Older adults may grow alarmed when they see a wart-like skin growth that looks like it may be skin cancer. While this common skin growth may look worrisome, it is benign. In fact, “seborrheic keratosis” can look like warts, moles, actinic keratoses, and skin cancer, but they are differentiated by their characteristic waxy, “pasted-on-the-skin” appearance. Ranging in color from white to black, most are tan or brown and look like a dab of warm, brown candle wax on the skin. They start as small, rough bumps that slowly thicken and develop a warty appearance. If they become irritated (due to rubbing against jewelry or clothing), or patients deem them to be unsightly, the dermatologist can remove seborrheic keratoses.

Seborrheic keratoses are common and generally increase in number with age. They tend to run in some families. Seborrheic keratoses don’t become cancerous, but they can look like skin cancer. When you have any dermatological problem, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY for an appointment. Medical, surgical, and cosmetic options are all addressed with careful, researched approaches as we make every effort to provide optimal outcomes.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. If a seborrheic keratosis is difficult to distinguish from skin cancer, the dermatologist will likely have it biopsied.