We get asked all the time, about safe laser removal of moles. Call them what you like, age spots, liver spots, senile keratoses, seborrhoeic Ks, seborrhoeic warts, basal cell papilloma, senile warts, seborrhoeic keratoses….. there are a lot of different names for these raised, rough, irregular but benign skin spots. The correct medical term is “Seborrhoeic Keratoses” (plural) or Keratosis” (singular).
Seborrhoeic Keratoses are benign (non-cancerous / non-dangerous) skin growths that can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly on the back or torso, less commonly on the limbs or face. Their incidence increases with age, most commonly occurring after the age of 40. Seborrhoeic Keratoses can be a solitary lesion or appear in crops of multiple lesions. They come in a range of colours, from dark browns with flecks of black, to medium brown, light tan and yellows. Sometimes they can have a white colour to the surface.
Size is also variable from a few millimetres to a few centimetres. Shape is often irregular but can be a neat oval. The borders of these lesions are usually very distinct with a sudden change to normal skin. Most don’t cause any troubles apart from their appearance, but there can be symptoms of mild itch or the lesions catching on clothing straps to cause inflammation.
How do you tell the difference between a seborrheic keratosis and a melanoma or other skin cancer?
The answer to this is to consult with a doctor for a skin cancer check. Seborrhoeic keratoses can be easily clinically diagnosed by your GP or dermatologist, and this is an important step before you have any treatment.
Full body skin checks with expert GPs are available at Geelong Veins Skin & Laser.
What treatment methods are available to remove seborrhoeic keratoses?
Ablative laser – At Geelong Veins Skin & Laser we use the Acupulse fractional ablative CO2 laser to remove seborrhoeic keratoses. Multiple lesions can be treated in the one session.
Surgical shave excision – Larger or thicker keratoses can also be removed by the doctors as Geelong Veins Skin & Laser with local anaesthetic and a shave excision technique.
Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen freezing)- Very small and thin seborrheic keratoses can be treated with freezing via liquid nitrogen. This method is usually not successful for medium nor larger sized Seb Ks.