Seborrheic keratosis is a condition that causes wart-like growths on the skin. The growths are noncancerous (benign).
Seborrheic keratosis is a benign form of skin tumor. The cause is unknown.
The condition commonly appears after age 40. It tends to run in families.
Symptoms of seborrheic keratosis are skin growths that:
Your health care provider will look at the growths to determine if you have the condition. You may need a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
You usually do not need treatment unless growths get irritated or affect your appearance.
Growths may be removed with surgery or freezing (cryotherapy).
Removing the growths is simple and usually does not cause scars. You may have patches of lighter skin where growths on the torso have been removed.
Growths usually do not return after they are removed. You may develop more growths in the future if you are prone to the condition.
These complications may occur:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of seborrheic keratosis.
Also call if you have new symptoms, such as:
Benign skin tumors - keratosis; Keratosis - seborrheic; Senile keratosis
Brodsky J. Management of benign skin lesions commonly affecting the face: actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis, and rosacea. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;17:315-320.
James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 29.
Requena L, Requena C, Cockerell CJ. Benign epidermal tumors and proliferations. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 109.
Updated by: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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