Have you ever had a seborrheic keratosis? Did you ever fear what this lesion might be? Have you ever asked yourself whether it is a simple rash, a bite of an insect or a manifestation of other more menacing diseases? All you have to do is stop worrying and start gathering information about what your skin problem might be. You can start by reading medical books at a library or combing through medical websites on the internet since you can easily refer to your skin for the evidence. But if a trustworthy medical book or internet source advises it is already a symptom of a far more threatening disease, consult a doctor right away.
In the following sentences, our focus will be seborrheic keratosis – just one of the many skin lesions previously diagnosed. Keratosis, a medical term, means the unnecessary extra growth of keratin – a protein found naturally in the skin. It usually ranges from yellow, to brown and to black, in color. You can find its lesions to be either flat or lifted above the surface of the skin – which is the case most of the time. There is no one constant size for it can be really tiny, it can be of intermediate size or it can be unusually large. In contour, it is mostly spheroid or oblong-shaped. Due to its correspondence to a wart’s appearance, it is usually mistaken for it which should not be the case because the two are very distinctive from each other. Although it may appear as a single lesion, this type of keratosis usually comes in multiple growths. It can actually appear on any part of the body but most of the time, they are found at the chest or the back. But its most specific characteristic is its slight waxy or greasy property. It is also important to be informed that this does not cause pain at all. But if you accidentally do something to irritate this lesion, it can be inflamed causing redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness and even bleeding and change in the color of the lesion. As you have noticed, there is nothing to worry about or is there?
I think most of you maybe thought, “Isn’t this a type of skin cancer?” Skin cancer is apparently the most common type of cancer. In the United States alone, one out of eight eventually acquires skin cancer. But because the skin is easily available for inspection, its early detection should not be a problem. As a result, any skin condition can receive the appropriate treatment at once. The three types of skin cancer whose basis of nomenclature is based on the cells altered will be discussed in the next sentences. Topping the list is basal cell carcinoma (BCC) known for its high occurrence. Though basal cell carcinoma is malignant, its progression is slow and it rarely spreads. Initially, a small, translucent nodule appears. It grows by forming an ulcer at the middle of the lesion’s original site. The second most common type is the squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Compared to basal cell carcinoma, this grows quickly, is extremely invasive, is firmer and looks redder. Lastly, malignant melanoma is the most lethal type. Its warning signs can easily be remembered by the mnemonic ABCDE. It is asymmetric, its borders are irregular, its color varies, its diameter is greater than 6 millimeters and it is elevated.
Now, we can respond to the question of whether a seborrheic keratosis is precancerous or not. It absolutely is not, as opposed to actinic keratosis which leads to squamous cell carcinoma. Surprisingly, a seborrheic keratosis is harmless. You only have to worry about the lesser problems, namely, disfigurement of your physical appearance and possible irritation of the lesion.