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Seborrheic Keratosis


Seborrheic keratosis

(SK) is a lesion that is commonly found on skin. The lesions are benign (not cancer). Lesions are usually seen on the scalp, face, neck, and trunk. You may have lesions anywhere hair can grow on your body. There are usually many lesions. Some people have dozens of them. As you get older, they may become thicker, more elevated, and increased in number.

Common types of SK lesions include:

  • Common seborrheic keratoses are usually on the face, neck, and trunk. They can look like warts. They can feel like velvet or wax. The lesions look like they have been stuck on your skin. Do not try to peel or scratch them off.
  • Dermatosis papulosa nigra are small, black, raised pimples. They appear on your face, neck, chest, and upper back. These lesions are most common in people with darker skin. They are more common in women, and there is usually a family history of these lesions.
  • Stucco keratoses are small gray lesions. They look rough and like warts. These lesions are usually found on the legs or forearms. There are usually a lot of these lesions. They are more common in men.
  • Flat seborrheic keratoses are oval, brown patches on the face, chest, or arms. These lesions increase in number as you get older.
  • Pedunculated seborrheic keratoses are darker lesions that look like they have a stem. These appear on the neck or armpit.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your lesions change shape or size.
  • Your lesions become red, itchy, and have drainage.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for SK

is not usually needed. A lesion can be removed if it is inflamed or has changed in appearance. It may also be removed for any reason. Talk to your healthcare provider if you want the lesion removed. Cryotherapy and shave removal are the most common removal methods.

More about SK:

The lesions can become irritated. Irritation can be caused by clothes rubbing against the lesions. It can also be caused by chafing of the area the lesions are in. The lesions or the skin around the lesions can become red and itchy. The lesions can also ooze drainage.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Seborrheic Keratosis (Ambulatory Care)

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.