fbpx

What is the Difference between SKs and Melasma?

Seborrheic Keratosis (SK) and melasma are skin conditions that can make people self-conscious, but they are generally quite harmless. However, if you notice areas of discoloration on your skin, it’s important whether you are dealing with SKs or melasma. Knowing what sets them apart is especially helpful if you are considering treatment options. So what is the difference between SK and melasma?

What is Seborrheic Keratoses?

Seborrheic Keratosis (SK) is a raised, waxy skin growth that looks a lot like a wart. SKs usually pop up around middle age or later in life, and are sometimes mistaken for a pre-cancerous growth. They vary in color but are mostly tan, brown, or black. SKs can appear almost anywhere on the body but are mostly seen on the face, chest, shoulders, and back. SKs are normally harmless and painless, but are often removed for cosmetic reasons.

Causes

The cause of SK is not known but the condition often runs in families. There is no indication that SK is linked to excess sun exposure, because the growths often develop on areas that are not exposed to the sun.


The cause of SK is not known but the condition often runs in families. There is no indication that SK is linked to excess sun exposure, because the growths often develop on areas that are not exposed to the sun.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that is characterized by dark, discolored patches on the skin. It is a pigmentary condition that is typically seen on the nose, cheeks, and jawline, but can also appear on other parts of the body such as the neck, arms, and chest. Melasma is common in women, especially during their reproductive years.

Causes

Melasma is believed to be triggered by excess sun exposure and hormonal fluctuations. It is often seen in pregnant women, as well as women using contraceptives and hormonal treatments.

Treatment options

Treating seborrheic keratoses
Seborrheic Keratoses can be effectively treated with Eskata, which is a prescription strength hydrogen peroxide solution that is designed for use by medical professionals. It is the only FDA approved topical treatment for raised SK.

Eskata is applied during an in-office treatment that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The solution is contained in a pen-like applicator, and is placed directly onto the raised seborrheic keratoses. Patients may feel a slight tingling sensation during treatment, but the procedure is not painful. Eskata should not be used for treating SKs located near the eyes.

There is no downtime after Eskata treatment, so patients can resume normal activities right away.

Treating melasma

Melasma is more difficult to treat than SK, because it is hormone-linked, and using the wrong treatment can actually worsen the condition.

Below are some of the most effective treatment options for melasma:

  • Cosmelan Skin Peel. This peel treats melasma on all types of skin. The Cosmelan peel is a multi-ingredient peel that is comprised of bleaching ingredients and exfoliators. It is a 2-step process that involves the in-office application of Cosmelan 1, which is the stimulating mask, followed by the application of Cosmelan II at home.

The face is first properly cleansed to prepare the skin for the application of the stimulating mask. The peel is left in place for 8-12 hours and then washed off by the patient at home. This is followed by the Cosmelan II which is used for 1-3 months.

The Cosmelan peel improves the look of melasma because it inhibits certain enzymes linked to the production of melanin. The darker areas of skin are usually caused by the excess production of melanin. Most patients will notice a significant reduction in the appearance of melasma spots within 7 days. The skin will develop a clear, healthy glow within 4-5 weeks.

  • The dEp Mask: This is an at-home peel that involves the use of microcurrent to infuse vitamin c in the skin to help clear melasma.
  • The dEp Mask: This is an at-home peel that involves the use of microcurrent to infuse vitamin c in the skin to help clear melasma.
  • Here are some of the most important differences between SK and melasma.
  • SKs are wart-like growths on the skin that vary in color, whereas melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation characterized by dark patches on the skin.
  • SKs are related to aging, while melasma is generally triggered by hormone fluctuations.
  • Melasma is much more challenging to treat.

If you are in the Orange County area, contact Total Dermatology, Irvine, CA for more information on the difference between SKs and melasma.

Call (949) 727-3800 today to set up a consultation.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest