Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart is a condition where there are noncancerous growths on the skin. This commonly occurs in older adults. Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca is characterized by black, brown, or light tan colored growth on the face, shoulders, chest, or back. These growths are slightly raised and have a scaly, waxy appearance. Multiple growths are common; however, there may be a single growth too. This is not a cancerous condition; however, it resembles skin cancer.
Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart is often a painless condition and doesn’t require treatment. Patients can get them removed for cosmetic purposes; or if they become inflamed or irritated from rubbing against clothes etc.
Treatment comprises of removal methods, such as cryosurgery, curettage, electrocautery and ablation.
Causes and Risk Factors of Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart
The exact cause behind Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart is not clear. This is quite a common condition and the number of growths increases with age. There may be a hereditary factor behind this condition. Individuals over the age of 40 and individuals with a family history of Seborrheic Keratosis are more likely to develop this condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart
- The skin growth resembles a wart and has a scaly and waxy appearance.
- The growth is round or oval shaped.
- It varies in color from light tan to brown/black.
- It has a distinctive “pasted on” appearance.
- It can be slightly elevated or flat.
- Varies in size and can be very small to as big as more than 2.5 centimeters in diameter.
- Patient may also experience itching in the affected region.
- It is important to seek immediate medical attention if there are multiple growths present, if they start to bleed, or if there are any suspicious developments, such as development of sores which bleed and do not heal, as these signs could be those of cancer.
Investigations for Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart
Physical examination confirms the diagnosis. For further confirmation, biopsy can be done where a sample of the affected skin and tissue is taken and sent to the laboratory for testing.
Treatment for Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart
Treatment is usually not needed; however, patient may want to get the skin growths removed for cosmetic purposes or if they become irritated or start to bleed.
Seborrheic Keratosis or Seborrheic Verruca or Senile Wart is Removed Using the Following Methods:
- Cryosurgery where liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the growths and remove them. This procedure does not work on larger and thicker lesions. The affected skin may be get lightened after this treatment.
- Curettage is a process where the skin’s surface is scraped using a surgical instrument, curette. Curettage can also be used with cryosurgery for treating growths which are flat or thinner. It may also be used along with electrocautery.
- Electrocautery is a process where the lesions are burned using electric current. This can be done alone or along with curettage. Scarring may be there if this procedure is not done properly or if not done by an experienced doctor. This process also takes more time than other methods.
- Ablation is a process where the growth is vaporized using a laser. There are various types of laser treatments available.