Question: What is the difference between a mole and seborrheic keratosis?

Seborrheic keratosis is a common, benign skin condition. These growths are often referred to as moles. Although seborrheic keratosis typically isn’t cause for concern, its look-alike — melanoma — is. Melanoma is a potentially deadly type of skin cancer.

How can you tell the difference between melanoma and seborrheic keratosis?

The fact that a patient has several lesions with the same or almost the same appearance, is a strong indication of a diagnosis of seborrheic keratoses. Their greasy or verrucous consistency upon palpation distinguishes them from atypical pigmented naevi and malignant melanomas.

What does a keratosis mole look like?

Seborrheic keratoses are usually brown, black or light tan. The growths (lesions) look waxy or scaly and slightly raised. They appear gradually, usually on the face, neck, chest or back.

Can you pick off seborrheic keratosis?

Most seborrheic keratoses do not cause any symptoms and do not require treatment, however, many people are bothered by their cosmetic appearance and want them removed. The growths should not be scratched off. This does not remove the growths and can lead to bleeding and possible secondary infection.

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Can melanoma be mistaken for seborrheic keratosis?

Those studies clearly illustrated that the clinical diagnostic accuracy of melanoma ranges from 48% to 67%. They also confirmed that seborrheic keratosis is one of the lesions for which melanoma is commonly misdiagnosed. This error occurred in 7.7% to 31.0% of cases, depending on the study.

Can seborrheic keratosis look like a mole?

Seborrheic keratoses may look like warts, moles, or skin cancer. Their appearance is waxy, and they look as if they are stuck onto the skin. Some may look like a blob of brown candle wax.

Can a mole look like melanoma but be benign?

Funny-looking moles may look like melanoma but are actually harmless (benign) spots that don’t need to be removed. However, if you have a few, particularly five or more of these funny-looking moles, your chance of getting a melanoma is increased.

Can a seborrheic keratosis fall off?

The SK usually falls off within days. Sometimes a blister forms under the SK and dries into a scab-like crust that falls off. After the growth falls off, a small dark or light spot may appear on the skin. This usually fades over time.

Can seborrheic keratosis fall off on its own?

These skin growths often appear on the back or chest, but they can occur on any part of the body. They grow slowly and seldom go away on their own.

Can seborrheic keratosis turn malignant?

Malignant tumour development within a seborrheic keratosis (SK) is extremely rare. Though the most commonly developed malignant tumour is the basal cell carcinoma (BCC), other tumour types have also been reported in literature.

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Do seborrheic keratosis grow over time?

Seborrheic keratoses usually grow slowly and may develop their texture gradually over time. If many seborrheic keratoses erupt suddenly together, it might raise some concern.

Do seborrheic keratosis have roots?

Because seborrheic keratoses do not develop deep roots, removal is easy and does not usually leave scars. To remove the seborrheic keratosis, your doctor can: Freeze the growth with liquid nitrogen. Scrape the area with curettage.

Is a crusty mole always cancerous?

Another concern regarding scabbing is if you have a scab that won’t seem to heal. Not all scabby moles are cancerous. But scabby moles can be cancerous. For this reason, it’s important to get them checked out if you can’t trace the scabbing to a known skin injury.

Is seborrheic keratosis precancerous?

Seborrheic keratoses are harmless skin growths that often appear as the skin ages. Some people have just one, but it is common to develop several. Seborrheic keratosis is not a risk factor for skin cancer or a form of precancer.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.