Hyperkeratosis is a condition whereby the skin forms a thick layer due to the excessive deposition of keratin. It is more common in women with dark skin. The thickening of the skin is actually a way of protecting is from constant irritation, rubbing and pressure. A large percentage of the hyperkeratosis formed are painless and some even go undetected because most women do not know the condition.
It is normal for hyperkeratosis to form anywhere on the body but there are specifically some parts where it is more common. These are as mentioned below.
The knees and elbows:
These are the most common places you can find hyperkeratosis. After reading this most of you might actually notice this for the first time because as it was mentioned earlier, it is a painless condition and it can go unnoticed. There is a lot of skin pigmentation in these areas as a result of the constant kneeling and leaning you do on your knees and elbows respectively.
Other areas that can become affected are the soles of the feet and the palms of your hands. These are other areas that experience a lot of pressure and friction due to the constant movement they’re under. It is more likely to develop as a result of wearing the wrong size of shoes, walking barefooted and the likes. On the palms the likelihood of calluses and corns forming is increased.
There is also another milder form of hyperkeratosis which is called keratosis pilaris. This condition forms on the back of the arms, the inside of the knees and the front of the thighs and this has nothing to do with dirt as most people seem to think. Studies are yet to prove its cause as of now it’s still unknown.
Ichthyosis is another small form of hyperkeratosis and this condition forms when the skin becomes dry and flaky and begins to resemble the scales of a fish. There are also many types of this condition and the most common is known as ichthyosis vulgaris.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms then it would be best for you to seek a doctor’s advice for treatment. He will access your condition and be able to tell you what’s best for you.
One simple thing you could try learning to do is to avoid leaning on your elbows at all times. If you must, lean on a surface that is cushioned and provides support.