Seborrheic Keratosis

What Is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a common, benign skin growth. These growths can look like other skin conditions such as moles, warts, or skin cancers, but their waxy look can help differentiate this condition from other growths and aberrations. While some people only get one growth, it is not uncommon to have many. While they range in color from white to black, they are more often shades of brown

What causes this condition?

While the cause of this skin condition is unknown, we do know that there seems to be a genetic tendency to make these lesions that can be passed down through family members. It is not contagious, and the development of one is not linked to whether or not more will develop. Some studies suggest that sun exposure may be a factor in development, but more research is needed to confirm this.

Who gets it?

In most people, they normally occur in patients between the ages of 40-65. In some situations, they can affect younger individuals.  Some women may develop these growths during pregnancy or hormone therapy.

Treatment Options

Because these are harmless benign growths, they require no treatment.  However, many people inquire about ways to remove these bumps if they become inflamed or symptomatic. Removal can be achieved with cryosurgery, a method that uses liquid nitrogen to “freeze” the bump. If a growth is particularly large or uncomfortable, we may perform a shave biopsy to exclude the possibility of an early skin cancer.

How We Can Help

If you think you may show symptoms of this disease, we urge you to make an appointment with Dr. Sheehan at Harmonie Medical. We can perform a biopsy to rule out cancer, and discuss your treatment options. We work with patients from Evans, Martinez, Augusta, Grovetown, Aiken, and North Augusta. We look forward to hearing from you.