Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment of seborrheic keratoses usually isn't necessary. However, you may want them removed if they become irritated, if they bleed because your clothing rubs against them, or if you simply don't like how they look or feel.
This type of growth is never deeply rooted, so removal is usually simple and not likely to leave scars. Your doctor can remove seborrheic keratoses using several methods, including:
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery). Cryosurgery can be an effective way to remove seborrheic keratoses. However, it may not work on large, thick growths, and it may lighten the treated skin (hypopigmentation).
- Scraping the skin's surface with a special instrument (curettage). Sometimes curettage is used along with cryosurgery to treat thinner or flat growths. It may be used with electrocautery.
- Burning with an electric current (electrocautery). Used alone or with curettage, electrocautery can be effective in removing seborrheic keratoses. This procedure can leave scars if it's not done properly, and it may take longer than other removal methods.
- Vaporizing the growth with a laser (ablation). Different types of laser treatments are available. Your doctor may apply pigment to the growth to help concentrate the laser light, making it more effective.
Keep in mind that most insurance companies and Medicare won't pay for the removal of seborrheic keratoses if done only for cosmetic reasons. Medical reasons for seborrheic keratosis treatment include intense itching, pain, inflammation, bleeding and infection.
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