Seborrheic keratosis is a type of skin lesion commonly seen in individuals who have spent considerable time under ultraviolet (UV) light. This condition is prevalent among those engaged in outdoor activities and occupations.

Although it is more frequently observed in older adults, certain ethnicities might be predisposed to developing these lesions at an earlier age. These growths are benign, with a minimal risk of evolving into skin cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Primary Cause: Prolonged and cumulative exposure to sunlight.
  • High-Risk Groups:
    • Individuals with fair or light skin.
    • Those prone to sunburn.
    • People who spend significant time outdoors, including farmers, fishermen, and sports enthusiasts.
    • Individuals with a family history of seborrheic keratosis.

Symptoms and Identification

Seborrheic keratoses typically manifest as light tan growths, often raised and with a scaly texture. They are more commonly found on parts of the body exposed to the sun. It's not unusual for multiple growths to appear in the same area. If a skin growth appears unusual or concerning, seeking medical advice is crucial, as some skin cancers can mimic the appearance of seborrheic keratosis.


Diagnosis usually involves a physical examination and a review of symptoms. If necessary, the doctor might refer the patient to a dermatologist and recommend a biopsy to rule out cancer.

Treatment Options

  • Chemical Peeling: Effective for small lesions, this method involves using acids to remove the upper skin layer.
  • Surgery: Numbing injections prepare the area for the removal of the growth.
  • Freezing with Liquid Nitrogen: This technique involves freezing the lesion to remove it.
  • Laser Treatment: The area is numbed before laser application.

Prevention Strategies

  • Minimise long-term sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeve shirts, long pants or skirts, and broad-brimmed hats, during outdoor activities.
  • Regular check-ups with a doctor for early detection of skin cancer are advisable.