Stucco keratosis was first described by Kocsard and Ofner in 1965 and later by Willoughby and Soter in 1972.[1, 2]
Stucco keratosis is a keratotic papule that is usually found on the distal lower acral extremities of males. Stucco keratosis seems to appear with a higher frequency in males; however, it is not inherited genetically.
Usually, multiple lesions are found in stucco keratosis; in one study, between 7 and more than 100 lesions were noted on the patients. The lesion is asymptomatic, and patients usually do not complain of having the lesions. The name stucco keratosis is derived from the "stuck on" appearance of the lesions.
Stucco keratosis appears to be produced by thickening of the epidermis. The epidermis is usually exophytic with a church spire–like appearance. The surface may be regularly distributed into folds with elongation of papillae. The stratum corneum is thickened.
Surface friction may contribute to the development of stucco keratosis lesions. The tumor grows outward and does not penetrate. The lesions are usually found in elderly patients.
With a nested polymerase chain reaction technique, human papillomavirus types 9, 16, 23b, DL322, and 37 were detected in a 75-year-old nonimmunosuppressed man with very extensive stucco keratosis lesions. This finding requires confirmation in other patients.
The incidence of stucco keratosis is approximately 10% of the senior population in the United States. Stucco keratosis predominantly occurs in elderly men.
Stucco keratosis is found in persons of all races. No reports have been noted on race as a factor in stucco keratosis.
The incidence of stucco keratosis is higher in males than in females.
Elderly people are susceptible to stucco keratosis. The stucco keratosis lesions begin to appear around age 45 years.
The lesions of stucco keratosis are benign growths similar to those of seborrheic keratosis. Clinically, stucco keratosis lesions may be mistaken as a melanoma.
Patients with stucco keratosis can be informed that the lesions are not cancerous. Because lesions are found in elderly patients, the patients can be taught the "ABCDs" of melanoma.
Stucco keratosis is a benign lesion that is best regarded as a form of seborrheic keratosis. Stucco keratosis lesions are often seen in elderly men. The stucco keratosis lesions are asymptomatic and usually go unnoticed by both the patient and the clinician.
Stucco keratosis lesions appear as keratotic papules or plaques on the lower extremities but are sometimes found on the upper extremities, usually acrally. Note the image below. If the lesion is removed by curetting, a peripheral collarette of scale is sometimes left.
Stucco keratosis in a 70-year-old male veteran. A few scattered white plaques are on the lower extremity.
No known cause of stucco keratosis has been reported. The epidermis is hyperplastic and usually exophytic with no dysplasia. This is similar to what is seen in seborrheic keratosis.
No laboratory studies are required in stucco keratosis.
No imaging studies are required in stucco keratosis.
Different methods or a combination of methods can be used to remove the stucco keratosis lesions. The most common methods in practice are liquid nitrogen therapy and curettage.
Lesions can be frozen with liquid nitrogen by either the spray method or the dipstick method. Because the lesions are benign, the required temperature of the lesion should reach -25°C.
Depending on the thickness of the lesion, 2 freeze cycles of 3-10 seconds are usually required. The lesions fall off in a few days, and, if the procedure is not successful, liquid nitrogen therapy may be repeated. Ambient temperature and skin temperature as well as underlying vascularity must be taken into account. Ulceration can occur if cryotherapy is too vigorous.
Stucco keratosis can be removed by curettage. Lesions can be removed by gentle scraping. Once the lesion is removed, a topical antibiotic can be applied.
The lesion can be removed by using an electrodesiccator.
Shave removal is performed only if the lesion appears malignant, does not scrape off, or requires a definitive diagnosis.
A church spire–like epidermal hyperplasia similar to that in hyperkeratotic seborrheic keratosis is seen, as in the image below.
Photomicrograph of characteristic church spires of stucco keratosis.
Stucco keratosis is a benign lesion that can be removed by curettage or cryotherapy. No other medical care is required. See Procedures for details.
No surgical care is required in stucco keratosis.
Patients with stucco keratosis should be advised to have a periodic skin examination.
No medical therapy is required in stucco keratosis.