What is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic Keratosis: “barnacles of old age”

Seborrheic keratoses are brown, often black, benign growths of the skin. They are characterised by their plastic/ waxy appearance (Seborrheic means greasy and keratosis means thickening of the skin). Quite often they are confused with warts.

Seborrheic keratoses are caused by hereditary factors, not the Sun — it is currently thought that they do not turn into melanoma, as moles do. When a seborrheic keratosis turns black it may be difficult to distinguish from a skin cancer without a biopsy.

Seborrheic keratoses are not contagious. The occurrence of one does not atomically mean that more will develop, although they are known to occur in clusters.

Also known as “barnacles of old age”, almost everyone will develop a seborrheic keratosic formation at some time in their life. Their cause is not yet fully understood, and unless they develop suddenly, seborrheic keratosis does not indicate a serious health problem.

NOTE: If you have a pigmented spots of which you are not certain you should visit a physician or dermatologist for an professional evaluation.

Prevention is better than cure!