What information about seborrheic keratosis should patients receive?

Updated: Oct 14, 2020
  • Author: Arthur K Balin, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Patients often have heard that they need to have a changing mole examined, and the appearance of seborrheic keratoses prompts them to seek medical care. This provides an excellent opportunity for a complete skin examination to search for skin cancer and a discussion on using sunscreens for both the patient and their family.

Patients can generally be reassured that the lesions are benign and do not need to be removed unless they are changing or become irritated.

Continued follow-up is important. Patients who see a doctor and who are assured that these lesions are benign may not pay attention to newly appearing lesions that continue to develop over time. One of the newly appearing lesions may not be a seborrheic keratosis but, in fact, a malignant tumor.

For patient education resources, visit the Skin Conditions and Beauty Center and Cancer Center. Also, see the patient education article Skin Cancer.

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