Seborrheic Keratosis

What are seborrheic keratoses?

Seborrheic keratoses are what some people refer to as barnacles of skin. They are raised, warty, waxy growths on the skin that most people find annoying or ugly. They are usually found on the abdomen, back, and arms of middle-aged to elderly patients. They can appear flat, raised, or warty and can be light tan, brown, or dark black. They can also occur on the face and legs.

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    Are seborrheic keratoses malignant?

    Seborrheic keratoses are not malignant. They usually will never develop into a melanoma. However, in our practice at Jupiter Dermatology, we have patients that are concerned about very dark, irregular black growths that resemble a melanoma. With close inspection using a dermatoscope, Dr. Mejia can evaluate for horn cysts which are a classic finding in seborrheic keratosis.
    On rare occasions melanomas have occurred in association with seborrheic keratosis.

    What are the Different treatments and how can I get rid of the seborrheic keratosis?

    There are many different treatment options to provide the best cosmetic outcome.

    Eskata is the newest topical medication. It is a 40% solution of hydrogen peroxide which is applied directly to the seborrheic keratosis by a licensed dermatologist. The Eskata solution is absorbed into the skin which will cause it to dissolve over the next week. Most seborrheic keratosis can be treated in one or two treatments. The advantage of this treatment is that it does not require any anesthesia. It provides an excellent cosmetic outcome for facial lesions to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.

    Liquid nitrogen is a cost-effective treatment utilizing a cold solution of liquid nitrogen to freeze the warty seborrheic keratoses. Its advantage is that you can freeze multiple lesions quickly and rapidly. At Jupiter Dermatology, Dr. Mejia and our licensed physician assistants are trained to ensure the appropriate freeze time to minimize any risk of hyper or hypopigmentation and to guarantee the best cosmetic outcome.

    Curettage and electrodesiccation is another alternative which typically requires anesthetizing the areas. It is ideal to immediately remove large warty seborrheic keratosis. The lesion is lightly cauterized and then scraped off using a curette device. With the appropriate technique and gentle approach, our office can ensure excellent cosmetic results.


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