Can Seborrheic Keratosis Lead To Skin Cancer?

Have you ever had skin lesions?

Have you felt the horror that comes with finding out what lesion it is? Have you ever asked yourself whether it is a simple rash, a bite of an insect or a manifestation of other more formidable diseases? All you have to do is stop worrying and start gathering information about what your skin problem might be. Since you already have the description of the lesion on your skin, it is now time to make use of books and internet. However, you have to go the doctor at once if according to a reliable source, be it from a book or from the internet, your lesion is a manifestation of an even more serious condition.

Now, we will discuss one type of skin lesion – seborrheic keratosis. The term keratosis comes from its root word keratin – an/a inherent protein in the skin – which has the capacity to overgrow. It usually ranges from yellow, to brown and to black, in color. Some are flat but most are slightly raised or elevated. And although usually small, it can measure up to one inch in diameter. Usually, it is circular or oblong-shaped. It often appears like a wart but is very dissimilar from it. This type of keratosis prefers to appear in conglomerate than to appear as a/an single lesion. For its location, it usually chooses the truck, both anterior and posterior, though they can appear anywhere else in the body. But this type is most commonly known for its waxiness or greasiness. It is also important to know that this does not cause pain at all. However, if it becomes irritated, there could be inflammation which causes the lesion to become red, warm, edematous, painful and sometimes, bleeding and darkening of its color. Seborrhic keratosis is not a serious condition after all, or is it?

Maybe most of you have considered that this type of keratosis can lead to cancer. It is actually the cancer type that has the highest number of occurrence. In the United States alone, one out of eight eventually acquires skin cancer. But because the skin is easily available for inspection, its early detection is not a problem. Therefore, its treatment is not a problem. Based on the types of cells they affect, there are three types of skin cancer. The first is basal cell carcinoma (BCC) which is the most common skin cancer. Though basal cell carcinoma is malignant, its growth is slow and it rarely spreads. A small, clear nodule presents at first. It matures by forming an ulcer at the center of the lesion’s original site. The second most common type is the squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In contrast, this has a faster growth, undergoes metastasis, has a firmer consistency and redder in color. Of couse, we must not set aside the third type, malignant melanoma which is the most fatal 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? In contrast with actinic keratosis which eventually leads to squamous cell carcinoma, seborrheic keratosis is not a/an precursor of skin cancer. It is indeed a benign skin tumor. Now, all you have to think about is its unsightly appearance and the possibility of irritating it.

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