Seborrheic keratoses (SKs) are common non-cancerous lesions that grow on the outer layer of the skin. They present as tan to brown warty growths that appear “pasted” onto the skin. Individual lesions can be rough and scaly, or waxy in texture. These lesions commonly develop after the age of 30, and it’s more common to have several lesions than just one or two. Seborrheic keratoses can present on any part of the body, but typically exclude the palms and soles of the feet. Unlike warts, these lesions are not due to a virus and are not contagious. They are considered to be hereditary and harmless.
Seborrheic keratoses are usually asymptomatic growths that don’t require treatment unless they are bothersome or cosmetically disfiguring. Occasionally, these lesions can itch or become irritated by clothing or jewelry. If bothersome, common treatment options include cryotherapy, where the lesions are frozen with liquid nitrogen, or shave excision, where they are shaved off with a thin flat razor. Although SKs are benign by nature, they need to be differentiated from other potentially concerning lesions if changing or growing.
Any skin lesion that is changing, growing, or becoming symptomatic should be evaluated by a physician. Please contact our office if you have any new or concerning lesions. Our dermatologist can help educate and guide you in the right direction.