Seborrheic keratosis, also called as senile wart is a common type of non-cancerous skin growth. It is mostly found in older adults and can appear on chest, back, shoulders, or face. Some people may have just one growth while others may have multiple growths even in the same area. The appearance is usually waxy and scaly with some elevation from the surface of the skin.
The term keratosis is used in reference to overgrowth of keratinocytes, which is a common skin cell that is on the outer layer of the skin. This type of skin condition is so common that almost 83 million people in just United States alone have it. Although in most cases seborrheic keratosis doesn't cause any issues and doesn't require any treatment either, but in some cases there can be some irritation or itchiness caused by it.
Over the counter treatment options for seborrheic keratosis
Hydrogen peroxide. This is the most common treatment that is used for treating seborrheic keratosis and is considered one of the most effective options. Keep in mind that the concentration that you get over the counter may not be high enough to destroy seborrheic keratosis but it still works and many people go with it. For prescription based solutions, 40% hydrogen peroxide (eskata) has been approved by FDA.
Nitric acid zinc solution. This is more popularly known as Nitrizinc Complex which includes nitric acids, organic acids, copper salts, and zinc. While this is considered effective too, but it can take up to 6 months to get rid of the lesion as compared to hydrogen peroxide which is extremely fast.
Aven Buzz Wart Remover Pen. Since seborrheic keratosis is a senile wart, there are a lot of wart removal solutions that are available over the counter. Devices such as aven buzz wart remover pen can also help you remove seborrheic keratosis right from the comfort of your home.
Should you see a doctor?
Typically seborrheic keratosis isn't a cause of concern. But just to be on the safe side, you should not ignore skin growths because you never know when they can be dangerous and cancerous. If you're worried or don't know what type of skin growth you have, you should definitely see your healthcare professional. Some common patterns that you shouldn't ignore are:
- A new skin growth
- If the skin growth happens to be painful or bleeding
- A skin growth that has irregular borders
- A skin growth with unusual colors
- Change in appearance of existing seborrheic keratosis