Your Care Instructions
Seborrheic keratoses are raised skin growths that look scaly or warty. They usually look like they were stuck onto the skin. They most often grow in groups on the back or chest and are more common in older people. A seborrheic keratosis can be tan or dark brown. A seborrheic keratosis is not a mole and is almost always harmless. But it is still a good idea to check your skin regularly.
Sometimes a seborrheic keratosis can itch. Scratching it can cause it to bleed and sometimes even scar.
A seborrheic keratosis is removed only if it bothers you. The doctor will freeze it or scrape it off with a tool. The doctor can also use a laser to remove a seborrheic keratosis. Treatment usually results in normal-looking skin, but it can leave a light or dark mark or even a scar on the skin.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- If clothing irritates your seborrheic keratosis, cover it with a bandage to prevent rubbing and bleeding.
- If you have a seborrheic keratosis removed, clean the area with soap and water two times a day unless your doctor gives you different instructions. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
- You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
- If you see a change in a skin growth, contact your doctor. Look for:
- A mole that bleeds.
- A fast-growing mole.
- A scaly or crusted growth on the skin.
- A sore that will not heal.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have an area of normal skin that suddenly changes in shape, size, or how it looks.
- Your skin is badly broken from scratching.
- You have signs of infection such as:
- Pain, warmth, or swelling in your skin.
- Red streaks near a wound in your skin.
- Pus coming from a wound in your skin.
- A fever not due to the flu or other illness.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.