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Treating Skin Tags and Seborrheic Keratoses (General Skin Care)
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Treating Skin Tags and Seborrheic Keratoses

Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

As we age, most of us acquire unwanted skin conditions like skin tags and seborrheic keratoses. Though these are benign, and do not pose any immediate health risks, they can be unsightly, and in some cases, can get further irritated. Fortunately, these can both be removed with relative ease, and the treatment is simple and inexpensive.

Skin tags are extra pieces of skin, ranging in size from 1 to 10 mm, and are brown or flesh coloured. They are commonly found on the neck and the eyelids, the armpits, the groin, and under the breasts. They are not hazardous to health, but can be unsightly, and can become practical inconveniences depending on its location, for example by interfering with shaving. Skin tags can be removed at a doctor’s office with little pain or discomfort, and without the need for stitches. Complete recovery generally takes one or two weeks. The cost of removal can range from 80 to 200 dollars depending on the size and the number of skin tags to be removed.

Seborrheic keratoses are brown or black spots that accumulate on the face or trunk over time. They can be flat or raised, and sometimes scaly or crusty, and are often unsightly. Most people will have a few of these by the time that they are sixty, but they can develop as early as the thirties. Much like skin tags, sebborrheic keratoses do not present a health hazard, and are often left alone. However, they can interfere by rubbing against clothing or equipment, and are often a source of stress and embarrassment because of its appearance. If seborrheic keratoses or any other skin condition is interfering with your social life, seek treatment.

Seborrheic keratosis grows above the skin’s surface, and therefore can be scraped off and removed with relative ease. Complete recovery generally takes a few weeks, but in some cases, the healed area may remain pink for a few months after removal. Similar to skin tag removal, costs will range from 80 to 200 dollars and up depending on the number and size of the seorrheic keratoses to be removed.

Removing skin tags and seborrheic keratoses are considered tax deductable medical expenses, much like dental bills. If these skin conditions are reducing your quality of life, know that treatment is relatively simple and inexpensive. For more information, visit


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