Also known as “age spots” and “barnacles of the skin,” seborrheic keratoses are benign skin growths. They are most commonly seen on the face, chest, shoulders, and back. They are usually not bothersome, but can become irritated, tender, or itchy. Seborrheic keratoses sometimes are mistaken for warts because they often have a rough or wart-like surface and have a “stuck-on” appearance. The causes of seborrheic keratoses are not yet known.
Types of Seborrheic Keratoses
- Common seborrheic keratoses
- Reticulated seborrheic keratosis
- Stucco keratosis
- Clonal seborrheic keratosis
- Irritated seborrheic keratosis
- Seborrheic keratosis with squamous atypia
- Dermatosis papulosa nigra
Most people that are affected by these growths are over age 50, however, it is possible to develop seborrheic keratoses at any age. People who have a family history of seborrheic keratoses are more likely to be affected.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Dermatologists are usually able to diagnose a seborrheic keratosis through simple physical examination, though sometimes a biopsy may be necessary to differentiate the growth from skin cancer. To the eye of a lay person, however, it may be difficult to distinguish a seborrheic keratosis from other skin conditions. Therefore, it is important to make an appointment with our dermatologist to make sure the growth is normal. Treatment is usually not indicated unless the growths become irritated, bleed, or are tender. Treatment methods include:
- Shave removal (curettage)
- Liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery)
- Burning with an electric current (electrocautery)
- Vaporizing the growth with a laser (ablation)
It is important to make an appointment if you notice any unusual skin growth in order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Do You Have “Age Spots”?
It is extremely important that you receive the correct diagnosis for any unusual growths you may notice. Make sure you make an appointment with us as soon as possible so we can diagnose and treat you properly.