Treatment Options For Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is one of the most common types of noncancerous skin growths or infections and is common in older or middle aged adults. The infection usually appears in form of growths which range from brown to black and they grow on the neck, chest, back, trunk, head, shoulders, and the face region of the affected patient. They grow scaly and have a waxy and a slightly elevated appearance, they occasionally appear singly but multiple growths are also common. Although the infection may resemble skin cancer it is not cancerous. They feel flat or slightly elevated and can range from very small to even larger than 2.5 centimeters. The growths can resemble warts though they have no viral origin.

A seborrheic keratosis is normally painless and may require no treatment but you may consider having them removed due to various reasons like cosmetic reasons for your own self confidence, or if they become irritated, and if they bleed because of being rubbed against by the clothing. You may not have to worry much if you want to have these growths removed because they are not deep rooted and hence their removal is simple and they are not likely to leave noticeable scars. The following are some of the procedures that the doctor will carry out to remove the growth:

  • Vaporizing the growths with a laser, a process commonly known as ablation. There are many and different types of laser treatments. Your doctor may apply pigment to the growth to assist him/her concentrate the laser light and be more effective.
  • Scraping the infected part of the skin with a special equipment known as a curettage. The curettage is used together with cryosurgery as a treatment method for thinner and flat growths; in this case electrocautery may be used.
  • Freezing the growths with liquid nitrogen otherwise known as cryosurgery. This is a very effective method of treating Seborrheic keratosis; however it may not work on large and thick growths and may lighten the treated area of the skin a condition called hypo pigmentation.
  • Burning the growths with an electric current and this is known as electrocautery. The method may leave scars on the skin if it is not done properly or carefully, and it may take much more time as compared with the other treatment methods. It may be used alone or combined with a curettage which scraps off the growths from the skin.

It is important to note that many major insurance companies do not pay for the removal of seborrheic keratosis if at all it is done for cosmetic reasons. However there are medical reasons that may influence the removal of these growths and they include: bleeding, infection, pain, intense itching and inflammation.

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