsightly. There is no harm in not treating the growths as they are benign (not cancerous) and will not become cancerous.
Cryotherapy: The dermatologist applies liquid nitrogen, a very cold liquid, to the growth using a cotton swab or spray gun. Electrosurgery and curettage: Electrosurgery (electrocautery) involves numbing the growth with an anesthetic and destroying it with an electric current.
Actinic keratoses are very common and many people have them. They are caused by ultraviolet (UV) damage to the skin. Some actinic keratoses can become squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. For this reason, the lesions are often referred to as precancerous lesions.
Seborrheic keratosis is a skin growth that appears in adulthood. Although they can be large and grow quickly, they are benign. They are not caused by sun damage, so they can be found in areas that are also typically covered by clothing.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a superficial fungal disease of the skin that occurs in areas rich in sebaceous glands. It is believed that there is a link between Malassezia yeast and seborrheic dermatitis. This may be due in part to an abnormal or inflammatory immune response to these yeasts.
Seborrheic keratosis removal is usually a fairly straightforward procedure. The resulting wound is very superficial and takes approximately 7 days to heal if on the face and approximately 14 days to heal if on the body.
Actinic keratoses can bleed easily and may take longer to heal. In some cases, the patches can be very sensitive, burn or itch. Seborrheic keratoses can vary in appearance. These growths are often rough and crumbly to the touch, but can sometimes be smooth and waxy.
They also confirmed that seborrheic keratosis is one of the lesions for which melanoma is commonly misdiagnosed. This error occurred 7.7% to 31.0% of the time, depending on the study.