What is Stucco Keratosis & Is it Harmful?|Causes and Treatment of Stucco Keratosis

What is Stucco Keratosis?

Stucco keratosis is a benign epithelial skin tumor that mostly develops on the feet and legs. They form in the toes, ankles, and legs and commonly on the thighs and forearm.

Stucco keratosis is one of the several variants of seborrheic keratosis. They are the most common benign epithelial tumors of the skin.(1) These lesions get common with age.

What is Stucco Keratosis

They appear as white or white-grey papules that are only a few centimeters in diameter. They are also known as keratosis Alba.

Identifying Stucco Keratosis

Some key features that help identify stucco keratosis are:

  • A raise flat lesion of 1-10 millimeter
  • Mostly white and grey but can also be yellow or light tan.
  • Dry and Scaly and appearing to be stuck to the skin
  • Do not fade with time
  • Grows slowly
  • No pain or itching
  • Appear different than the mole

These lesions increase over a period. Some have dozens while others may even have hundreds.

What Causes Stucco Keratosis?

Anyone can develop stucco keratosis and it gets common as the person grows older, particularly after 40 years.

It occurs more commonly in men than women.(2)

The Exact cause of stucco keratosis is unknown.

It is thought to be caused by sunlight, but the absence of it on the face nullifies this as well. There is no clear evidence of what can be done to prevent these lesions from forming.

Is Stucco Keratosis Harmful?

No, stucco keratosis is not harmful. They are benign lesions, which are not cancerous, neither they develop into cancer later.

These lesions are not contagious, which means they cannot spread to other parts of the body on touching. They do not cause any discomfort, and it is not necessary to get them removed.

If they develop, get a diagnosis by a dermatologist so that any other serious problem is not overlooked.

Treatment of Stecco Keratosis

Stecco keratosis does not clear on its own. Also, it does not need to be treated as it is not dangerous.

If someone is bothered by the appearance, there are cosmetic treatment options that may help. These treatments are not the cure and would not prevent the formation of new lesions.

The treatments would lead to loss of pigment and usually occurs in those with more pigment.

Topical Preparation

The appearance of lesions can be improved with the help of prescription topical ointments with the following ingredients:

  • Topical urea
  • Lactic acid
  • Imiquimod
  • Salicylic acid


Freezing therapy is also known as cryotherapy, or cold therapy is an effective method for removing stucco keratosis.

Nitrogen spray is applied to the lesion to freeze it. There is a stinging feeling on nitrogen application.

There is soreness on the lesion for few days as the blister develops. Eventually, the lesion falls.


The lesion can be scraped off with a razor blade. There is no bleeding but a topical antibiotic is applied for the healing process.

This treatment should not be tried on its own as there is a risk of infection.


Sometimes minor surgery is done to remove the lesion. There is no need for anesthesia or hospital stay. Local anesthesia is applied to the area where the surgery has to be performed. The lesion is removed with a curette or a scalpel.

This surgery is not painful and there is no need for stitches as well. After the surgery, there is a need to change the bandage and apply antibiotics every day to prevent infection.

The scabs fall off, leaving very minor scarring.

Stuccos keratosis is a skin growth that is seen appearing on the feet and legs, mostly as a person, ages. These are not harmful. Having them can mask other skin problems that might be dangerous. This is why is it better to get them checked by a dermatologist, who can diagnose and suggest a better way to manage them.