Seborrheic Keratoses

OVERVIEW:

Seborrheic keratoses are very common skin growths. They are benign and not worrisome. Seborrheic keratoses tend to develop as you age, with people over 40 more likely to develop these growths. They can occur anywhere on the body except the palms and the soles. They are most typically found on the head, neck, chest, or back.

What are the Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratoses?

Common findings include:

  • The growths can be white, tan, brown, or black.
  • It can vary in number, occurring as a solitary growth (seborrheic keratosis) or multiple growths (seborrheic keratoses).
  • Seborrheic keratoses can vary in appearance and texture; they can be flat, scaly, waxy, and even warty in appearance.
  • The growths can range in size from very small to very large.
  • The growths can be itchy and can become irritated if they catch on jewelry or clothing.

Though the exact cause of seborrheic keratoses remains unknown, according to WebMD, genetics and pregnancy can play a role in their development. The lesions are not contagious.

Treatment for Seborrheic Keratoses:

Though seborrheic keratoses are benign and not worrisome, they can also be confused with other skin growths such as precancers and skin cancers. You should always schedule a visit with a board certified dermatologist if you have any growths or lesions of concern. Any new skin growth or change in an existing skin growth should prompt a visit to your provider. Your dermatologist can also evaluate and remove any symptomatic or bothersome growths.

Usually, a dermatologist can diagnose seborrheic keratoses by looking at your skin. If there is any uncertainty or question about the diagnosis, a skin biopsy can be done.

While there is no way to prevent their occurrence, your dermatologist can remove the seborrheic keratoses if desired. Although the growths are not concerning, seborrheic keratoses can be removed if they are bothersome, irritating, or unsightly to the patient.

Common treatments for seborrheic keratoses include:

  • Shave Removal or Shave Biopsy
    Your dermatologist can remove the growth by shaving it off with a blade or scraping it off with a surgical instrument called a curette.
  • Cryotherapy
    Liquid nitrogen can be applied to the growth to freeze and destroy the lesion. After treatment, the site usually appears pink and puffy and can even blister. Over the course of a few days to weeks, the growth then turns dark and crusty and peels off. Larger lesions may require more than one treatment.
  • Electrosurgery
    Electrosurgery (electrocautery) uses an electric current to apply heat and burn away the undesired seborrheic keratoses. The treated lesions become dark and crusty and peel away.

Our Locations

Find us on the map

Serving Patients in and around Palm Beach County

Palm Beach Dermatology has been serving patients in and around Palm Beach County for over twenty years, we are a full-service dermatology and dermatological surgery practice with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. All physicians in our group are Board Certified by The American Board of Dermatology and are Fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology. We invite you to visit us at Palm Beach Dermatology to find out why you can trust our skin care team.

  • "To My Wonderful Doctor! I just couldn’t wait 6 months to tell you what I think of you! You are friendly, kind, gentle, soft spoken and you don’t want to hurt me! You’re Special and …. YOU REALLY CARE!! Thank You For You!"
    Marilyn T.
  • "Dr. Muhart is truly a very caring and professional doctor. I have referred many friends, family members and co-workers to her office knowing they will get great care."
    Karen C.
  • "Dr. Lifshitz has an incredibly gentle bedside manner. He diagnoses issues with ease and offers possible ways to address them so the patient can make the best decision for him or herself. I know I am in great hands with Dr. Lifshitz."
    Ami S.
  • "The office team is very personable and friendly. When you walk in you feel like family. Brian is the best. I have been going to Brian for over 5 years and would never change. It is great to see him again and the staff. Absolutely wonderful!!"
    Anonymous
  • "Dr. Kowalczyk and his staff are awesome! The office staff is both efficient and friendly. His exam is thorough. I will definitely be back!"
    Jenna J.
  • "As a longtime skin cancer patient I’m impressed with Dr. Kelley’s professionalism and follow-ups. She and her staff are all about results and patient satisfaction. Quite different from the other “Mohs Mills”!"
    Woody B.
  • "Dr. Fayne saw my daughter for her acne. He was great with her and explained everything so she could understand. We love the office staff too!"
    Kristen B.
  • "I have been seeing Dr. DiBacco going on 10 years. Truly, a great dermatologist. He cares and is very personable. He is detailed with his assessments and treatments. What more could you ask for except a great personality? Oh, and he has that too!"
    Alex M.
  • "Dr. Cohen makes you feel like part of his family. He is very thorough in his exams and keeps you informed during your dermatological office visits and any telephone follow-ups."
    Steven D.