Advances in the Etiology, Detection, and Clinical Management of Seborrheic Keratoses

Dermatology. 2021 Jul 26;1-13. doi: 10.1159/000517070. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Seborrheic keratoses (SKs) are ubiquitous, generally benign skin tumors that exhibit high clinical variability. While age is a known risk factor, the precise roles of UV exposure and immune abnormalities are currently unclear. The underlying mechanisms of this benign disorder are paradoxically driven by oncogenic mutations and may have profound implications for our understanding of the malignant state. Advances in molecular pathogenesis suggest that inhibition of Akt and APP, as well as existing treatments for skin cancer, may have therapeutic potential in SK. Dermoscopic criteria have also become increasingly important to the accurate detection of SK, and other noninvasive diagnostic methods, such as reflectance confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography, are rapidly developing. Given their ability to mimic malignant tumors, SK cases are often used to train artificial intelligence-based algorithms in the computerized detection of skin disease. These technologies are becoming increasingly accurate and have the potential to significantly augment clinical practice. Current treatment options for SK cause discomfort and can lead to adverse post-treatment effects, especially in skin of color. In light of the discontinuation of ESKATA in late 2019, promising alternatives, such as nitric-zinc and trichloroacetic acid topicals, should be further developed. There is also a need for larger, head-to-head trials of emerging laser therapies to ensure that future treatment standards address diverse patient needs.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Dermoscopy; Noninvasive diagnostics; Oncogenic mutations; Seborrheic keratosis; Topical therapies.

Publication types

  • Review