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Seborrheic keratosis

Contents of this page:


Irritated Seborrheic Kerotosis - neck
Irritated Seborrheic Kerotosis - neck

Alternative Names    Return to top

Benign skin tumors - keratosis; Keratosis - seborrheic; Senile keratosis

Definition    Return to top

Seborrheic keratosis is noncancerous (benign) wart-like growths on the surface of the skin.

Causes    Return to top

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign form of skin tumor. The cause is unknown. The condition commonly appears after age 40.

Symptoms    Return to top

Symptoms are skin growths that:

Exams and Tests    Return to top

Diagnosis is based primarily on the appearance of the growths. A skin lesion biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment    Return to top

Treatment is usually not required unless the growths become irritated or are unsightly.

If treatment is needed, growths may be removed with surgery or freezing (cryotherapy).

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

Removing the growths is simple and usually does not result in scars. However, growths on the trunk often leave the skin lighter colored.

In rare cases, a person who gets many growths very quickly may have gastric cancer.

Growths usually do not return after they are removed, but people who are prone to this condition may develop more growths in the future.

Possible Complications    Return to top

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of seborrheic keratosis.

Also call if you develop new symptoms, including:

Update Date: 10/3/2008

Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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