Seborrhoeic keratosis is a wart-like spot that appears as a sign of ageing. Some estimates suggest that over 90 per cent of all adults over the age of 60 have seborrhoeic keratoses. We’re not quite sure why these growths appear, but they get more numerous as we age.
Seborrhoeic keratoses may appear after sunburn or dermatitis, and in body folds. A solar lentigo sunspot can turn into a seborrhoeic keratosis lesion.
How seborrhoeic keratosis looks
- Flat or raised spot on the skin
- 1mm up to several centimetres in diameter
- Can be variety of colours – browns, black, mixed, yellow, grey
- Can be warty or waxy
- May be found in groups or alone
- Like a barnacle on the skin
- Typically benign, but skin cancer can look very similar
- Can harbour cancer within the growth by chance
Treatment for seborrhoeic keratosis
These growths are easily removed by burning or cutting off (cryotherapy), lasers, or chemical peels. They are not considered dangerous, but they may – if positioned in an unfortunate spot – cause discomfort due to catching or rubbing on clothing. They are associated with dermatitis.
Many people co-exist very happily with their seborrhoeic keratoses, but if yours are bothering you for any reason, it is a very simple procedure to have one or more removed in a quick clinic visit. Because these growths do not have a vast blood supply (unlike moles, for example), the procedure is very straightforward, relatively painless and recovery is quick.
It’s likely that repeated treatments will be necessary, since these growths continue to appear as we age. The same lesion won’t grow again, but new ones will very likely appear.
We can remove your seborrhoeic keratoses today.