Because these lesions are new growths and can be pigmented, patients are often alarmed and worry about skin cancer and melanoma . However, Seborrheic Keratosis lesions are completely benign and are not dangerous. They never become cancerous and do not affect the patient’s health in any way.
The cause of Seborrheic Keratosis is not known. These lesions often develop as we age and are more commonly observed in older individuals. Ultraviolet light may play a role in the development of these lesions, particularly those on the face and in sun exposed areas. Genetics are also thought to play a role and these lesions often run in families. Extremely rare cases of numerous Seborrheic Keratosis lesions that arise over very short periods of time have been associated internal cancers.
There are a few specific presentations of Seborrheic Keratosis that can bee seen:
- Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra: multiple small and pinpoint lesions that appear around the eyes, on the cheeks and neck. These are more common in Asian and African American individuals.
- Stucco Keratosis: light brown to off-white small and pinpoint lesions seen on the lower legs and feet.
Treatment of Seborrheic Keratosis is primarily for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes these lesions can rub on clothing and become irritated. Tenderness or pain would be another reason to remove these lesions.
There is no cream or pill that can prevent or treat these spots. These lesions can be frozen, scraped off, excised surgically, treated with an electric needle (electrodesiccation) or laser to remove them.