How to treat seborrheic keratosis?

Shimizu’s Textbook of Dermatology is very specific concerning the seborrheic keratosis treatment. Unless it provokes major discomfort to the affected people, there is no need to treat this condition. Treatment is required, however, whenever there are long term cosmetic concerns or even the slightest sign of malignancy.

When people choose to treat this condition, they generally have multiple options: they can try to treat it with home based remedies or they can go for electrocautery, cryosurgery, shave excision or electrodesiccation plus curettage. Obviously, the home remedies aren’t as effective as the surgical treatments, reason why most of the people ask for help from a specialized physician.


Some dermatologists think that seborrheic keratosis can be associated with internal malignancy. Whenever this condition develops into the Leser-Trélat syndrome (the warts multiply in an alarmant manner and become extremely itchy), a visit to a local dermatology center is required.

electrocauteryElectrocautery, cryosurgery and shave excision

Often mistaken with electrosurgery, electrocautery for seborrheic keratosis is a simple process in which the warts are destroyed with the help of the heat conduction. The procedure has a major advantage, but also a major disadvantage: first, it’s simple and stops the bleeding quickly, but then, surgical smoke is quite toxic for the surgical crew and for the patient as well. However, it is the first option for the small warts and lesions.

Note: For the bigger warts, cryosurgery and shave excision are recommended.

Cryosurgery for seborrheic keratosis is similar to the treatment of any other verucas using this technique. Basically, extreme cold (substances like liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon and dimetyl ether-propane are used) is applied on the warts. Unlike the other invasive techniques, this is a minimally invasive technique/procedure and, if done correctly, can offer impressive results. Even though there are home-treatments based on cryosurgery, all the patients suffering from the above disease are recommended to be treated by a specialist. Even if they have a correct diagnosis, applying one of the above substances on the skin involves certain risks (related to possible damage of the nearby tissue), and therefore, the procedure must be done by a specialist.

All of the above procedures offer great results. If the procedures are done correctly and the physicians follow the exact protocol, patients will not have visible scars. Visible scarring, however, can remain at the persons with dark skin tones, but even then, there can be found treatments or methods to cover the scars.

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  1. Dave says:

    My dermatologist told me that I need to have a cryosurgery next month.
    Right now, I’m not really sure that cryosurgery is the best option for me. What would you recommend me a cryosurgery or a electrocautery?

    I have 19 seborrheic keratosis growhs on my neck and chest. Are small, and not painfull.

  2. Missie says:

    Are there any tablets that can cure seborrheic keratosis?
    I guess,that there is something wrong inside our bodies too when seborrheic keratosis occurs and needs to be treated, don’t you think?

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This information is provided to supplement the care provided by your dermatologist and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.