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Differences between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma

Differences between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma

Around 85% of adults will develop seborrheic keratoses (SKs) during their lifetime.1 While SKs may look alarming, they are not cancerous and are usually benign. Melanoma, on the other hand, is a type of skin cancer that can be deadly if not caught early. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between seborrheic keratosis and melanoma.

What is Seborrheic Keratosis?

Seborrheic Keratosis is a common, benign skin growth that most often appears on the face, chest, or back. Seborrheic Keratoses can vary in size and appearance but are typically raised, waxy, and slightly scaly. While they are most often found in people over the age of 40, Seborrheic Keratoses can occur at any age. Seborrheic Keratoses are not contagious and are not cancerous. However, they can sometimes resemble skin cancer, so it is important to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis. There is no cure for Seborrheic Keratosis, but treatment is available to remove the growths if they are cosmetically undesirable.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most commonly found on the arms, legs, and back. Melanoma is usually brown or black in color, but it can also be pink, red, or white. Melanoma can be dangerous because it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is usually diagnosed with a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. Treatment for melanoma may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Melanoma can be prevented by avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds.

Differences between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma

Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma are both skin conditions that can present with similar symptoms. However, there are several key differences between the two conditions. Seborrheic Keratosis is a non-cancerous condition that is characterized by the growth of rough, scaly patches on the skin.

  • These patches are usually benign, but they can sometimes become irritated or inflamed. Melanoma, on the other hand, is a type of skin cancer that occurs when melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) grow out of control.
  • Melanomas can vary in appearance, but they often resemble moles or birthmarks. They may be black, brown, or pink in color, and they can be raised or flat. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, neck, and arms.
  • While Seborrheic Keratosis is a relatively harmless condition, Melanoma is a potentially life-threatening form of cancer. If you notice any changes in your skin, it is important to see a dermatologist for a professional diagnosis.

Conclusion

The main takeaways from this post should be that seborrheic keratosis is not cancerous, while melanoma can be deadly. If you are unsure about skin growth, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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