This post was developed in collaboration with the makers of ESKATA® (hydrogen peroxide) topical solution, 40% (w/w)
When Kirsten Dellecave was around 40 years old, she noticed raised spots popping up on her face, the side of her neck, and on her hairline. “I knew they weren’t Cindy Crawford-type beauty marks,” Kirsten chuckled. “Besides being raised, they had a little texture.” Although the growths didn’t hurt, they sometimes itched; some also had pigment. “They were annoying,” added Kirsten, now 51.
Kirsten tried covering up her newfound growths with makeup, but it made them look worse, she remembered. When she talked to a dermatologist about having them removed, Kirsten learned scarring was a possibility so she decided to leave her spots alone.
Kirsten had seborrheic keratosis (seb-o-REE-ik ker-uh-TOE-sis), commonly called SKs, which is one of the most common non-cancerous skin growths in older adults. “Thirty percent of people have at least one SK by the age of 40, and they affect over 75 percent of people by the age of 70,” according to the website Medical News Today.
Benign But Bothersome
“SKs are totally benign growths that should be diagnosed by a board certified dermatologist and are often called the barnacles of life or age spots,” said Dr. Marina Peredo, who has practiced dermatology in New York City for 23 years, and now specializes in aesthetic dermatology. “Most commonly seen on the face, neck, hairline and on the torso, SKs don’t show up on the palms, soles or in the mucus membranes, such as inside the mouth,” Dr. Peredo added. They can range from flesh color to pink, yellow, grey, tan, brown or black, can be round or oval shaped, flat or slightly raised with a waxy, scaly surface, and can be very small to over an inch. Some people can be covered from head to toe in SKs, others have only a few spots. When you see them on a visible area, like the hairline, they can be aging, Dr. Peredo noted. Besides using makeup to cover them, women will style their hair differently, or wear scarves and hats, she said.
A visible concern to most patients, SKs can cause discomfort, itching and irritation if they’re located around the bra strap and if someone picks on them, Dr. Peredo explained. And, brushing your hair can irritate SKs near the hairline. Affecting women and men across the board, of all ethnicities, SKs can run in families, although the precise causes are unknown.
A Topical Treatment For Raised SKs
Like millions of others, Kirsten lived with raised SKs for years. But a few months ago, during an appointment with Dr. Peredo, Kristen’s growths got the dermatologist’s attention. “She was admiring my spots,” Kirsten laughed, “and told me that they were the perfect candidates for ESKATA® (hydrogen peroxide) Topical Solution, 40% (w/w) the first and only FDA-approved topical solution to treat raised SKs.” Comprised of 40 percent hydrogen peroxide, ESKATA was used to treat over 1,800 raised SKs in clinical studies, representing the largest body of research ever performed in patients with raised SKs. “Dermatologists were excited to start using this new product,” reported Dr. Peredo, who was one of a select group of opinion leaders in dermatology invited by the manufacturer to participate in an ‘early experience program.’ When Kirsten heard that ESKATA had a low risk of scarring (3% of patients) on treated raised SKs, she couldn’t wait to have the treatment.
A dermatologist applies ESKATA in a circular motion to the raised SK using a single-use, soft-tip pen-like applicator. Each raised SK is treated four times in a matter of minutes, Dr. Peredo said. “Once the solution has been applied, it looks like there is White Out on the growth.” The raised SKs stay white for awhile, followed by some redness and scaling, and then they may fall off the skin on their own, Dr. Peredo added.
A patient may require two treatments, but some of Kirsten’s raised SKs (she had about nine) cleared after a single treatment. “I had a huge one on my hairline, and when I pulled my hair back you could see it. I was afraid it would affect my hair or hairline, but it didn’t. It just fell off,” Kirsten said. A patient may feel itching and stinging during the ESKATA application, and see crusting, swelling, redness and scaling, “but it certainly wasn’t an unpleasant experience,” Kirsten stressed.
Success After Success
18% of patients experienced clearance of 3 out of 4 raised SKs treated with ESKATA vs 0% with vehicle (Day 106 end of study). Nearly all patients received 2 treatments. Serious eye problems and severe skin reactions have occurred. Most common side effects are itching, stinging, crusting, swelling, redness and scaling. Actual patient. Individual results may vary.
Dr. Peredo has successfully treated about 40 patients with ESKATA since it was introduced about five months ago. “We froze SKs, scraped them off, or used lasers to remove them in the past.”
If you think you have SKs, it’s advisable to see a dermatologist, who can best make the diagnosis and tell you whether you’re a candidate for ESKATA. Kirsten wouldn’t hesitate to have new raised SKs removed with ESKATA. “I’d absolutely recommend ESKATA,” she said.
“My sisters, who notice every wrinkle and blemish on my face, asked, ‘What happened to your spots?’ when they saw me after my ESKATA treatment!”
- Eye problems. Eye problems can happen if ESKATATM (hydrogen peroxide) topical solution, 40% (w/w) gets into your eyes, including: ulcers or small holes in your eyes, scarring, redness, irritation, eyelid swelling, severe eye pain, and permanent eye injury, including blindness.
- If ESKATA accidentally gets into your eyes, your healthcare provider will tell you to flush them well with water for 15 to 30 minutes. Your healthcare provider may send you to another healthcare provider if needed.
- Local skin reactions. Skin reactions have happened in and around the treatment area after application of ESKATA. Severe skin reactions can include: breakdown of the outer layer of the skin (erosion), ulcers, blisters and scarring. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any skin reactions during treatment with ESKATA.