A common skin growth that can look like a wart or even a skin cancer, seborrheic keratoses are benign waxy, warty, gray to brown growths. They appear more frequently as individuals age and appear to have some genetic component. If your parents had seborrheic keratoses, then you would also be more likely to develop them. Seborrheic keratoses may grow anywhere on the body, but they seem to develop more frequently on the face and the trunk. Lesions are typically brown, gray, black, or even tan. They are usually raised and have a warty, waxy, or “stuck-on” appearance. Lesions are not contagious. Most dermatologists are capable of diagnosing seborrheic keratoses without a biopsy—sparing unnecessary biopsies or treatments. However, it’s important that an experienced dermatologist examine the area to avoid missing a more serious diagnosis. Treatment for seborrheic keratoses is indicated only if a patient finds the lesions cosmetically displeasing.
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