Treatment Options for Seborrheic Keratosis

Otherwise known as senile keratosis, senile warts, seborrheic verruca, seborrheic warts, barnacles, brown warts, or basal cell papilloma, a seborrheic keratosis refers to a certain kind of skin growth. Seborrheic keratoses typically occur in aging persons but they are also often benign.

The growths on the skin caused by this skin condition have varied colors. The colors they become visible in range between light tan to darker shades of black. Round or oval-shaped, these skin growths also vary in shape. If you touch them, they will feel slightly elevated, like a wound’s scab. Typically similar looking to warts, the lesions are often small. Despite that, seborrheic keratosis does not appear due to a viral source.  There may be cysts embedded into the lesions. Since seborrheic keratoses can resemble melanoma skin cancer, one should immediately have a biopsy done when they see such lesions on their skin.

Treatment for this skin condition is not necessary due to the fact that Seborrheic keratoses have been determined to be typically benign. Localized infection of a lesion due to scratching involves very little risk. For unbearable itching, lesions should be removed through cryosurgery. Jewelry as well as even clothing can cause skin irritation for the skin lesions.

For the smaller lesions, light electrocautery can be used to treat them. If the lesions are much bigger and more obstinate, more serious techniques must be used. Electrodessication and curettage, as well as cryotherapy might be employed for this purpose.

One other method for treating seborrheic keratosis is by using liquid nitrogen. Using this substance, a seborrheic keratosis can be frozen. On the other hand, using liquid nitrogen might cause scarring and hypopigmentation. The scar that will remain after the skin growth has been removed is usually flat, unless your skin has a tendency to develop keloids. Shaving off the skin lesions may also be another alternative process. A razor blade that is flexible can be employed for this purpose. Use the blade to shave off the seborrheic keratoses while leaving the normal skin unharmed.

Another seborrheic keratosis removal method involving no surgical procedures is a topical cream which is applied to the seborrheic keratosis for 2 – 3 weeks. The keratosis will fall off leaving only redness which will gradually fade.

As for the cause of seborrheic keratosis, the reasons are actually still unclear. Since it has been observed that seborrheic keratosis appears on the body’s most sun-exposed areas, ultraviolet light may be one factor that can cause this kind of keratosis. The face, arms, back, and neck have been the places where seborrheic keratosis lesions most commonly show up. Genetics has also been viewed as a possible factor in the occurrence of seborrheic keratoses on the skin. It does not matter that much what causes seborrheic keratosis, however, mainly because it is often benign and not too problematic.