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Causes and Symptoms
Seborrheic keratosis is not caused by any particular condition and is usually inherited. It is also sometimes related to sun exposure which might cause the growths to develop. There are no side effects or symptoms related to this skin condition and it is not contagious in any way. The growths, however, have been seen to increase in women when estrogen is given to them after pregnancy. They are usually associated with age and commonly appear in middle-age people. They do not appear in children and the earliest age of getting them is the teenage years.
Seborrheic keratosis can resemble skin tags, warts or even skin cancer. According to WebMD, if a person is in doubt of the exact type of the skin condition, then he or she must consult his doctor immediately to verify that it is not harmful. The doctor will need to take tests or do a biopsy to check and make sure that the skin growth is not skin cancer.
WebMD states, "Seborrheic keratosis usually cause no symptoms. But they can itch, bleed easily, or become red and irritated when clothing rubs them." These growth often range in sizes and colors and seldom go away on their own without any treatment. Since they are also not harmful to the body or health of the person in any way, no treatment is necessary, but some people chose to treat them anyway for the purpose of esthetics or because of unnecessary itching or bleeding associated with some types of seborrheic keratosis.
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Home Remedy for Seborrheic Keratosis
Home remedy for seborrheic keratosis is available in different forms. WebMD recommends to wait and see if the condition subsides or the growth disappears by itself. If it is continuously there and the person feels the need to remove it, then there are several different home treatments to choose from. Some of these will show results in a few days, while other could take up to a month or longer.
1. Use hydrogen peroxide for the removal of seborrheic keratosis. A solution of 20 percent to up to 70 percent can be applied directly to the spots with a cotton swab. If the hydrogen peroxide is of a higher percentage, such as more than 30 percent, then it is recommended to wear gloves or other gear for protection. A moisturizing cream should also be applied to the area around the growth so that the hydrogen peroxide does not come in contact with other areas of the skin. The hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleach and will whiten the area that it is applied to. It might take several applications of hydrogen peroxide to completely eliminate the condition and keep it from returning again. Hydrogen peroxide can also be added to bath water. It is important to note again that hydrogen peroxide has a tendency to bleach the area that it comes in contact with so it is advised to always keep it away from clothing.
2. Use an age old home remedy consisting of tying a knot around the growth with a thread. This can only be done on protruding growths. The knot will slowly cut the blood supply of the growth and it will eventually die out. The knot is tightened each day until the growth comes off completely and is detached from the skin. This method takes several weeks and can cause mild irritation. Assistance of another person can be used to tie the knot if the seborrheic keratosis is located in an area where the person cannot reach themselves.
3. Take necessary vitamins and supplements. A lot of skin conditions result from the lack of proper nutrition that is supplied to the skin. Vitamin D is known to improve the immune system and improve the complexion and balance of all skin types. WebMD states, "Some people use vitamin D for skin conditions including vitiligo, scleroderma, psoriasis, actinic keratosis, and lupus vulgaris."
4. Application of a 30% glycolic acid can also be used to treat seborrheic keratosis. In this case the acid can be put into a spray bottle and sprayed onto the area every day until the growth becomes crusty. The treatment should be left on the spot for a few hours and can be left on over night as well. Slight redness will appear when the glycolic acid is applied to the area including a stinging sensation. If the stinging becomes unbearable it is best to discontinue this treatment and use a different method. A small area of the skin can also be tested first before applying to the whole growth to check for any side effects.
5. A cold compress is used to subside the irritations associated with seborrheic keratosis. A wash cloth is dipped in cold water or made wet under running water and applied directly to the area until the pain and itching leaves. This treatment will not reduce the growth but will help relieve some of the pain.
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WebMD: Seborrheic Keratosis - http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/seborrheic-keratosis-topic-overview
MayoClinic: Seborrheic Keratosis - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seborrheic-keratosis/DS00846/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
WebMD: Vitamin D - http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-929-VITAMIN%20D.aspx?activeIngredientId=929&activeIngredientName=VITAMIN%20D
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