Q:

What are some treatments for seborrheic keratosis?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for seborrheic keratosis include cryosurgery, curettage, electrocautery and ablation, according to Mayo Clinic. However, treatment of seborrheic keratosis is usually not necessary because it is often harmless.

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Full Answer

The dermatologist removes the seborrheic keratosis when it is hard to distinguish it from skin cancer, if it is large and easily irritated when jewelry and clothes rub against it, and if it is unsightly to the patient, states the American Academy of Dermatology.

Cryosurgery involves freezing the seborrheic keratosis with liquid nitrogen, says Mayo Clinic. The dermatologist applies liquid nitrogen to the growth with a spray gun or cotton swab, explains the American Academy of Dermatology. This freezes the growth, which falls off within days. This method may not work with large and thick growths, and it may lighten the treated skin. Curettage involves scraping the skin surface with a special instrument. It may be used with cryosurgery to get rid of thin and flat growths. It may also be used with electrocautery.

Electrocautery involves burning the seborrheic keratosis with an electric current, reports Mayo Clinic. It may be used alone or with curettage. If it is not done properly, this procedure may leave scars. It may also take longer than other treatment methods.

Ablation involves vaporizing the growth with a laser, states Mayo Clinic. There are different types of laser treatments available. The doctor may apply pigment to the growth to help concentrate the light from the laser.

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