Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis (seb-o-REE-ik care-uh-TOE-sis) is a common skin growth. It may look worrisome, but it is benign (not cancer). These growths often appear in middle-aged and older adults. Some people get just one. It is, however, more common to have many. They are not contagious.

Most often seborrheic keratoses start as small, rough bumps. Then slowly they thicken and get a warty surface. They range in color from white to black. Most are tan or brown.

They can appear almost anywhere on the skin.

Seborrheic keratoses can look like warts, moles, actinic keratoses, and skin cancer. They differ, though, from these other skin growths. Seborrheic keratoses have a waxy, “pasted-on-the-skin” look. Some look like a dab of warm, brown candle wax on the skin. Others may resemble a barnacle sticking to a ship.

Seborrheic keratoses tend to:

  • Start as small, rough bumps, then slowly thicken and develop a warty surface.
  • Have a waxy, stuck-on-the-skin look.
  • Be brown, though they range in color from white to black.
  • Range in size from a fraction of an inch to larger than a half-dollar.
  • Form on the chest, back, stomach, scalp, face, neck, or other parts of the body (but not on the palms and soles).

Learn More By Visiting American Academy of Dermatology