What are the treatment options for seborrheic keratoses?
The vast majority of these skin growths do not need treatment. If they are easily irritated, bleed, itch, or detract from your appearance you may want to have them removed.
Removal methods include:
- Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the growth and it falls off in a few days. It doesn’t work as well on thicker growths and can discolor the treated skin.
- Electrosurgery uses electrical current to remove the growth.
- Curettage uses a scooped surgical blade to scrape off the growth.
- Curettage may be combined with electrosurgery, or with cryosurgery to treat thin, flat growths.
- Ablation uses a laser to vaporize the growth.
- Eskata (40% hydrogen peroxide) is effective on raised growths, but it can irritate the skin and cause eye damage. It was removed from the market in 2019.
After a seborrheic keratosis is removed, the skin site may be lighter but skin tone will even out with time. It is unusual for a seborrheic keratosis to return in the same spot; however, additional ones will likely develop on other parts of the body.
Can a seborrheic keratosis go away by itself?
No, it can only be safely and effectively removed by a doctor. Most do not need treatment and you should never try to remove it yourself by scratching or cutting. This will not remove the growths, but does increase your risk of an infection. There is no approved treatment for removal of the growths at home.