Very common harmless often pigmented growths of the skin found on the face and body.
Seborrhoeic keratoses (SK) are benign growths which are not infectious and do not become cancerous, they are sometimes referred to as brown warts. They are due to a build-up of skin cells and can grow quite large in size. SK can affect all age groups with some people only getting a few whilst others may get many. There are no symptoms associated with SK however they do sometimes itch, become inflamed and catch on clothing. They have a rough surface and range in colour from pale raised skin to brown to even dark brown or black. Small flat SK can often become more raised and larger through time and some can look like small pigmented skin tags. They can be found most often on the trunk, head and neck areas in varying numbers.
There is no known reason to what causes them although it has been suggested that exposure to sunlight and the HPV virus, as found in warts, could be contributory; often they are hereditary.
Do they need treatment?
SK do not need to be treated as they are harmless and cause no symptoms; however, for those who feel that their keratoses are unsightly, irritating or wish them to be removed for their own personal reason, it is possible to have them treated by using Cryotherapy (freezing them with liquid nitrogen) or advanced electrolysis to cauterise and remove the growth.
How long before results can be seen?
On smaller SK these are usually effectively removed using advanced electrolysis and results are immediate however it will take a couple of weeks to completely heal. On larger SK freezing is recommended and it is sometimes necessary to have more than one treatment as the SK reduces in size and the dead cells are destroyed.