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Medical Dermatology

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratoses or “warty moles” are common skin growths that often appear in middle-aged and older adults as small rough bumps anywhere on the body. They range in color from white to black, but most are tan, brown, or gray. Although they may look worrisome, seborrheic keratoses are benign and do not require treatment.

Their cause remains unknown, but a combination of genetic make-up and possibly sun exposure might play a role in their growth. Seborrheic keratoses are most often diagnosed clinically by your dermatologist looking at your skin. Rarely, a skin biopsy may be recommended to differentiate one of these growths from a skin cancer. If one or more of your seborrheic keratoses becomes inflamed, very itchy, or bleeds, it can be removed with liquid nitrogen, a scraping procedure, or a small surgical procedure.

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Moy, Fincher, Chipps