Seborrheic keratoses is a skin condition that is mostly found among old people. It is a non-cancerous condition that is characterized by formation of oval shaped, slightly raised or flat growths that appear in many colors and shades, mostly in shades of brown. They appear almost like scabs but are permanently attached to the skin. Many doctors are usually of the opinion that the seborrheic keratoses should not be removed as they pose no danger to the health of the person. Seborrheic keratoses only involve the top most layer of the skin and are described to have a ‘stuck-on’ appearance. The keratoses are sometimes referred to as seborrheic warts but are not to be confused with warts because they are not related to the wart-causing human papilloma virus.
The treatment of the keratoses is not usually necessary since they are not harmful to health. Some people may need treatment of these growths if they have an impact on their confidence. Removal may also be necessary if the growths are easily irritated such as bleeding when clothes rub against them. Seborrheic keratoses are not deep in the skin therefore treatment is fairly easy and not very likely to cause scarring.
One of the methods used to treat seborrheic keratoses is cryosurgery which involves freezing them with liquid nitrogen. This method can be very effective to remove seborrheic keratoses. It is especially effective when treating shallow growths. Thick growths have higher resistance to cryosurgery and therefore they should be treated using other methods. The use of this method may lead to hypopigmentation of the affected area which means that the area may be light colored after the operation.
Curettage is another method used to treat these keratoses. It is where the doctor uses a special spoon-shaped instrument called a curette to cut off the growth. This method is not very effective when used by itself and is usually used together with cryosurgery to treat thinner growths. It may also be used together with electrodessication
The third treatment used for seborrheic keratoses is electrocautery. It is also known as electrodessication and involves the doctor using an instrument with a low-voltage electric charge at the tip to burn off the growth. This method is very effective if done properly. It can cause scarring if not properly conducted and also takes longer than other methods.
Another method is laser treatment of the keratoses. A beam of high intensity light is used to vaporize the growth. It is very effective when conducted properly and it safeguards against a recurrence of the growth. A doctor may apply pigment on the growth to concentrate the beam on the growth.
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