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Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments for Seborrheic Keratosis

Sep 10, 2013

Seborrheic keratoses are growths that appear on the skin, typically beginning around middle age. These growths are non-cancerous and are not contagious, posing no threat to your health. If a growth causes cosmetic concern, your dermatologist can remove it from the skin during a short, painless procedure.

Causes of Seborrheic Keratosis

Although the cause of seborrheic keratosis is unknown, certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of its development. Sborrheic keratosis appears to be an inherited condition. Exposure to the sun may also play a role in the development of seborrheic keratosis, although the extent of its effect remains unclear. In some cases, changes in estrogen levels may be linked to the development of growths, as seborrheic keratosis may occur following pregnancy or estrogen replacement therapy.

Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis often begins as small bumps on the skin that may be mistaken for warts. These bumps frequently darken to tan or brown and appear to be “stuck” on the skin like a dollop of wax. Growths vary in size and shape from less than an inch to larger than a half dollar coin. Seborrheic keratosis is not painful, but may cause an itching sensation. Growths may appear on the face, scalp, neck, back, chest, or stomach, but not on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Treatments for Seborrheic Keratosis

Because seborrheic keratoses are benign, in most cases no dermatological treatment is necessary. However, if a growth becomes difficult to distinguish from malignant skin cancer, is easily irritated by clothing or accessories, or causes cosmetic concern, your dermatologist can remove it. Treatment typically involves either the use of extreme cold or an electrical current to freeze or burn the growth off of the skin.

You can discuss seborrheic keratosis and other common skin conditions with a dermatologist when you visit Arlington Dermatology. We offer management and treatment of acute and chronic skin conditions in Arlington Heights. Click through our website or call [company-phone id=1] to learn more or schedule your appointment.

Seborrheic Keratosis on hand