Cosmetic Concerns and Potential Irritation Associated With Benign Seborrheic Keratosis
While common, seborrheic keratosis can be quite worrisome. These raised, wart-like bumps and splotches can resemble pre-cancerous lesions or a deadly type of skin cancer, melanoma. Those with SKs can breathe a little easier knowing that these spots are harmless. However, because they are similar in appearance and texture to other potentially dangerous conditions, it is critical to seek out the expertise of an experienced dermatologist, like Dr. Barry Ginsburg of Ginsburg Dermatology Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Ginsburg is skilled at detecting and treating SKs and a range of benign and cancerous skin lesions precisely and quickly.
Getting to the root cause
SKs are sometimes referred to as “barnacles of aging,” partly because they often appear among middle-aged and older patients who have a history of unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays. There is also a genetic component; if your more senior biological family members tended to have lots of these spots, then you may, too. Plus, individuals with darker skin tones can also develop SKs, and they may arise in areas that do not get much sun exposure. So, we cannot say that protecting your skin with appropriate measures and broad-spectrum UVA-UVB sunscreens prevents SKs, though it is an excellent practice!
Unlike other benign lesions, such as molluscum, SKs are not contagious. They can’t spread. Now, you may develop more SKs as you get older, but their proliferation is not due to a viral infection. Even though they are not a threat to your health, SKs can be quite large (bigger than a half-dollar in some cases). They may also itch, become inflamed, or snag on jewelry and clothes.
For comfort and cosmetic reasons, we may partner with you to remove SKs through the following means:
- Cryotherapy – The growth is “frozen off” using liquid nitrogen.
- Shaving or scraping – Specialized instruments are applied to numbed skin and used precisely to remove the growth.
These techniques may be combined to remove the likes of thinner or flat SKs. Also, other methods may be introduced to remove thicker growths effectively. Some treatments can produce areas of discoloration, but these side effects usually fade with time.
We encourage you to contact us today to schedule your appointment. Ginsburg Dermatology Center can be reached at (205) 209-4780. Your skin health and overall health deserve prompt care. Dr. Ginsburg will need to evaluate your areas of concern and rule out other conditions like precancers or cancers. With early detection, even treatment of cancerous lesions has a high success rate. The cancer is detected and addressed before it has spread or metastasized to neighboring or distant tissues and organs.