Seborrhoeic keratoses are harmless, brown, slightly raised growths that give the appearance that they are sitting loosely on the skin. They are more common with advancing age and in those with a family history of these lumps.
Although they can occur anywhere, they are usually found on the face and trunk (chest and back).
The raised lumps generally have the following characteristics:
- Flat top with well-de ned border;
- Pitted surface;
- May be waxy, greasy crusty surface;
- Appear to sit on skin;
- Round or oval but can be any shape;
- Colour varies from yellow to dark brown, occasionally black;
- Vary in size from a few millimetres up to 5 centimetres or even larger.
They usually progressively get larger and darker and increase in number. Sometimes they are rejected by the body and fall off, leaving a pale area on the skin. However, most remain permanently.
Treatment: there are no tablets or ointments that will cure or prevent these growths. As they are harmless, removal is not recommended and they can be safely left. However, unpleasant ones affecting a person’s appearance and those that keep catching on clothing can be removed.
Written by Dr Dong Xiu Dong