Keratosis is a skin condition that comes about after there’s been an increase in production of keratin. Keratin is the hard protein responsible for the growth of nails, skin and hair. Because of its hardness, an excess amount of it on the skin may cause it to harden and to form layers. Keratosis on its own does not have specific causes but rather the causes can be looked at from the various types of keratosis. One of these types is seborrheic keratosis.
This is usually a harmless skin condition which is often mistaken for being cancerous. This skin condition is noted as black growths or slightly raised skin in some areas. This condition which is also known as Seb K has notable characteristics which help differentiate it from other skin conditions.
Characteristics of Seborrheic Keratosis
The main characteristic of Seb K is that it has a ‘stuck on’ appearance. This makes them look like they are not a part of the skin and that they were just placed there. This is as a result of the edges of these growths not sticking to the skin surrounding them. SK is an epidermal skin condition meaning that it does not penetrate the skin’s layers. And hence the edges look as if they can be pulled away easily using a fingernail.
This skin condition looks similar in appearance to warts. They differ in that Seb K does not have the virus that causes warts. If left unattended, these growths can develop to look like cauliflower in the sense that they will have ridges and openings. Alternatively, they can develop into smoother growths. At this stage they do not have any rough ridges but they do have very small bumps that look like seeds. These bumps may either be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. This type of Seb K that grows in this manner usually has a whirling pattern that can be better seen using a magnifying glass.
This condition also tends to be itchy and it seems this characteristic worsens with age. Patients are advised against scratching them because this aggravates the Seb K and causes them to bleed. Other patients have also reported cases of inflammation after severe scratching.
The best treatment that can be given is to leave them alone. This condition can become larger but not necessarily. They are not cancerous and therefore are harmless save for the unsightliness.