Even though the majority of SKs are harmless, you should examine any lesion regularly. If the growth becomes irritated, or starts to itch or bleed, you should consult you dermatologist. Also, if many appear during a short time, it can be indicative of a more severe condition.
SKs can often be confused with other skin conditions like warts, moles, or even melanomas. Actinic Keratoses (early stage of skin cancer), are flatter than SKs and are usually red in color. Squamous Cell Carcinomas appear as scaly red patches, open sores, warts, or as elevated growths with a central depression. These lesions may bleed or develop a crust on their surface.
Your dermatologist will often be able to diagnose seborrheic keratosis visually. If there is any uncertainty, a biopsy may be required to assist in the diagnosis. A dermatologist removes a thin layer of skin containing and surrounding the lesion, most often with the use of a local anesthetic. A dermatopathologist will then microscopically examine the sample and confirm if the tissue is an SK.
If you have any concerns about any growth, make an appointment with your dermotologist. Early detection and treatment can be vital in preventing the development of skin cancer.