Seborrheic keratosis is a noncancerous skin disease that affects or originates from the upper most layer of the skin. It specifically affects special skin cells found on the upper layer of the skin known as keratinocytes. This condition is painless and one can opt not to treat it. However, there is a danger of developing a complication of seborrheic keratosis if the condition is left untreated.
A person with this skin condition usually has lesions on their back, chest, shoulders, face and other parts of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. The lesions of this medical condition have various characteristics ranging from color, size and appearance. The various colors of these lesions are black, light tan, brown and pale. For you to understand this skin condition and the various complications associated with it, it is important that you know the risk factors, symptoms and causes of seborrheic keratosis.
Causes and risk factors associated with seborrheic keratosis
The causes of this skin condition are still unclear. Dermatologists and tumor experts are conducting researches to determine the actual causes of seborrheic keratosis. However, there are certain risk factors that have been associated with the disease. They include:
- Excessive exposure of the skin to sunlight may cause the condition.
- Age is a risk factor and older people above forty years are more likely to acquire the disease.
- One is likely to acquire the disease if it is in one’s family history.Inherited genetic mutation can also increase the risk of getting the disease.
- People with fair skin are more likely to get the condition than those with less fairer skin.
Symptoms and signs associated with seborrheic keratosis
The main symptom of the skin condition is having lesions or bumps on the skin that have a color that ranges from light tan to black. The bumps may also appear waxy and usually appear in clusters on the back, chest, face and shoulders. Although the lesions are painless, they may become itchy especially when they became irritated with clothes and cosmetics. The lesions usually range from being very small to having a diameter of more than 2.5 centimeters. They are flat and have an oval to round shape.
Complications and treatment methods of seborrheic keratosis
There are several complications of seborrheic keratosis disease. Each complication of seborrheic keratosis depends on several factors for it to occur. The most common complications are infection and inflammation of the lesions. These two complications usually happen when the lesions are irritated by cosmetics, clothes, scratching among other reasons. This can make the lesions to become very painful. Another complication that arises from the skin condition is emotional distress or depression especially in women.
This is because they become withdrawn from society and tend to feel more embarrassed of their lesions. Depression can lead to other conditions known as psychosomatic diseases that are present in the body but do not have any physiological basis. The condition can also lead to complications of skin cancer. Research has shown that people with seborrheic keratosis can develop skin cancer easily.
There are various treatment methods of the skin condition and vary depending on several factors like severity and an individual’s health. They include Keratolytic therapy, laser resurfacing, surgical excisions, Cryotherapy, Curettage among others. It is important that you consult your doctor to get the best treatment method for you.
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