Seborrheic Keratosis- A Look at the Differences between SKs and Cancer

Seborrheic Keratosis- A Look at the Differences between SKs and Cancer

Seborrheic keratosis (SK) is a benign skin condition that looks a lot like squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. While it’s common to see growths of this type on the skin, it’s important to know what an SK looks like in order to recognize if a lesion might be more serious.

Skin cancer can be successfully treated when detected early; however, one of the most frequently missed skin cancers is squamous cell carcinoma. When left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can grow larger and potentially spread to other parts of your body. To avoid any confusion between the two and delay in treatment, it’s important to understand what seborrheic keratosis is and how it differs from squamous cell carcinoma.

What Is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic Keratosis (SK) are benign growths that commonly occur as an individual ages. They are usually small, but can range from being very tiny to quite large depending on the person. These growths usually appear brown or black in color and may resemble warts

Seborrheic Keratosis is a skin condition that is often confused with skin cancer. What exactly is Seborrheic Keratosis and how can you tell the difference between SKs and Skin Cancer?


Seborrheic keratoses are benign growths of the skin. These growths are often referred to as “barnacles” or “seals”. They occur on both men and women and tend to increase in number as we age. The growths appear as light brown to black brown waxy, rough, elevated patches. They can range in size from 1mm to several inches across and can merge together to form larger plaques. They have a waxy or slightly elevated appearance but some have a smooth, flat surface like a wart.


No one knows for sure what causes SKs; however, they tend to run in families. The tendency towards developing seborrheic keratoses may be inherited from either parent or possibly both parents. A person with several relatives who have seborrheic keratoses has an

Seborrheic keratosis (SK) is a benign skin growth that looks similar to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). While SCC is a form of cancer, SK is not. Though it can be hard to distinguish between the two visually, there are differences.

What is seborrheic keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a common condition in which waxy or greasy scaly growths appear on the skin. They usually occur in middle age or later, sometimes in large numbers. They are also called basal cell papillomas, senile warts, seborrheic warts or barnacles of old age.

They often resemble dangerous forms of skin cancer (e.g. melanoma), but they are harmless and require no treatment unless they become irritated by clothing or jewelry, get caught on something and bleed, or are considered cosmetically unacceptable. In these cases they can be frozen off with liquid nitrogen, scraped off, burned off or removed surgically.

Seborrheic keratosis is a skin condition that appears as a growth on the skin. It is harmless and non-cancerous and can appear anywhere on the skin, including on the face, and is most commonly found in older adults over the age of 40. It can be treated with medication or surgically removed.

Seborrheic keratosis can appear in many different shapes and sizes ranging from small (1 millimeter) to large (larger than 1 inch). They are also a variety of colors such as brown, tan, or black and are sometimes mistaken for a cancerous growth like squamous cell carcinoma because they look similar. However, there are some differences between seborrheic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma. Seborrheic keratosis is not cancerous at all where as squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer.

Seborrheic keratosis has different appearances such as having a “stuck-on” look which means they have a raised look rather than a flat look; they also have an oval shape while squamous cell carcinoma has irregular borders. They also do not grow quickly compared to cancerous cells which can grow rapidly within

Seborrheic keratosis is a fairly common growth that appears on the body. These skin lesions are usually brown or black and can appear anywhere on the body but most commonly on the chest, back, shoulders, or face. Seborrheic keratoses are benign and completely harmless.

Seborrheic keratoses are noncancerous growths of epidermal cells that look like warts, moles, or skin cancer. They are also called basal cell papillomas, senile warts and Barnacle Keratosis. Seborrheic keratoses generally do not pose a threat to your health.

There are many different types of seborrheic keratosis and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them and skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). A biopsy is often needed to determine if a lesion is a seborrheic keratosis or squamous cell carcinoma. Seborrheic keratoses appear most commonly in middle-aged or elderly adults, but they may occur at any age.

Doctors have learned that there are certain characteristics that they can look for to help identify a seborrheic keratosis from a squamous

Seborrheic keratosis (SK) is the most common noncancerous skin growth in older adults. They usually appear on the face, chest, shoulders or back. The exact cause of seborrheic keratosis is unknown. It may run in families, as it is more common in people who have a family history of this condition.

Seborrheic keratoses are not cancer and do not become cancer. They are harmless growths that often change with time. They may appear to have been “stuck on” the surface of the skin and range in color from light tan to black. Some may be lighter than your own skin tone, while others may be darker. SKs are usually oval or round and feel flat or slightly raised on the skin’s surface. Some can feel rough, like sandpaper. They are usually less than 2 centimeters wide (about the size of a pencil eraser). SKs can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most common on areas exposed to sunlight such as the face, chest and back.

Though they may look like warts, moles or skin cancer (especially melanoma), seborrheic keratoses are harmless growths that do not need treatment unless

Seborrheic Keratosis (SK) is one of the most common non-cancerous skin growths that can appear on the skin. Seborrheic Keratosis resembles warts and moles, but different from both. It can be flat or raised with a rough surface and a waxy or crusted appearance that is dull gray, tan or brown in color. Sometimes it may itch and often feel uncomfortable when clothing rubs against it.

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