What are those brown, tan and black scaly growths that seem to multiply as time goes on? Seborrheic keratosis are often confused with warts or moles but they are quite different. They are non- cancerous growths in the outer layer of the skin. A main feature of these is their “stuck-on” or waxy appearance. They usually have a scaly surface.
Causes of Seborrheic Keratoses
The exact cause of these is unknown although being over 30 and having one or both parents with a lot of these growths are contributing factors. These occur on sun exposed and sun protected skin and are not contagious. They tend to get more numerous with age.
Facts about Seborrheic Keratoses
These growths are most often located on the chest or back but can occur anywhere on the body including the face and scalp. Although they are not serious, they may can become irritated and itch or bleed. They may turn black making them resemble a skin cancer. They may need to be surgically removed to to determine if they are cancerous or not, or to relieve symptoms such as itching or bleeding.
Treatment of Seborrheic Keratoses
Creams and ointments cannot cure nor prevent seborrheic keratosis. If these lesions are not irritated not irritated or itchy they can be left alone. If they develop symptoms, they can be treated.
CRYOSURGERY: Liquid nitrogen, a very cold liquid gas is applied to the growths with a cotton swab or spray gun. The lesion may then blister or crust and fall off. Often more than one treatment is necessary. There may be a residual dark or light spot after healing that fades over time.
CURETTAGE: The area is numbed with a local anesthetic. The lesion is scraped off and is then cauterized.