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Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

If you have a questionable skin growth or general skin concerns, you have come to the right place. Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal, MD, MHSA, is a board-certified family physician with extensive experience evaluating and treating skin conditions. The Vein Care Center offers four convenient locations in Findlay, Bluffton, Celina and Lima, Ohio to better serve our patients.

What is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a skin growth that looks like a flat, crusty wart and is usually a shade of brown. A person can have just one seborrheic keratosis; however, these growths can also grow in clusters. Because of its appearance and texture, seborrheic keratosis resembles skin cancer and can be worrisome. Fortunately, these skin lesions are almost always noncancerous and are the most common skin growths on older adults.

What are the Characteristics of Seborrheic Keratosis?

A seborrheic keratosis usually appears on areas of the body that have experienced sun damage, specifically the scalp, face, shoulders, back and chest. They should never be present on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet and are rarely seen in children. Seborrheic keratosis may have the following attributes:

  • Black, brown, light tan or white in color
  • Oval or round
  • Flat or slightly elevated
  • Scaly, cracked surface
  • Wart-like appearance
  • Vary in size from a small dot to over an inch in diameter
  • Itchy
  • Can be a single occurrence or in a cluster that resembles a paint splatter
  • Are not contagious and do not spread

What Causes Seborrheic Keratosis?

The cause of seborrheic keratosis is unknown. These skin lesions tend to run in families, occur later in life and appear on individuals who have sun damage. Thus, seborrheic keratosis may be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • The natural aging process
  • Sun exposure

What are the Risk Factors Associated with Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a common skin lesion among men and women over the age of 50. There may be a genetic component, as we often see seborrheic keratosis run in families. People with sun-damaged skin are more likely to get seborrheic keratosis. While these lesions can occur on all skin colors, people with fair skin are more likely to develop them. Interestingly, on darker skin, small seborrheic keratoses tend to appear around the eyes. Hormone fluctuations during and after pregnancy, as well as hormone replacement therapies, can also be a risk factor for the development of seborrheic keratosis.

How is Seborrheic Keratosis Treated?

At the Vein Care Center, our gold standard for treating seborrheic keratosis is cryotherapy. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen, administered through a spray gun (cryogun) or via a cotton swab, to freeze the unwanted skin lesion. As the liquid nitrogen is applied to the seborrheic keratosis, the patient may feel a slight burning or stinging sensation. A few days after cryotherapy, the treated lesion will scab over, flake off and healthier new skin will grow in its place.

Cryotherapy is our preferred method of treating seborrheic keratosis because this method is:

  • Well tolerated by patients
  • Quick to administer, making it more convenient for patients
  • Able to freeze several lesions in a single office visit
  • Effective: lesions usually resolve after one treatment
  • Non-surgical: no anesthesia, cutting, bleeding or stitches
  • An easy recovery with no downtime or after-care plans to follow

Our skin can send mixed signals—it can have a scary growth on it that is entirely benign, like a seborrheic keratosis, or a small brown spot that happens to be skin cancer. To ensure more serious skin conditions are discovered, it is important to have your skin evaluated by a dermatologist on a yearly basis. Dr. Aggarwal and her caring team at the Vein Care Center have years of experience diagnosing and treating a variety of skin conditions. If you have a crusty, wort-like growth or simply want to start having your skin checked on a routine basis by an experienced doctor, complete the online form or call us at 419 227 4472 to schedule a consultation.

The information about seborrheic keratosis was reviewed by Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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