Also known as seborrheic verruca, most people will develop at least one seborrheic keratosis during a lifetime. Fortunately, these lesions are benign and don’t become cancerous. They are seen as brown, black or yellowish-white growths that grow singly or in groups and are flat or slightly elevated.  When dark, they are usually mistaken for moles, but when they are light in color they can resemble warts. Some seborrheic keratosis can become itchy, especially in the winter.

Generally, no treatment is required unless the kekratosis becomes inflamed.  Often this results from chafing against clothing, but some of them seem to become inflamed for no apparent reason.  

If a seborrheic keratosis becomes irritated or unsightly, removal is conducted using one of these three methods:

  • Cryosurgery, which freezes off the growth using liquid nitrogen.
  • Curettage, in which the doctor scrapes the growth off the surface of the skin.
  • Electrocautery, used alone or in conjunction with curettage to burn off the tissue and stop the bleeding.

When treatment is done for cosmetic reasons, this will not be covered by medical insurance.  Occasionally, because of inflammation or irregular shape and coloration, excision with biopsy is needed to exclude the possiblilty of cancer.