What is Seborrheic Keratoses?
There are several skin lesions that are very common and benign (non‐cancerous). These conditions
include moles, freckles, skin tags, benign lentigines, and seborrheic keratoses. Seborrheic keratoses
are skin growths that some people get as they age. These skin growths often appear on the back or
chest, but they can occur on any part of the body.They grow slowly, and they may appear as single
growths or in groups. Seborrheic keratoses does not spread from person to person. These skin
growths are common in middle‐aged people, but they can appear as early as the teen years. There is
no known way to prevent them.
Signs and Symptoms
- Range in color from white to light tan to black. Most are brown. Some are multi colored.
- Range in size from tiny to larger than 1 inch in diameter.
- Range in texture from waxy and smooth to velvety to dry, rough, and bump.
- They can itch, bleed easily, or become red and irritated when clothing rubs them.
- Slowly grow over time and seldom go away on their own.
They seem to be related to sun exposure.
- There is no known way to prevent them but research has found that:.
- They tend to run in families.
- They seem to be related to sun exposure.
The treatment depends on the type of lesion. The common treatments are abrasion, cautery with acids
- Skin abrasion: is the first step in treating a lesion. Lesions may have a thick callus on the outer
skin. Skin abrasion uses a small abrasive device that easily and painlessly removes the thick layers
of skin to prep the lesion for treatment.
- Trichloracetic acid (TCA): For some lesions TCA is an effective treatment. A petroleum jelly
will be applied around the healthy skin area of the lesion to protect the intact skin. TCA is then
applied and is a clear, watery liquid that is painted on the lesions with an applicator. The lesion will
turn a whitish color and shrink.
- CyroPen: This is the state‐of‐the‐art treatment modality that freezes the lesion to ‐130F. The rods are
housed in a pen which is in the Helium cooled devise come in various sizes to suit various lesion sizes.
The Cryopen rod is applied to the lesion 10 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness and
toughness of the lesion. The freezing will cause a blister which may last for 3 to 5 days before it scabs.
The scab will fall off within 2 weeks. This skin area will remain light colored for a few months and
would completely disappear, leaving no scars or discoloration.