Seborrheic Keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses, also known as SKs, are common and treatable non-cancerous skin growths. 

What are Seborrheic Keratoses?

Seborrheic keratoses (SKs) are common non-cancerous skin growths. The exact cause of SKs is unknown, though family history and age play a role; you’re more likely to develop SKs if you’re over the age of 50 and have a family history of the condition. Sun exposure may also play a role in their development. While seborrheic keratoses are benign, in some cases they can be difficult to distinguish from melanoma. It’s important to see your dermatologist immediately if you’ve developed a new or irregular growth, notice a change in appearance of an existing growth, or if a growth is irritated or painful.

Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses can vary in size from very small to as large as an inch in diameter. They usually appear as waxy or wart-like growths, are round or oval shaped, and are often either flat or slightly raised with a scaly surface; SKs are often described as having a “stuck on” appearance. Seborrheic keratoses may itch or become irritated by clothing. They range in colour from light tan to brown or black, and frequently appear on the head, neck, chest, shoulders or back. You may develop a single growth, but multiple are more common. Though harmless, many patients decide to have them removed for cosmetic reasons, or if they begin to cause discomfort.

Almost all seborrheic keratoses can be successfully removed when properly diagnosed by a skilled dermatologist. A thorough consultation with Dr. Geeta Yadav at Skin Science Dermatology will allow us to assess your skin’s condition, and determine the most effective seborrheic keratoses treatment.

Seborrheic Keratoses Treatment Options

Cryotherapy is a quick, in-office procedure that uses extreme cold to rapidly destroy actinic keratoses. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly onto targeted skin lesions, freezing them and causing them to slough off while leaving the surrounding area unaffected to minimize the risk of scarring. Learn More


Following application of a local or topical anesthetic, electrocautery uses light electrical current to heat the skin and destroy the seborrheic keratoses. Because this procedure only affects the outermost layers of the skin, the treatment typically does not leave a scar. Depending on your condition, 1-3 treatments may be required.

Shave Excision

Shave excision involves the use of a thin, razor-like tool to carefully slice away the seborrheic keratoses. The procedure is simple, and does not require any stitches, therefore reducing the risk of scarring.

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