Can Seborrheic Keratosis Progress To Skin Cancer?


Have you ever had skin lesions? Did you ever fear what this lesion might be? Have you ever asked yourself whether it is a simple rash, a bite of an insect or a manifestation of other more grave diseases? Rather than just asking yourself these questions, start finding about the answers. Since you already have the proof on your skin, you can now just flip the pages of some books or browse through thousands of sites in the internet However, if your skin lesion is pointing at a more serious type of disease, according to a certain book or internet source, it is already time for you to visit a doctor.

Now, we will talk about one type of skin lesion – seborrheic keratosis. Keratosis, a medical term, means the unnecessary superfluous growth of keratin – a protein found naturally in the skin. Its color usually varies from light yellow to brown and even black. Some are flat but most are slightly raised or elevated. Its size also varies from extremely to small up to an inch in diameter. In form, it is mostly spheroid or oblong-shaped. It can be mixed up with a wart but unlike it, it is not of a viral origin. This type of keratosis prefers to appear in groups than to appear as a/an single lesion. It can actually appear on any part of the body but most of the time, they are located at the chest or the back. But if someone asks what makes this lesion stand out, the answer is its slippery or oily appearance. And you would be happy to know that pain is not a symptom of this type of keratosis. But if you accidentally do something to irritate this lesion, it can be inflamed causing redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness and even bleeding and change in the color of the lesion. Therefore, there is really nothing dangerous] about seborrheic keratosis, or is there?

“What if this can cause cancer?”, most of you might have queried. Before we go any further, we must first answer the query: “What is skin cancer?” It is as of yet the most widespread type of cancer. One out of eight Americans suffers from skin cancer. Since anyone can easily assess the skin, any disease of the skin is immediately detected. Therefore, its treatment is not a struggle. The three types of skin cancer whose basis of naming is based on the cells involved will be discussed in the next sentences. The most widespread skin cancer is the basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Though basal cell carcinoma is malignant, its growth is slow and it rarely spreads. Initially, a small, translucent nodule appears. Eventually, it undergoes central ulceration as it grows further. Following basal cell carcinoma in incidence is the squamous cell carcinoma. Compared to basal cell carcinoma, this grows quickly, is extremely invasive, is firmer and looks redder. Of couse, we must not forget the third type, malignant melanoma which is the most malignant type of skin cancer. Its characteristics can be described using the mnemonic ABCDE. It shows assymetry, irregular borders, variation in color, a 6 millimeter or greater diameter and elevation.

Going back to our previous question, is it cancer? Though actinic keratosis, another type of keratosis, leads to squamous cell carcinoma, seborrheic keratosis does not. It is indeed a benign skin growth. You only have to worry about the lesser problems, namely, flaw of your physical appearance and possible irritation of the lesion.

Actinic Keratosis Further ReadingFurther Reading:

Keratosis Removal In 14 Days

Actinic Keratosis

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