Seborrhoeic keratosis

Last reviewed: 6 Sep 2022
Last updated: 17 Aug 2021

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • lesions appear 'stuck-on
  • localisation on torso or face
  • yellow or light- to dark-brown-coloured lesions
  • slightly raised, flat surface lesions
  • wart-like texture
  • multiple lesions
  • painless
  • itching (prurigo)
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • round yellow-white horn pearls in the surface of lesions
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • age over 50 years
  • Fitzpatrick skin type I or II
  • Fitzpatrick skin type IV, V or VI (dermatosis papulosa nigra)
  • female sex (dermatosis papulosa nigra)
  • family history
  • sun/UV exposure
  • pregnancy
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • dermoscopy
  • biopsy and histopathological examination
  • reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM)
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

irritated or itching lesions

ONGOING

raised seborrhoeic keratosis

flat seborrhoeic keratosis

Contributors

Authors

Ralph Braun, MD

Professor

Department of Dermatology

University Hospital Zurich

Zurich

Switzerland

Disclosures

RB declares that he has no competing interests.

Isabel Kolm-Djamei, MD

Consultant Dermatologist

Department of Dermatology

University Hospital Zurich

Zurich

Switzerland

Disclosures

IKD declares that she has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Erin Warshaw, MD, MS

Associate Professor

Department of Dermatology

University of Minnesota

MN

Disclosures

EW declares that he has no competing interests.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer