You may not know what the term seborrheic keratosis means, but odds are you have one. Over 83 million Americans have these dark, crusty brown spots that are slightly raised. They are benign and usually simply a result of growing older, but most people don’t like the look of them.
In the past, dermatologists such as Dr. Stockton could excise these spots, or freeze or burn them off, but the result of those options often left a scar in place of the growth.
Now Dr. Stockton offers a great new option, Eskata. Eskata is a first-of-its-kind liquid treatment for seborrheic keratosis. Eskata is brand new, receiving FDA approval in December 2017 and becoming available in April 2018. Dr. Stockton now offers it to our Phoenix AZ patients.
What is Seborrheic Keratosis?
Seborrheic keratosis (SK) is a very common skin growth in older adults. They are brown, black, or light tan. They can be very small or as large as one inch in diameter. They are slightly elevated and can look waxy or scaly. Though unattractive, SKs are non-cancerous.
Why Does Seborrheic Keratosis Form?
It’s easy to confuse seborrheic keratosis with actinic keratosis, which are caused by sun exposure, but they are not the same. Why people form SKs is unknown, but they are not related to sun exposure. Because they don’t involve the sun, SKs also cannot develop into skin cancer. Development of SKs tends to run in families, so there is likely a genetic tendency towards developing them. Plus, they are connected with the general aging process. They usually form on the face, hairline, chest, shoulders, or back, but they can form anywhere on the body except the soles of the feet and the mucous membranes.
What is Eskata?
Eskata is a high-concentration (40%) hydrogen peroxide-based topical solution that was developed specifically to remove raised seborrheic keratosis. Eskata includes an applicator for targeted treatment of SKs. The FDA approved Eskata to treat SKs on December 14, 2017. The product then became first available to dermatologists in April 2018. Only healthcare providers can apply Eskata; it is not available to the general public.
How Does Eskata Work?
After Dr. Stockton has determined your brown spot is not cancer or pre-cancerous, she carefully applies the highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide liquid to each targeted lesion with the included applicator. Then she waits one minute and reapplies Eskata. She repeats this four times to complete the treatment. Afterwards, the lesion will scab over and then peel off. In around three weeks, you’ll have a follow-up visit with Dr. Stockton. If your treated raised SKs are not clear, she 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 dramatically be reduced in visibility.
How Long Does it Take for Eskata to Work?
In most cases, Eskata dramatically lessens the appearance of SKs within one month. As mentioned above, Dr. Stockton will evaluate how your SK looks after three weeks. If she feels another treatment is needed, she can repeat the application process a second time. From there, your SK will continue to diminish in appearance. In clinical studies, the process was judged to be complete at 106 days.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Eskata?
Eskata is not to be used near the eyes. Eye problems can occur if this product gets in the eyes. These include ulcers or small holes in your eyes, scarring, redness, irritation, eyelid swelling, severe eye pain, and permanent eye damage, including blindness.
The most common side effects with Eskata are itching, stinging, crusting, swelling, redness, and scaling. These are all localized to the treated area.