Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratoses are common raised skin growths. They often appear in adults who are middle-aged and older. They are not contagious, but it is common to have many.

Seborrheic keratoses can range in color from white to black, but most are tan or brown. They begin as small, rough bumps and slowly thicken giving them a waxy, stuck-on-the-surface look. While not painful, they may itch.

The cause of seborrheic keratoses is unknown. They do seem to be common amongst families. Some studies suggest sun exposure as a cause.

The dermatologist can usually diagnose this condition by examining the area. If they want to verify, they may take a biopsy. Usually, they do not require treatment, but some can be used. Cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen) or electrosurgery and curettage (burning the growth and scraping it off) are options to treat the area.

You should see your dermatologist if the area:

  • Changes size or turn black 
  • Itches or bleeds
  • Is dry, rough, or scaly
  • Is easily irritated