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Skin Care and Diseases

Recurring Keratosis

06/30/2011

Question:

About a year ago I had a keratosis (sp) removed from my cheek. the doctor dug it out. Earlier this year I had another keratosis removed virtually next to the previous one and after a month or two a black "scab" had formed that didn`t come off. Dr. was concerned, cut it out and biopsied it and it was just a scab. But now the same scab has re-formed even though I kept the area covered with a bandaid and Bacitrin applied. It has been about 6 weeks and it is still there.

What can or should I do to remove the scab and help the area finally heal without a scab (about the size of an eraser head)?

Answer:

There are different types of "keratosis". There are actinic keratosis which are pre-cancerous and require treatment and there are seborrheic keratosis which are totally benign, do not require treatment, and frequently recur when treated. It sounds as though you may have the second type. If what you are experiencing is in fact a scab, just wash it off with soap and water and keep it moist and covered. Every day wash it and remove any scab that may be there. Eventually it will heal. However, if it is the keratosis that is coming back, you will not be able to wash it off.

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Response by:

Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University