Seborrheic Keratosis (SK)

Seborrheic Keratoses are very common skin lesions; they are not cancerous. They originate in the upper portion of the skin called the epidermis. They often look as if they are “glued onto” the skin. They can be different colors, ranging from flesh color all the way to dark brown. They also vary in size, some being quite tiny and others reaching more than an inch wide. They can occur anywhere on the body but are often seen on the back, sides, scalp and legs.

Though the cause of SKs isn’t completely understood, SKs do increase in number as a person ages. Most people in their 40s have at least one SK, and everyone older than 70 has many of them. That being said, they can even be found in teenagers, so they are not exclusive to middle or older ages. They can imitate warts, skin cancers and other growths. If a lesion is particularly unusual in appearance or if the lesion is itchy, tender or prone to bleeding, removal or biopsy is sometimes indicated. Many patients want to have SKs removed b/c of their appearance as well. Removal of SKs is not difficult and does not require stitches.

If you would like any of your SKs removed, explain this to your provider and let him/her know which you want removed. Be sure to ask if insurance will cover removal b/c some insurance companies do not cover this procedure and consider it a cosmetic procedure.

Click here to download this Seborrheic Keratosis information in PDF format.