Seborrheic keratoses: Diagnosis and Treatment


Seborrheic Keratoses are brown or black raised, often crusted spots or wart-like growths.

They appear almost as if they are stuck on the skin surface. There may be just one seborrheic keratosis or many of these "Granny warts" which occur in clusters.

Seborrheic Keratoses are not cancerous (they are benign) and are not contagious. They may be unsightly, and many patients request their removal. A proper diagnosis is important, as melanoma skin cancer or pigmented basal cell cancer can sometimes look like a seborrheic keratosis. A dermatologist can give you a precise diagnosis.

Creams, ointments, or other medication can neither cure nor prevent seborrheic keratoses. There is no safe and effective home treatment for these seborrheic keratoses and attempts at self-removal can often lead to permanent scars or skin discolouration.

Seborrheic keratoses can be safely and easily removed by your dermatologist through such techniques as cryosurgery, curettage, excision, electrosurgery, or laser.

Depending on the technique, 1-4 treatment sessions with your dermatologist are typically required to clear these lesions, though new lesions will continue to appear with age and cannot be prevented from developing.

~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre

Article by
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon