Seborrheic Keratosis: What is it? Characteristics, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

It may seem worrisome because sometimes they confuse it with a wart, a pre-cancerous growth of the skin or skin cancer.

It is a flesh that grows on the skin. Some people believe that the appearance of this meatiness represents a danger to their health because they believe that they are cancerous but despite their appearance, they are not.

Most people experience these growths when they are middle or old and may have a warty appearance. Seborrheic keratoses are often called “barnacles of aging”.


Some growths may have a warty surface, while others look like brown candle waxes on the skin.

When they grow they begin as small, rough protuberances and then grow slowly.

Seborrheic Keratosis vary in color, some may be white or black, however, most are brown.

You can find these harmless growths anywhere on the skin, except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Very often, you will see them in the chest, back, head or neck.

It is possible to have only one of these growths, but most people develop several, it is important to note that they are not contagious.

Seborrheic keratoses tend to:

  • Have a waxy appearance, attached to the skin.
  • Be brown, although they vary in color from white to black.
  • Size range between a fraction of an inch and more.
  • It can appear on the chest, back, stomach, scalp, face, neck or other parts of the body.
  • It does not cause pain, but sometimes it can cause some itching.

What are the causes that generate the growth of Seborrheic Keratosis in the body?

Most people more likely to develop the growth of Seborrheic Keratosis tend to have clear skin. These growths also develop in people with medium to dark skin.

In people with dark skin, Seborrheic Keratosis tend to be small and appear around the eyes.

Some women present this fleshyness in the process of pregnancy or pregnancy, even after estrogen replacement therapy.

The most common cases are a in people of middle age or old age. The amount of Seborrheic Keratosis on the skin tends to increase with age. Children very rarely have this meatiness.

However, the causes that generate the development of Seborrheic Keratosis are unknown, but some studies suggest that:

  • Seborrheic Keratosis seems to be hereditary.
  • The sun can be one of the possible factors that triggers its growth.
  • They are not contagious. These growths may seem to multiply and spread to other parts of the body due to aging.


The treating dermatologist can diagnose it just by looking at it, but in some cases its appearance resembles the characteristics of a skin cancer.

If that happens, the specialist will eliminate the growth so that it can be seen under a microscope. This is the only way to know with certainty if it is cancer or not.

How do dermatologists treat seborrheic keratosis?

For being a meatiness harmless to the body, very often do not need treatment. A dermatologist can eliminate a Seborrheic Keratosis when:

  • It looks like a skin cancer.
  • It gets stuck in clothing or jewelry.
  • It irritates easily.
  • It seems unsightly to a patient.

If the growth looks like skin cancer, it is likely that the dermatologist shaves the growth with a blade or scrapes it. This will allow a specially trained doctor to search for cancer cells to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Other treatments for Seborrheic Keratosis include:

Cryosurgery: apply liquid nitrogen to growth with a cotton swab or gun. This destroys growth.

Seborrheic keratosis tends to disappear in a matter of days. Sometimes a blister forms beneath the seborrheic keratosis and dries on a scab.

Electrosurgery: consists of numbing the growth with an anesthetic and an electric current to destroy the growth. A surgical instrument in the form of a spoon, is used to scrape the treated growth.

The patient does not need stitches. There may be a small amount of bleeding.

After the removal of a seborrheic keratosis, the skin may be lighter than the surrounding skin. This usually fades over time. Sometimes it is permanent. Most of the removed Seborrheic Keratosis do not return. But a new one can happen elsewhere.

If you have Seborrheic Keratosis, do not try to eliminate it yourself as there may be risks of infection.

What are the characteristics of a carnosidad in the cancerigenic skin?

  • It grows rapidly, becomes black, itches or bleeds.
  • It appears suddenly, along with many other new skin growths.
  • It differs from what looks like a typical Seborrheic Keratosis.
  • It looks dry, flat, rough and scaly.
  • It irritates easily, for example, when shaving or rubbing clothes.