Seborrheic keratoses are raised growths on the skin. The exact cause of seborrheic keratoses is unclear. They tend to run in some families, so genetics may play a role. The growths usually begin one at a time as small, rough, itchy bumps which eventually thicken and develop a warty surface. They are not caused by sunlight and can be found on both sun-exposed and non sun-exposed areas. It may appear on both covered and uncovered parts of the body. They are usually start off light tan, and then may darken to dark brown or nearly black. They may be oval spots a fraction of an inch across, or form long Christmas tree like patterns on the torso inches long. Anyone may develop seborrheic keratoses. They have no relationship to skin cancer and do not pose a risk to health. They get darker after sunless tanning creams have been used. Unlike moles, they never turn into melanoma. Some people develop many over time, while others develop only a few. As people age, they may simply develop more. Seborrheic keratoses are most often located on the chest or back, although they also can be found on the scalp, face, neck, or almost anywhere on the body.
Seborrheic keratoses are easily removed, but insurance considers this cosmetic unless they are inflamed, irritated or clinically suspicious. Seborrheic keratoses are more common and numerous with advancing age. They vary in size from a fraction of an inch in diameter to larger than a half-dollar. Sometimes seborrheic keratoses may erupt during pregnancy, following hormone replacement therapy or as a result of other medical problems. They are mostly hereditary and not caused by sun exposure. One often inherit the pattern and favored locations they grow on. They often are found on the trunk and where the face meets the scalp. There is no need to treat seborrheic keratoses. The only reason to treat them is because they are ugly or getting caught on your clothing. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and destroy the cells of the seborrheic keratosis but leave the underlying connective tissue intact. This procedure leaves a crust that falls off after several days. There might be a flat scar or lighter colored skin. Keratoses usually don't recur after they have been removed, but people who are prone to this condition might develop more.
Causes of Seborrheic keratoses
The exact cause of seborrheic keratoses is unclear. They tend to run in some families, so genetics may play a role. Some people develop many over time, while others develop only a few. As people age, they may simply develop more. Children rarely develop seborrheic keratoses. Seborrheic keratoses may erupt during pregnancy, following estrogen therapy, or in association with other medical problems. Ultraviolet light may also play a role in their development since they are common on sun-exposed areas, such as the back, arms, face and neck.
Common causes and risk factors of Seborrheic keratoses:
- A family history of barnacles of aging.
- Pregnancy, or in association with other medical problems .
- Aging plays a major role.
- Abnormal increase of melanin in the epidermal layers of the skin.
Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic keratoses
Seborrheic keratoses are most often located on the chest or back, although they also can be found on the scalp, face, neck, or almost anywhere on the body. They appear to be stuck on the skin and often have a waxy or scaly surface. These growths develop slowly. They are not cancerous and do not become so. Dark brown keratoses may sometimes be mistaken for atypical moles or melanomas. The growths usually begin one at a time as small, rough, itchy bumps which eventually thicken and develop a warty surface.
Sign and symptoms may include the following :
- Swelling of the eyelid.
- The skin will get thick and rashy type.
- Blurred vision.
- Pain in the eye or eyelid.
Treatment for Seborrheic keratoses
Seborrheic keratoses are easily removed, but insurance considers this cosmetic unless they are inflamed, irritated or clinically suspicious. Treatment is not needed unless the keratoses become irritated or itchy or are cosmetically undesirable. They are best removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. Cryosurgery can be an effective way to remove seborrheic keratosis. However, it may not work on large, thick growths, and it may lighten the treated skin.
Treatment may include:
- Sometimes curettage is used along with cryosurgery to treat thinner or flat growths. It may be used with electrocautery.
- Electro surgery is another effective method used for the treatment of barnacles of aging. The growth is first numbed, then burned using an electric current, and scraped off.
- Liquid Nitrogen is a cold liquefied gas that is sprayed on the skin with a spray gun.
- Excision, the removal of the growth with a scalpel after your doctor injects a local anesthetic.