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What is Seborrheic Keratosis & is it Something to be Worried About?

Posted on October 06, 2017

What is Seborrheic Keratosis & is it Something to be Worried About?
Have you ever noticed waxy brown or gray bumps that look “stuck on” or “pasted on,” as if you could peel them?

These may be seborrheic keratoses (SKs), which are benign, age-related skin lesions. Patients have many names for SKs, like age spots, wisdom or maturity spots, barnacles, or even liver spots (even though they do not have anything to do with the liver).

SKs may be found anywhere on the body and appear gradually over time. They are usually not bothersome but sometimes may feel itchy. Some people may have a lot of SKs, which may be hereditary. If many such lesions appear at once, make sure to have them evaluated by your dermatology provider.

SKs will occasionally become itchy or painful, especially those that rub on clothing. Some insurances may cover the removal of SKs to help relieve the symptoms. Treatment is most commonly done with liquid nitrogen, a very cold liquid, among other methods. Multiple treatments may be necessary to completely remove the SKs, as frequently they do not resolve with only one treatment.

If SKs are not symptomatic, treatment is usually not covered by insurance since it would be considered cosmetic/elective.

SKs may look like other skin growths, sometimes concerning lesions. Therefore it is important to have your dermatology provider evaluate and diagnose your skin lesions. If you have any new, changing, bleeding, growing, or itchy lesions, make sure to visit your friendly dermatology provider at The Woodruff Institute for Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery for an evaluation. We are offering same-day appointments.

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