Fingernail Surgery To Remove Seborrheic Keratoses

The medical rule I've heard is that you're not supposed to pick at zits or skin growths, because you'll only make them worse — or cause an infection. But apparently this rule doesn't apply to seborrheic keratoses. According to Dr. George Lundberg, Editor in Chief of MedGenMed, go ahead and pick 'em. Or rather, use "fingernail surgery" to remove 'em. That's what he does!

However, Lundberg's advice hasn't met with universal approval from the medical community. Among the resonses to his editorial on MedGenMed is this one:

To the Editor:
I find your piece embarrassing and unworthy of your Internet service.
If you had bothered to do some research, even just reading eMedicine, you would find that curettage, not excision, is the recommended treatment -- a far more sterile version of a fingernail surgery. The curettage procedure is usually nonscarring though rarely some mild hypopigmentation may result.
The use of fingernail surgery is to be condemned as it is a bacterially contaminated area.
Picking at one's own skin with the fingernails is a bad habit and in its extreme form can become obsessive and result in scarring -- a disorder known as neurotic excoriation.
Many elderly gentlemen will pick at solar keratoses on their scalp, leaving it in a persistent state of bleeding and infection; I sincerely hope that you are not headed in this direction.
If your medical colleagues excise your seb warts or cause significant scars, or if you suspect that they choose their therapies on the basis of cost benefit to themselves, I suggest you take the matter up with your State Medical Board rather than indulging in self-injury.
If there is any doubt about the diagnosis, the curetted specimen can be sent for pathology.
Philip Bekhor
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
     Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 28, 2012
     Category: Health | Medicine | Surgery | Skin and Skin Conditions

Posted by Grossed Out on 03/28/12 at 09:24 AM
Thank you for assuming that we all know what the f**k you´re talking about.
Posted by Ignorant Hillbilly on 03/28/12 at 10:05 AM
Alright! Who told the Tennessee hill folk about the interweb??

That'ar edumakated sity boy done went an sed et wuz OK ifin y'all wanna go a pik yor zits.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/28/12 at 10:38 AM
My, my, don´t we like to talk down to people. I´m smart enough to know that seborrheic keratoses isn´t zits. (Are you sure you didn´t make a typo when you were trying to type Athens Georgia?)
Posted by Ignorant Hillbilly on 03/28/12 at 11:40 AM
Na... There's another guy around here from GA. I only get to pass through now and again.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/28/12 at 12:04 PM
'My, my, don´t we like to talk down to people'
No, but we do tease and joke. The whole thing reminded me of a Carlin bit about picking stuff and keeping it for spare parts. :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/28/12 at 12:32 PM
Considering that Dr. Lundberg is a respected pathologist with a stellar resume including 17 years as editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA being the most respected medical periodical in the world) and Mr Bekhor runs a cosmetic dermatology clinic specializing in hair and tattoo removal, I'm gonna have to go with Dr. Lundberg on this. Bekhor's clinic is exactly the sort of place that makes their living charging top dollar for unnecessary procedures, while Lundberg tells people that they only need to see a doctor if something is truly wrong with them.
Posted by Miles on 03/28/12 at 10:41 PM
I agree Miles. That kind of overpriced procedure is just why the healthcare system is in such trouble here.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/28/12 at 11:47 PM
My favored treatment for solar keratoses is the rough side of a dish sponge.
Posted by Rodger on 03/29/12 at 09:28 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.