Difference Between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma

The human body is very complex, and every now and then, there are many diseases related to different parts of the body that we have to deal with.


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While skin diseases are not very common, but many people suffer from any kind of skin condition, either less complicated or deadly.

Such two types of skin conditions that look very similar are Seborrheic keratosis and Melanoma who behave very differently.

Seborrheic Keratosis vs Melanoma

The difference between Seborrheic keratosis and Melanoma is that Seborrheic keratosis is a type of skin condition that grows with older age and is not deadly and cancerous, whereas Melanoma is a type of skin condition which appears similar to Seborrheic keratosis, but they can be deadly and cancerous and needs surgeries when escalates.

Seborrheic Keratosis vs Melanoma

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign skin condition that can happen in teenage years to older age but is very common in the elderly only.

They don’t cause such harm and don’t need any special treatments. Risk factors for Seborrheic keratosis include genetics, eczema, skin irritation, etc. They usually appear on the back, face, chest, and shoulders.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is deadly and dangerous and very least diagonalizable. Often begins with the tanning beds and sun exposure.

They grow at a fast rate. Causing marks and blemishes on the skin, Melanoma is not easily recognizable from that of Seborrheic keratosis. They usually itch, burn and also bleed, which makes it necessary to treat them in their early stages only.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSeborrheic KeratosisMelanoma
DefinitionA very common skin condition that is not cancerous and causes growth as you age.A deadly type of Cancerous skin condition whose shape and color are the same as seborrheic keratosis.
Risk factorsIt can be itchy, and risk factors are eczema, skin irritation, friction, etc.It can be itchy, swollen, bleed and burn also. The risk factors are having unusual moles, a weak immune system, etc.
CausesThere is no exact cause, but genetics can be one of the causes.It can be caused by UV light, i.e., sun exposure, and also by heredity. 
AppearanceThey have a scaly and waxy surface whose size varies from small to 1 inch, are round and oval-shaped, appear slightly raised from the skin in brown, black, or tan color.It varies in size over time, has fuzzy and blurred edges, having a variety of colors, and doesn’t have a definite shape and size.
TreatmentThis is a common skin condition and not deadly. Thus it doesn’t need any special treatment until it grows so much that it sometimes indicates tumors.Since they are cancerous, they need special surgical removal so as not to hurt and cause death to anybody.

What is Seborrheic Keratosis? 

Seborrheic keratosis is a skin condition that has the same symptoms as that of melanoma, but they are not deadly and don’t cause cancer.

They don’t need any special doctor’s treatment, but if they grow rapidly and in large amounts, then they can be a sign of a tumor. Exact causes have not yet been discovered, but they can happen due to heredity also.

They are oval-shaped, waxy, shiny, and of brown and tan color, whose size varies from small to 1 inch. They usually appear on the face, back, chest and shoulder.

They grow in old ages and don’t cause much harm to the boys but might look bothersome because of their appearances different from the skin.

What is Melanoma?

More common for people in older age, MMelanomais a type of skin cancer that can be very dangerous and needs surgeries to treat.

They usually appear like moles with no definite shape and size or even indefinite colors. They have blurred edges and fuzzy borders. Eventually, they change their shape, color, and sizes.

The major cause of Melanoma is Ultra vIolet rays of the sun that can be very harmful to the skin. They itches, burns, bleed, and get inflated and swollen also.

They are of three different subcategories, namely: Acral Lentiginous, Juvenile Melanoma, Malignant lentigo. They need a doctor’s attention when they escalate.

They appear on the back, head, and neck in men, whereas In women, they appear on the arms or legs.

Main Differences Between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma

  1. Seborrheic keratosis is a type of skin condition which is not cancerous, whereas Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be cancerous and deadly.
  2. Seborrheic keratosis is a benign skin condition that doesn’t need any special treatment as they don’t cause such harm, whereas Melanoma is a type of cancer, so they need special surgeries and treatment as they can be deadly.
  3. Seborrheic keratosis appears to be like a mole of brown, black, or tan color, and size varies up to 1 inch, whereas Melanoma differs in size and colors and has no definite shape.
  4. Seborrheic keratosis is caused due to genetical but not from any sun exposure, whereas Melanoma can be caused due to taming beds and sun exposure.
  5. Seborrheic keratosis can be itchy, but they hardly bleed or cause such irritation, whereas Melanoma can itch, burn, swell, and also bleed and can be very irritating.
Difference Between Seborrheic Keratosis and Melanoma


  1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.03108
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2612723
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