Sebhorreic keratosis is a skin condition in which small lesions and warts appear on the surface of the skin. They are commonly found on Caucasian skin tones. They are also known as basal cell pappilomas or black warts. They are harmless and relatively benign and are found in older people.
They begin as slightly raised and discoloured skin surfaces. They gradually grow to become full-fledged warts and may protrude out of the skin’s surface. They stick on the skin like barnacles and soon become black in colour. This sort of structural skin change is also seen in melanoma, a skin cancer.
Causes of Sebhorriec Keratosis
The causes of sebhorreic keratosis are not known. It is often associated with a degenerative skin disorder that is known to occur as a normal part of skin aging. At times, it is inherited. Once you get it, the condition is likely to worsen and spread to non-affected areas of the body as well.
Treatment for Sebhorriec Keratosis
The treatment modality for sebhorreic keratosis is multi dimensional. Most of the time there is a dire need for an individual to get rid of it as it looks unsightly and may scratch or irritate against your clothes and cause itching. There are several techniques to get rid of the warts.
Cyrotherpay is a procedure, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin lesions. These lesions then freeze, flake and fall off. At times carbon dioxide snow is also used to freeze the lesions. Propane and ether may also be used.
Curettage and Cautery
In this procedure, a surgical scraping of the lesion is done with a scalpel. The exposed skin surface is then cauterized using heat to prevent the growth of further lesions. You have to sign a consent form for this procedure. Your surgeon may ask you your medical history, whether you have skin allergies etc.
A local anaesthetic is applied to the area of the skin. This numbs the pain. Thereafter, the surgeon uses a curette to scrape off the lesion. The wound is then cauterized using heat. The procedure may be repeated. The wound is thereafter dressed.
A shave biopsy may also be done to get rid of the lesion. In this, the lesion is shaved or removed surgically and the lesion is then sent to the lab to test for skin cancer if cancer is suspected. For very small warts and lesions, a shave biopsy may be done when only the upper, superficial area of the skin is shaved off. There may be the formation of a scab where the skin was shaved off.
While all of the above are techniques to get rid of the warts, none of them is completely safe or fool proof. Occasionally infections in the wounds may occur or they may be slow to heal.
There is also a chance of the warts recurring so repeat surgical procedures may be required. The condition, however is benign and nothing to fear. Cosmetic surgery can be considered in case you feel that the warts are marring your appearance.
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