Seborrheic keratosis (seb-o-REE-ik ker-uh-TOE-sis) is one of the most common noncancerous skin growths in older adults.

A seborrheic keratosis usually appears as a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, chest, shoulders or back. The growth has a waxy, scaly, slightly elevated appearance. Occasionally, it appears singly, but multiple growths are more common. Seborrheic keratoses don't become cancerous, but they can look like skin cancer.

Seborrheic keratoses are normally painless and require no treatment. You may decide, however, to have them removed if they become irritated by clothing or for cosmetic reasons.

Jan. 28, 2014