Seborrhoeic keratosis is a common noncancerous skin growth. People tend to get more of them as they get older. It has been estimated that over 90% of adults over the age of 60 years have one or more of them. They occur in males and females, typically beginning to erupt in the 30s or 40s. They are uncommon under the age of 20 years old.
Seborrhoeic keratoses are usually brown, black or light tan. The growths look waxy, scaly and slightly raised. They usually appear on the head, neck, chest or trunk. Seborrhoeic keratoses are harmless and not contagious. They are often itchy and can catch on clothing and become irritated.
An individual seborrhoeic keratosis can easily be removed if desired. Reasons for removal may be that it is unsightly, itchy, or catches on clothing.
Methods used to remove seborrhoeic keratoses include:
- Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) for thinner lesions (repeated if necessary)
- Curettage and/or electrocautery
- Laser surgery
- Shave biopsy (shaving off with a scalpel)