The condition of having growths on the skin surface that are wart-like and noncancerous is called seborrheic keratosis. Its other names are barnacle, senile keratosis, seborrheic verruca, and senile warts. This noncancerous growth on the skin starts in the major constituent of the epidermis called keratinocyte. Aging is a factor that can contribute to the happening of seborrheic keratosis.
The term “seborrheic keratosis” is a combination of the adjective form of the word seborrhea (which refers to the skin disorder that causes flaky, scaly, and itchy, reddish skin and affects the sebum-gland rich areas), and keratinocyte (the part of the epidermis that creates keratin) and the suffix -osis which is used to mean abnormal.
Seborrheic keratoses may have varying characteristic just like with their colors from brown to black. From a tiny spot to over one inch across, the measurement may vary.
Even though it has no viral origins, it can look like a wart and even melanoma skin cancer. A seemingly pasted on appearance is the normal description of seborrheic keratosis granted that the only part involved in the top layer of the epidermis.
It is not clear why seborrheic keratosis exists on some individuals. Nonetheless, harmful rays from the sun can be pointed out given the fact the sun-exposed body parts are affected. The body areas mostly affected are back, face, neck, and arms. Another factor that may contribute to its existence is heredity.
The horny pearls and the embedded cysts can be attributed to its development on the skin. When in doubt, it is still the best thing to do to consult a skin expert. A common way to know your condition is through a skin biopsy.
Epidermal nevi can be mistaken for seborrheic keratosis because of their similarity. The same way goes with warts and condylomas, so it is really advisable to undergo a dermatoscopy. A skin biopsy is necessary for you to distinguish it from condylomas when it is on the genital skin or on the penis.
It has to be noted that there is no treatment needed if the diagnosis was correct. Small risk of local infection is brought about by picking at the lesions. One good method is cryosurgery if there is a sharp itchiness brought by the growth.
For those who have small lesions, the best treatment is light electrocautery. Conversely, bigger lesions necessitates various treatments such as cryotherapy, shave excision, and electrodessication and curettage. Proper treatment is necessary so that there would be not much scars visible on the skins of affected individuals save for dark-skinned ones.