Seborrheic Keratosis(SK) also known as Seborrheic Verruca, are characterized as brown, black or yellow growths that grow singly or in groups and are flat or slightly elevated. Some SKs measure a fraction of an inch; others are larger than a half-dollar.  A SK can be flat or raised.  Sometimes the surface feels smooth. These benign (non-cancerous) growths can occur almost anywhere on the skin.  Some people get just one; others develop many.

While the exact cause remains unknown, researchers have discovered some key findings.  SKs seem to run in families, and it appears that some people inherit a tendency to develop many SKs.  Although these growths develop on both sun-exposed and non sun-exposed skin, some studies suggest that sun exposure may play a role.  The exact cause is unknown.

What treatments are there for Seborrheic Keratosis?

Since SKs are benign, treatment is generally not necessary. However sometimes a SK grows quickly, turns black, itches, or bleeds, making it difficult to distinguish from skin cancer.  Such a growth must be biopsied (removed and studied under a microscope) to determine if it is cancerous or not.

Treatment may be recommended if the growth is large or easily irritated by clothing or jewelry.  Sometimes, a SK is treated because the patient considers it unsightly.  In these last two cases, there are a few treatment options. Cryosurgery, electrosurgery, and curettage are the most common options for removing SKs.