Seborrhœic Keratosis
Please read this information sheet. If you have any questions,
particularly about the treatment or potential side-effects,
please ask your doctor.

What is a Seborrhœic Keratosis?

Seborrhœic Keratoses (SK’s) are also known as seborrhœic
, senile warts and basal cell papillomas.

SK’s are caused by a build up of ordinary skin cells on the
top layer of the skin.  The reason for this is not known.
Photographs of Seborrhœic Keratoses
A familial predisposition is apparent.  SK’s may also be a
consequence of inflammatory skin conditions or
SK’s are not caused by a virus.

What are the signs and symptoms?

SK is a common benign growth occurring in older persons.

It is typically a solid raised discrete lesion of 5 mm or less (a
papule) of variable colour from light brown to almost black.

SK’s may be smooth or wart-like with visible pitting.

Common sites include the face, trunk, and extremities. The
lesion also may be stalked or non-stalked (that is, directly
adherent to the skin).  
SK’s can itch.

They are not infectious and do not become malignant.

How is it treated?

Many patients require no treatment.

Simple surgical excision, scraping or freezing are the
principal modes of removing
SK’s.  SK's generally are
removed if they are catching on clothing, itch or look unsightly.

Useful Websites:

New Zealand Dermatological Society

Emedicine.com (Dermatology)

British Association of Dermatologists
Last Updated 11th August 2010