Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis are wart-like bumps that grow on the surface of the skin. This condition is more common in adults, especially the elderly, and the numbers can increase over time.

Seborrheic keratosis can grow anywhere, except on the palms and soles, or on the mucous lining of the mouth and nose. The parts of the body that are often the location for the appearance of seborrheic keratosis are the face, chest, shoulders, back, and skin folds.

Seborrheic keratosis lumps grow slowly, are not contagious, and rarely develop into cancer. This condition is generally painless and does not require special treatment. However, treatment by a doctor can be done if this condition is disturbing.

Causes and Risk Factors for Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis occurs when cells in the skin grow abnormally. It is not known exactly what causes this condition, but it is thought to be related to the following factors:

  • Over 40 years old
  • Often exposed to sunlight
  • Have a family history of seborrheic keratosis
  • Often experience friction against the skin, such as in the folds of the skin inside

Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratosis

The main symptom of seborrheic keratosis is the appearance of wart -like bumps on the skin, with the following characteristics:

  • Brown, brown, dark brown, to black in color
  • Round or oval in shape
  • Rough texture like warts
  • Has a surface that looks like oily
  • Has a flat surface, but more prominent than the surrounding skin surface
  • Often appears more than one in one area (groups)
  • It doesn't cause pain or tenderness, but can be itchy

Patients are advised not to scratch or rub the body parts that have lumps because it can cause bleeding, swelling, or infection.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience the symptoms mentioned above. You are also advised to immediately see a doctor if:

  • New lumps appear
  • Only one lump appears, while more than one lump appears due to seborrheic keratosis
  • Lumps are unusual in color, such as bluish, purple or blackish red
  • The lump hurts
  • The lump is bleeding
  • The edges of the bumps are uneven

Diagnosis of Seborrheic Keratosis

The diagnosis will begin with a question and answer regarding the symptoms and complaints experienced, as well as the medical history of the patient and his family. After that, the doctor will examine the lump on the skin.

It should be noted that seborrheic keratosis lumps can look similar and be difficult to distinguish from melanoma skin cancer. However, seborrheic keratosis can be identified by its unique bump shape.

If needed, the doctor will take a tissue sample ( biopsy ) from the lump and examine it in the laboratory. A biopsy can determine whether the lump is seborrheic keratosis or skin cancer.

Seborrheic Keratosis Treatment

Seborrheic keratosis generally does not require special treatment. However, if the lump is irritated or infected, the patient must undergo treatment. Seborrheic keratosis can also be removed if the patient feels that the lump interferes with appearance or makes it uncomfortable.

Several methods of removing seborrheic keratosis lumps that patients can undergo are:

  • Cryotherapy
    In cryotherapy , the doctor will freeze seborrheic keratosis lumps using liquid nitrogen to remove the lumps.
  • Laser therapy Laser
    beams can be used to cauterize lumps, sterilize wounds, and cover tissue.
  • Electrocautery Electrocautery aims to remove lumps using an electric current. This method can be applied as a single procedure or in combination with a curettage. If done carefully, this method generally does not leave scars.
  • Curettage is
    done by scraping the seborrheic keratosis lump using a special tool . Curettes can be combined with cryotherapy or electrocautery to get maximum results.

After surgical removal, the skin area in the former lump will be paler than the surrounding skin. This difference in skin color will diminish over time.

Please note, seborrheic keratosis lumps generally will not reappear in the same location, but can appear in other areas of the skin.

Seborrheic Keratosis Complications

Although rare, seborrheic keratosis can cause a number of complications, namely:

  • Irritation, bleeding, or discomfort if the lump is scratched or rubbed against clothing
  • Misdiagnosis, due to difficulty differentiating seborrheic keratosis lumps from skin cancer lumps, especially if the seborrheic keratosis lump is pigmented
  • Depression, due to lumps that interfere with appearance

Prevention of Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is difficult to prevent because the cause is unknown. However, there are several things that can be done to reduce the risk of developing seborrheic keratosis, namely:

  • Avoid lingering exposure to sunlight that is too hot
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
  • Eat foods that contain high antioxidants, such as vegetables and fruits
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