Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


Stucco Keratosis

  • Author: Raymond T Kuwahara, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Apr 29, 2014


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.[3] This finding requires confirmation in other patients.




United States

The incidence of stucco keratosis is approximately 10% of the senior population in the United States. Stucco keratosis predominantly occurs in elderly men.


See the list below:

  • The lesions of stucco keratosis are benign growths similar to those of seborrheic keratosis.
  • Clinically, stucco keratosis lesions may be mistaken as a melanoma.


See the list below:

  • Stucco keratosis is found in persons of all races.
  • No reports have been noted on race as a factor in stucco keratosis.


See the list below:

  • The incidence of stucco keratosis is higher in males than in females.


See the list below:

  • Elderly people are susceptible to stucco keratosis.
  • The stucco keratosis lesions begin to appear around age 45 years.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Raymond T Kuwahara, MD, MBA Dermatologist

Raymond T Kuwahara, MD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Warren R Heymann, MD Head, Division of Dermatology, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Warren R Heymann, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Ron Rasberry, MD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine; Chief of Dermatology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Memphis

Ron Rasberry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Arkansas Medical Society, Association of Military Surgeons of the US, Royal Society of Medicine, and Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Kocsard E, Carter JJ. The papillomatous keratoses. The nature and differential diagnosis of stucco keratosis. Australas J Dermatol. 1971 Aug. 12(2):80-8. [Medline].

  2. Willoughby C, Soter NA. Stucco keratosis. Arch Dermatol. 1972 Jun. 105(6):859-61. [Medline].

  3. Stockfleth E, Rowert J, Arndt R, Christophers E, Meyer T. Detection of human papillomavirus and response to topical 5% imiquimod in a case of stucco keratosis. Br J Dermatol. 2000 Oct. 143(4):846-50. [Medline].

  4. Waisman M. Verruciform manifestations of keratosis follicularis: including a reappraisal of hard nevi (Unna). Arch Dermatol. 1960. 81:1-15.

  5. Hafner C, Landthaler M, Mentzel T, Vogt T. FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations in stucco keratosis and dermatosis papulosa nigra. Br J Dermatol. 2010 Mar. 162(3):508-12. [Medline].

  6. Kirkham N. Tumors and cysts of the epidermis. Lever's Histopathology of the Skin. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 1997. 693.

Stucco keratosis in a 70-year-old male veteran. A few scattered white plaques are on the lower extremity.
Photomicrograph of characteristic church spires of stucco keratosis.
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.