Seborrheic keratosis


One common noncancerous (benign) skin growth is a seborrheic keratosis. As people age, they tend to get more of them.
Typically, seborrheic keratoses are pale tan, black, or brown in color. The lesions seem somewhat elevated and have a waxy or scaly appearance. Usually on the face, neck, chest, or back, they develop gradually. They may form in clusters or as a single growth. A few can get very big, reaching a diameter of more than 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Seborrheic keratoses are not communicative and are safe. They don’t require treatment, but if you don’t like the way they look or they irritate clothing, you might choose to have them removed.


Gradually, a seborrheic keratosis grows. Signs and symptoms could be:

  • A round or oval-shaped, rough or waxy bump that usually appears on the back, shoulder, chest, or face
  • A growth that is flat or somewhat elevated and has a scaly surface that gives it a “pasted on” appearance.
  • Wide range in size, spanning from minuscule to over 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter
  • A range of numbers, from one growth to several growths
  • Tiny growths that are grouped around the eyes or other areas of the face commonly found on Black or brown skin; these growths are also referred to as flesh moles or dermatosis papulosa nigra.
  • Color-variable, ranging from pale tan to dark brown or black
  • Itchiness

Consult your doctor if the growth’s appearance disturbs you, or if wearing clothing causes it to itch or bleed. See your doctor right away if you observe any concerning changes to your skin, such as sores or growths that bleed, expand quickly, and don’t go away. These may indicate a skin cancer diagnosis.


Experts are still unsure of the exact cause of seborrheic keratosis. Given the tendency for this kind of skin growth to run in families, it is most likely a genetic trait. You run the chance of getting more seborrheic keratoses if you’ve already had one. Seborrheic keratosis is neither infectious nor cancerous.

Risk factors

After the age of fifty is when seborrheic keratoses are most likely to form. Additionally, if the condition runs in your family, your chances of developing them are increased.

Darker skinned individuals are less likely to develop classic seborrheic keratosis as mentioned above. However, dermatosis papulosa nigra, a form of seborrheic keratosis, is highly prevalent in individuals with darker complexion, such as those who are African, Asian, or Hispanic in origin.