Seborrheic Keratoses – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Posted December 28, 2012on:
Seborrheic keratoses are common, non-cancerous skin growths that can pop up on any part of the body at anytime. The skin growths usually don’t hurt or itch, but they are large (up to an inch in diameter) and are unpleasant to look at and are often referred to as ‘barnacles’ because of their unsightly appearance or ‘Seb K’ for short.
Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratoses
Seb K skin growths can range in color from light tan to dark brown and occasionally a black Seb K will pop up. The benign skin growths will be raised, circular with a warty surface and give the appearance of being glued onto the skin. Most people try to scratch off the first Seb K growth they discover because it simply looks like something foreign stuck to the body. Older Seb K growths may begin to itch as we age and have the tendency to bleed if scratched too hard or picked at, however the growth always remains benign.
Causes of Seborrheic Keratoses
The cause of the unsightly skin growths are unknown. A person may have anywhere from a few of these skin growths to a few hundred. The Seb K’s will suddenly pop up on the back, chest, arms, legs, scalp and the most visible locations of the face and neck.
The Seb K growth crop up from the top layer of skin and do not extend deep below the surface like warts do, even though the growths have a warty looking surface. While Seb Ks are not cancerous, a sudden appearance of several of these skin growths could indicate a cancer in another part of the body, visit your doctor for a thorough exam in the event of a sudden development of several Seb Ks.
Since seborrheic keratoses growths are not pre-cancerous or cancerous, they can remain on the skin for life without a causing a health problem. Location of the unsightly growths may be a determining factor in having them treated, which means removal. A dermatologist can scrape the Seb K growths off or freeze them with liquid nitrogen, multiple growths are usually removed in stages. A small discoloration may remain where the growth was removed and growths may pop up on other parts of the body at anytime.