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Seborrheic Keratosis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is seborrheic keratosis (SK)?

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.

What are the types of SK lesions?

The following are some common SK lesions:

How is SK diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will look at your lesions. He or she may be able to diagnose the lesion by its appearance. Your healthcare provider may look at your lesions through a medical lens called a dermatoscope. You may need a biopsy of one or more lesions. The tissue from the biopsy will be sent to the lab for tests.

How is SK treated?

Treatment 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 a lesion removed. Cryotherapy and shave removal are the most common removal methods.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What else do I need to know 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.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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