Seborrheic Keratoses

As you grow older, you may notice wart-like or waxy brown growths develop on your skin. These growths may appear alarming, but in reality, they are extremely common, benign, and harmless growths that almost everyone develops as they naturally age. If a seborrheic keratosis becomes irritating, catches on clothing and jewelry, or simply looks unpleasant, your dermatologist can carefully and permanently remove the growth.

Table of Contents

What Causes Seborrheic Keratoses?

Seborrheic keratosis also known as seborrheic verruca or a senile wart, narrow focus

The exact cause of seborrheic keratoses is unknown. However, research and observation has suggested the following information regarding these skin lesions:

  • Seborrheic keratoses tend to run in families 
  • Sun exposure may contribute to seborrheic keratoses
  • Seborrheic keratoses are not contagious

Who Gets Seborrheic Keratoses?

Just about anyone can get seborrheic keratoses. However, the condition tends to be more common if you:

  • Have fair skin
  • Have a family member with seborrheic keratoses
  • Are pregnant
  • Are undergoing estrogen replacement therapy 
  • Are middle-aged or are older

Seborrheic keratoses are also rare in children. 

How Can I Prevent Seborrheic Keratoses?

Since seborrheic keratoses may be related to excessive sun exposure, you may possibly prevent them by minimizing sun exposure, wearing sunscreen, and sun-protective clothing. However, most seborrheic keratoses are not preventable. 

Why Treat Seborrheic Keratoses?

It is important to see a board-certified dermatologist to have your skin lesion in question evaluated to confirm the diagnosis of a seborrheic keratosis and ensure the lesion is not a more serious and potentially dangerous skin lesion. Once a board-certified dermatologist confirms the diagnosis of a seborrheic keratosis, you can choose to pursue treatment if the growth:

  • Continues growing larger
  • Becomes irritated easily
  • Bleeds
  • Gets caught on clothing or jewelry
  • Bothers you cosmetically

How Can I Treat Seborrheic Keratoses?

Old Asian man's head full of freckles and Seborrheic keratosis, seborrheic verruca, senile wart, benign skin tumor

At Arlington Dermatology, our dermatologists most commonly treat seborrheic keratoses by simply removing the growths. This can be achieved with:

  • Shave removal 
  • Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) 
  • Electrocautery 
  • Curettage

Each of these methods may be undertaken after administering a numbing cream or local anesthetic to the area, so the procedure is painless. 

Schedule an Appointment 

If you have a wart-like growth that is irritating or unsightly, you may have a seborrheic keratosis, and a board-certified dermatologist can easily and effectively remove it. 

To schedule an appointment with Arlington Dermatology, call our office or request your appointment using our online form.