Seborrheic keratoses (seborrheic warts) are warty, flesh-colored, brown, or black growths that can appear anywhere on the skin.
These harmless growths are very common in middle-aged and older people. Some people have scores of lesions. Although these growths can appear anywhere, they most often appear on the torso and the temples.
Seborrheic keratoses are round or oval and vary in size from less than ¼ inch (0.5 centimeters) to several inches. They appear to be stuck on the skin and usually have a warty and waxy or scaly surface. These growths develop slowly. They are not cancerous and do not become so. Dark brown keratoses with irregular pigment may sometimes be mistaken for atypical moles or melanomas.
Treatment is not needed unless the keratoses become irritated or itchy or are cosmetically undesirable. They are best removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen or by using an electric needle.
Last full review/revision September 2008 by Daniel W. Collison, MD