Which medications in the drug class Keratolytic agents are used in the treatment 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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Keratolytic agents

Keratolytic agents cause cornified epithelium to swell, soften, macerate, and then desquamate.

Hydrogen peroxide (Eskata)

The exact mechanism is unknown. The 40% topical solution is designed to penetrate into the seborrheic keratosis lesion and cause oxidative damage, which can ultimately result in the sloughing of the seborrheic keratosis cells. It is indicated for in-office topical application by a healthcare professional for patients with raised seborrheic keratosis.

Ammonium lactate lotion (AmLactin, Lac Hydrin)

Ammonium lactate lotion contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that has keratolytic action, thus facilitating release of corneocytes. It is available in 12% and 5% strength; 12% strength may cause irritation on the face. It causes disadhesion of corneocytes. Lactic acid is a racemic mixture of 2-hydroxypropanoic acid and is one of the most effective naturally occurring humectants in the skin.

Trichloroacetic acid (Tri-Chlor)

Trichloroacetic acid cauterizes skin, keratin, and other tissues. Although it is caustic, it causes less local irritation and systemic toxicity than do others in the same class. Treatment of individual seborrheic keratosis with up to 100% trichloroacetic acid can be used to destroy the lesions; however, clinical experience and judgment must be used because scarring may result in inexperienced hands. This treatment must be considered a form of surgery.

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