The appearance of seborrhoeic keratosis is a very common sign of ageing for 90% of adults who are 60 and older. In medical dermatology, it is also known as basal cell papilloma, brown wart, or senile wart. Seborrhoeic keratosis can appear on any area of the skin except palms and soles. Its appearance is very variable: starting from 1 mm in diameter flat spot (macule) or raised papule which can be light brown, dark brown, yellow, identical to the skin colour or mixed. The surface can be warty, waxy or smooth to touch. The condition may appear as an individual spot or cluster in the areas of the scalp, spine, groin or under breasts/chest.
In nature, seborrhoeic keratosis is degenerative. It expands in number with time. Some patients are predisposed to the development of numerous lesions. Based on recent research, eruptive seborrhoeic keratosis can be triggered by sunburn and/or dermatitis. If lesion appears in the body folds, it can be the result of unintentional skin friction. Mutations of the following genes PIK3CA, RAS, AKT1, and FRFRS3 are responsible for the condition of seborrhoeic keratosis. These mutations are often triggered with age and by ultraviolet radiation.
Even though seborrhoeic keratosis is not a premalignant lesion or a malignant tumour, it is closely connected with skin cancer. Sometimes, skin cancer may occur simultaneously. Or in some cases, skin cancer and seborrhoeic keratosis cannot be distinguished without further medical assessment. For more information about non-melanoma skin cancer, visit the following link:
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Seborrhoeic keratosis is usually identified through the clinical assessment that includes dermatoscopy. This is a tool for skin examination that uses skin surface microscopy to examine the structure and patterns of patient’s skin. The common dermatoscopic ques for this condition are visible milia-like cysts and comedo-like openings.
Seborrhoeic keratosis can be removed through a few methods. It depends on the type the lesion. The flat ones can be removed or lightened with a help of a laser. The thicker ones can be removed with the use of cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen), curettage, or electrosurgery.
Centre for Medical and Surgical Dermatology offers various treatment options of Seborrhoeic keratosis that are individual for each patient. For more information, visit the following links: