You may not know what a seborrheic keratosis is, much less how to spell it, but odds are you have one or many. Over 83 million Americans — that’s about one out of every four of us — have seborrheic keratoses (SKs). These are dark, crusty brown spots that are slightly raised and create slight concern in the back of your mind. Not to worry, seborrheic keratoses are benign, and they usually are simply a result of you no longer being, uh, as young as you once were.
But they are ugly little buggers. In the past, Dr. Musick would excise SKs from patients who wanted them removed. Or he could freeze or electrocauterize them. The problem was that these solutions left a scar in place of the brown spot.
Now we have a better way — Eskata. Dr. Musick now offers this first-of-its-kind liquid treatment to remove seborrheic keratoses. Eskata is brand new, receiving FDA approval just over a year ago, and first becoming available in April 2018.
What are seborrheic keratoses?
SKs are common as you get older. They’re brown, black, or light tan. They can be tiny, or as large as one inch in diameter. SKs are slightly elevated and can look scaly or waxy. They are harmless.
People confuse SKs with actinic keratoses. Actinic keratoses are caused by the UV rays of the sun. No one quite understands why our bodies create SKs. While they may look similar, actinic keratoses are pre-cancerous, meaning they can turn into skin cancer. Because SKs do not form due to sun exposure, they cannot become skin cancer.
What is Eskata?
Eskata is a high-concentration (40%) hydrogen peroxide-based topical solution that was developed specifically to remove raised seborrheic keratoses. Eskata includes an applicator for targeted treatment of SKs. Only healthcare providers such as Dr. Musick can apply Eskata; it is not available to the general public.
How does Eskata work?
Once he has determined that the growth in question is a seborrheic keratosis, Dr. Musick carefully applies the highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide liquid to each targeted SK with the included applicator. Then he waits one minute and reapplies Eskata. This process is repeated a total of four times. Afterwards, the lesion will scab over and then peel off. In around three weeks, you’ll have a follow-up visit with Dr. Musick. If your treated SKs are not clear, at that point he can apply one additional treatment. Some SKs are gone after one treatment, but others may require a second treatment. They may not completely clear, but should be dramatically reduced in visibility. Only two Eskata treatments are allowed for each SK treated.