The patient is Mr. Gary T., who is 77 years of age Caucasian American. Mr. T. has been worried about a skin lesion.
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After a close examination of the lesion on the patient’s shoulder, I have identified it as seborrheic keratosis. When charting this lesion it has to be mentioned that the lesion is palpable, papule tumor, less than one centimeter in diameter with even edges, located on the patient’s shoulder, not painful, not irritated, but the patient has complained that he has many of such lesions.
I need to report the finding to the patient’s physician, because the patient’s emotional discomfort may require further treatment of the lesion, such as its removal. For that, Mr. T. has to consult his physician and discuss methods of removing seborrheic keratoses. Besides, having the diagnosis confirmed by the physician is necessary.
The patient has to be informed about the causes and character of his lesion. Seborrheic keratoses are benign and do not develop into skin cancers. They may have various colors, mostly they are light or dark brown, can become black. A newly formed seborrheic keratosis has a smoother surface and lighter color, with time the surface becomes rough and the lesion’s color darkens. They are harmless. Mr. T. has noticed that he has started having different spots on his skin after he turned sixty-five. Seborrheic keratoses are typical for aging patients. Initially, they were called senile warts, but this name is no longer in use because this type of lesion is also common for patients of younger age.
Seborrheic keratosis is very frequently complained at by patients of all cultural backgrounds, so the fact that Mr. T. is of Caucasian origin and has white skin does not make any difference (Coley & Alexis, 2010). However, the fact that the patient enjoys spending time at the beach is important. Being a retired contract worker Mr. T. is used to being outside in hot weather, under the direct sunlight, not worrying about how the sun affects his skin. The patient has to be informed that seborrheic keratoses may start to appear more often in summer when the patient is exposed to direct sunlight (DermNet NZ, 2013). These growths appear on both covered and uncovered parts of the body, the most typical areas for them to show up on our back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Seborrheic keratoses are not contagious. Besides, it is known that such growths can run in the family (AAD, 2014). People may inherit having multiple spots from parents.
This type of skin growth is not related to stress or allergy. There is a small risk of infection in case of damaging the growth accidentally. The growths that are too big or are located in dangerous zones, undergoing a lot of friction, better be removed. Most commonly, seborrheic keratoses appear in groups – several growths during a season.
The patient has to be talked to calmly and politely, the style of the conversation should be simple, without too many scientific medical terms that are complicated for an average person like Mr. T. It has to be emphasized that the patient needs to regulate the time he spends being exposed to direct sunlight and always wear a good sunblock. The patient’s decision to consult a doctor about his skin growth should be encouraged, as he is doing the right and smart thing worrying about new growths appearing on the skin.
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AAD: Seborrheic Keratoses: Who Gets and Causes. (2014). Web.
Coley, M. K. & Alexis, A. F. (2010). Cosmeic Concearns in Skin of Color, Part 1. Web.
DermNet NZ: Seborrhoeic Keratoses. (2013). Web,