What is the prognosis of seborrheic keratosis?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020
  • Author: Arthur K Balin, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Seborrheic keratoses are benign, but secondary tumors and Bowen disease (squamous cell carcinoma in situ) or malignant melanoma may occasionally arise within the lesion. Seborrheic keratoses can also catch on clothing and become irritated. They can itch, grow, and bleed. Scratching seborrheic keratoses or trying to pick them off the skin can result in a secondary infection.

People sometimes have many seborrheic keratoses, and they may obscure the detection of a dysplastic nevus or malignant melanoma.

The lesions generally do not resolve and usually grow larger and thicker with time.

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