Seborrheic Keratoses

These are common wart-like, rough spots or bumps that range in color from flesh to brown or even black.  They occur on any part of the body and usually appear to be stuck on to the skin like barnacles.  The exact cause of these lesions is not known but they are thought to be part of the skin’s aging process.  Patients tend to gradually accumulate large numbers over time, but despite their common name (seborrheic warts) they are not infectious like viral warts.  In fact, seborrheic keratoses are harmless and can usually be left alone, although occasionally they may itch, cause pain or irritation when rubbing against clothing, and they can be unsightly.  These lesions can be easily removed in a number of ways: cryotherapy (freezing), curettage and cautery, laser surgery and shave biopsy.  Some may need a biopsy if they look irregular or mimic the appearance of skin cancer, so the proper diagnosis and treatment can be given.

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