Seborrheic keratosis is a common skin growth. It may seem worrisome because it can look like a wart, pre-cancerous skin growth (actinic keratosis), abnormal mole/melanoma or other skin cancer. Despite their appearance, seborrheic keratoses are harmless.
Most people get these growths when they are middle-aged or older. Dr. Kittridge often refers to these as a sign of “wisdom.” They are often thought to run in families and develop in those with significant sun exposure.
Patients may develop one to several lesions anywhere on the skin, with the exception of palms and soles. Some growths may have a warty surface while others look waxy in appearance. Seborrheic keratoses range in color from white to black; however, most are tan or brown.
While these benign lesions are not medically concerning, if patients wish to have these removed Dr. Kittridge may use several techniques including cryotherapy, curettage, chemical destruction and shave removal (as described in other sections).