Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Dermoscopy Can Improve Diagnostic Accuracy of SK

J Drugs Dermatol; 2017 Sep; Braun, Ludwig, et al

Although the clinical morphology of most seborrheic keratosis (SK) with their stuck-on, symmetric, keratotic, and waxy appearance makes them easy to identify, many manifest a morphology resembling melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma, according to a recent review. To that end, such cases will ultimately not prove to be problematic since a simple biopsy will easily reveal their benign nature and eliminate any concerns.

The cost and morbidity associated with the biopsy of benign lesions, however, should not be underestimated. Methods to improve in vivo ability to correctly identify SK will prove beneficial not only to the health care system in general, but to the individual patient specifically. In vivo methods to help identify malignancy and differentiate them from benign lesions are critical. Fortunately, there currently exists in vivo imaging methods such as dermoscopy that can improve the clinician’s diagnostic accuracy. In this review, researchers summarize the current knowledge regarding the clinical and dermoscopic features of SK, and provide clues to aid in their diagnosis.


Braun RP, Ludwig S, Marghoob AA. Differential diagnosis of seborrheic keratosis: Clinical and dermoscopic features. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017;16(9):835-842.