Seborrheic Keratosis Treatment

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Seborrheic Keratosis (SK) is a benign skin growth that appears as a waxy raised brown, tan, or black lesion. There is no known cause, but it usually runs in families. It is commonly seen in people over 50 years old on the face, neck, chest, back and hands.

SKs can get itchy, irritated, or enlarge from rubbing against clothing. In such cases, some individuals may want to remove their SK. Depending on the size of the lesion and the patient’s skin type, the doctor will recommend a suitable removal procedure for the patient.

Electrocautery uses electrical current to burn off thicker growths. This treatment will likely cause a scar and may take a little longer to heal than other treatments.

Cryosurgery freezes the growth at sub-zero temperatures using liquid nitrogen. Once the mark is frozen, it will blister, scab, and fall off. The treatment is only suitable for fairer skin tones as it could cause hyperpigmentation in darker complexions. 

Laser treatments can eliminate the lesion or target its pigment to blend into the rest of the skin. They work best on lighter skin tones.

Surgical options are also viable as they can remove the entire growth. First, the area is numbed. Then, the doctor will use a scalpel to shave off the lesion level to the rest of the skin. The procedure is relatively quick but may leave a scar.
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Dr Lee Freezes A Record Number Of 307 Keratoses In One Patient | Dr. Pimple Popper

Dr. Sandra Lee known online as "Dr. Pimple Popper" diagnoses Pat with a severe case of seborrheic keratoses. Dr. Lee explains the proposed treatment of freezing using liquid nitrogen to Pat. Will Pat be able to withstand the pain for the full treatment?

Electrodessication to Remove Seborrheic Keratosis

This video from RejuvenationMD shows how benign lesions like seborrheic keratoses are removed using Electrodessication. The practitioners perform the entire procedure on the patient and explain the process. The practitioner talks about the advantages of this procedure compared to freezing. They discuss aftercare and recovery.