What is it?
Seborrheic keratosis is one of the most common noncancerous skin growths in older adults.
A seborrheic keratosis usually appears as a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, chest, shoulders or back. The growth has a waxy, scaly, slightly elevated appearance.
Seborrheic keratoses dont become cancerous and arent thought to be related to sun exposure, but they can look like skin cancer.
What are the symptoms?
A seborrheic keratosis usually looks like a waxy or wart-like growth. It typically appears on the face, chest, shoulders or back of the body. You may develop a single growth or cluster of them. A seborrheic keratosis:
- Varies in color, usually from light tan to brown or black
- Is round or oval shaped
- Has a characteristic “pasted on” look
- Is flat or slightly elevated with a scaly surface
- Ranges in size from very small to more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) across
- May itch
Seborrheic keratoses arent usually painful, but they can be bothersome depending on their size and location. Be careful not to rub, scratch or pick at them. This can lead to bleeding, swelling and, in rare cases, infection.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted if there is unusual growth or lump on your skin that is getting bigger. They may refer you to a skin specialist.