Seborrheic keratosis (sometimes called senile moles) is a condition that typically affects older adults, but it’s no reason to really worry. These unexplainable growths may mimic the appearance of a cancerous mole in some cases, but they pose no real health threat. Usually, the spots are removed because of cosmetic preferences. If you’re looking to fade or remove these skin growths on your own, home remedies for seborrheic keratosis may come in handy.
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What is Seborrheic Keratosis?
Seborrheic keratosis is a skin growth that resembles warts, moles, and skin cancer. They can appear nearly anywhere on the body. Upon a closer inspection, you will notice the growths tend to have a waxy appearance. Some people have described the growths as looking as if they were pasted onto the skin. The blemishes can also look scaly or slightly elevated. Overall, seborrheic keratosis is one of the most common types of noncancerous skin growths that older adults will experience.
Causes and Symptoms
There is no definite explanation why seborrheic keratosis occurs, but the risk of encountering the condition seems to elevate as a person gets older. Skin growths, such as seborrheic keratosis, tend to run in the family and doctors do not rule out genetic inheritance. If you are older than 50 years old, your chances of developing the condition increase, but they commonly appear after the age of 40.
Identifying characteristics of seborrheic keratosis include:
• Rough bumps that are small and slowly thicken.
• Growths can range in color from white to black. Most are tan or brown.
• Growths can be as small as a fraction of an inch to as big as a half-dollar
• Growths can develop on the chest, back, stomach, scalp, face, neck, and other parts of the body – with the exception of the palms of your hands and soles of the feet.
• Some growths surface individually, but they more commonly appear in multiples.
• The bumps are painless unless irritated by outside factors.
• Sometimes, the growths will itch.
Home Remedies for Seborrheic Keratosis
Typical cases of seborrheic keratosis do not involve pain and require no professional medical treatments . Some patients have elected to remove their growths if they suffer frequent irritation or for cosmetic reasons. Irritation usually occurs if the growths constantly rub up against clothing. Others have treated their condition by using seborrheic keratosis home remedies, such as the following:
a) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has helped people treat their seborrheic keratosis. Try soaking a cotton ball in undiluted apple cider vinegar, and then pressing against the growths. A Band-Aid or bandage will come in handy for keeping the cotton ball in place. Not everyone will experience the same kind of results. For some, the growths will fall off after a couple of days, while others notice a considerable change after three days, as the seborrheic keratosis scabs over and partially falls off.
b) Hydrogen Peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide with a concentration of 23% to 80% can be used to decrease the appearance of seborrheic keratosis growths. You will need to apply the peroxide directly to growth to see results. The hydrogen peroxide will cause the growths to turn pink, and scabs will eventually start to develop. The hydrogen peroxide will continue to fade away the spots when applied on a periodic basis.
c) Take Off Your Jewelry:
Clothing and jewelry can worsen the condition of your seborrheic keratosis growths, such as causing irritation. Sometimes, you will have to pay attention to the kinds of materials and accessories that you put on.
d) Vitamin D:
There is a link between skin growths and the body lacking a certain nutrient or vitamin. However, increasing your intake of vitamin D can deliver a boost to your skin’s immunity.
e) Cool Compress:
Apply a cool compress directly to the skin to ease irritated seborrheic keratosis growths. You can run cool water over a washcloth, wring it out to remove excess water, and then apply the cloth to your skin. Repeat this remedy when the growths feel itchy or because you are experiencing discomfort.
f) Wart Remover:
Wart removers, such as Compound W and Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away, are commonly found in medicine cabinets. You can use this same product to deliver a freezing effect to your seborrheic keratosis skin growths. After a couple of routine applications, you should be able to slowly remove the growths.
g) Do Not Touch:
You must resist the urge to rub, scratch or pick at seborrheic keratosis skin growths, or you run the risk of causing inflammation, bleeding and more rarely, infection.
h) Use Your Hair:
When elevated single growths associated with seborrheic keratosis have developed on the scalp, some people have used their hair as a way to fight back. Long strands of hair can be tied around the base of a growth as a way to cut off its blood supply. Over time, the seborrheic keratosis will start to shrink, darken, and will eventually fall off. Many have reported that this treatment method is painful yet effective. This approach has been known to eliminate the scalp growths over the course of several weeks to more than a month.
i) A Bit of Patience:
Some cases of seborrheic keratosis have reversed on their own without any treatment. If you’re patient, you might wake up one day to find that your growth has disappeared.