Skin Disorders

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness. A skin disorder not only affects your physical health, but also your emotional well-being.


Skin CareSkin Disorders › Seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis (With Pictures)

Seborrheic keratosis is a kind of benign skin growth that is very common among people over 40 years of age. The growths resemble flattened or raised warts, but have no viral origins and may exhibit a variety of colors, from pink or yellow through brown and black. Seborrheic keratoses are non-cancerous growths of the outer layer of skin. They vary in size from a fraction of an inch in diameter to larger than a half-dollar. A main feature of seborrheic keratoses is their waxy, "pasted-on" or "stuck-on" look. They sometimes look like a dab of warm brown candle wax that has dropped onto the skin.

Causes of Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign form of skin tumo. The origin is unknown. It commonly appears after age 40. However it can cause by :-

  • The tendency to develop seborrheic keratoses is inherited.
  • Seborrheic keratoses begin as slightly raised, light brown spots. Gradually they thicken and take on a rough, wart like surface. They slowly darken and may turn black. These color changes are harmless.
  • Sometimes seborrheic keratoses may erupt during pregnancy, following hormone replacement therapy or as a result of other medical problems.
  • Seborrheic keratosis have no relationship to skin cancer and do not pose a risk to health. They get darker after sunless tanning creams have been used.

Signs and symptoms of Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis

The appearance of seborrheic keratoses can vary widely. They may be light tan to brown or black. The most common texture is rough, with a bumpy, grainy surface that crumbles easily. However, they also may be smooth and waxy. They usually look like they've been stuck onto the skin. While some are tiny, others grow larger than 3 cm (1.2 in.) in diameter. Some of the symptoms are:-

  • Stuck on - They are classically described as looking like someone took clay or a blob of dirt and "stuck" it on the skin. The edge of the seborrheic keratosis is not attached to the underlying skin making it appear that it could be removed by picking it off with your fingernail.
  • Itching - For some reason seborrheic keratoses tend to itch especially the older we get. Some people will unintentionally manipulate or "pick at" a seborrheic keratosis and cause it to be further irritated.
  • May be single, but are usually multiple growths.
  • May have a rough or wart-like texture.

It is contagious? Seborrheic Keratosis are not contagious and do not spread.

Treatment for Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis can easily be removed. The usual reason for removing a seborrhoeic keratosis is your wish to get rid of it. For example it may be unsightly, itch or rub against your clothes. Occasionally your doctor may recommend its removal because of uncertainty of the correct diagnosis.

Methods used to remove Seborrheic Keratosis include:

  • Seborrheic Keratosis can be frozen with liquid nitrogen, cut, or burned off with an electric needle. Your doctor will suggest the method that he thinks will best remove your lesion.
  • Curettage & cautery
  • Shave biopsy (shaving off with a scalpel)
  • Sometimes seborrheic Keratosis are burnt off with an electric needle or laser, especially if they are small.
  • Laser surgery

Another treatment often done is scraping off with a curette ( ED&C ). This is more useful when only a few need to be done, and one really want them not come back. It is also used when one spot needs a biopsy, since the scrapings can be sent to a lab. Healing is slower and scarring is more common.


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