Topical for Seborrheic Keratoses May Be Effective Alternative to Surgical Procedures

Woman with Seborrheic Keratosis on back
Woman with Seborrheic Keratosis on back
The efficacy and tolerability of a topical agent in the treatment of seborrheic keratosis is evaluated.

A topical cosmetic cream with urea and hydroxy acids shows efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of patients with seborrheic keratoses, investigators reported in a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

The observational study was conducted at the dermatologic unit of a university hospital in Italy, enrolling 20 patients (12 men) with seborrheic keratoses localized in different body areas. Inclusion criteria were age 18 years of age or older and a clinical diagnosis of seborrheic keratoses.

The complete formulation of the cream tested was composed of urea (42%), lactic acid (6%), mandelic acid (5%), salicylic acid (2%), thuja (0.2%), beta-glucan, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, and alpha-bisabolol.

Participants applied the cosmetic device twice daily for 30 days, and clinical assessments of their skin condition were recorded at baseline and on day 30. The Daily Life Quality Index (DLQI) and epiluminescence microscopy were used to evaluate changes in the patients’ quality of life before and after therapy.

The primary endpoint was the cosmetic efficacy of the device, measuring the percentage of clinical disappearance of seborrheic keratoses and the changes in dermatoscopic features pre- and post-treatment.

The patients had a significant reduction in the number of seborrheic keratoses and thickness after treatment. Their global DLQI improved by 99.95% in 30 days. The DLQI increased by 99.99% in men and by 99.92% in women, the study authors noted.

After 30 days, the tolerability of the treatment was considered “excellent” according to 95% of participants and “good” according to 5%. No perilesional skin changes were caused by local treatment, and the patients had no inflammatory response or hypopigmentation.

In 2 patients, local erythema was observed in the area of the treated seborrheic keratoses owing to mechanical trauma. No adverse events were reported during treatment, and all participants completed the study.

“The most notable advantage of this device is that it can be self-applied by the patients at home,” the investigators commented. “The reported data suggest that this cosmetic device is effective, safe, and well tolerated in the treatment of seborrheic keratoses, due to the synergistic action of its compounds, which reduce local inflammation, itching, and hyperkeratosis while improving skin hydration.”

The treatment may also be beneficial for other localized forms of hyperkeratotic skin lesions, including palmoplantar keratoderma and thick psoriatic plaques, according to the researchers.


Campione E, Cosio T, Di Prete M, et al. Effectiveness of a cosmetic device containing a combination of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, urea, and thuja for the treatment of seborrheic keratoses. J Cosmet Dermatol. Published online July 15, 2021. doi:10.1111/jocd.14346