Hyperkeratosis is a skin condition is where the skin is thickened at the outer layer. This occurs when the body produces a lot of keratin as a defense mechanism against irritation, infection and chronic inflammation. There are different types of hyperkeratosis. There are corns and calluses, lichen planus, warts, actinic keratosis and seborrheic keratosis.
Hyperkeratosis is painless and at most times it goes unnoticed. It mostly affects parts of the body that are easily subjected to friction like the elbow, knees and the soles of the feet. Diagnosis for this skin disorder is easily done just by looking at the skin and biopsy is rarely necessary. However, biopsy can be performed just to be extra sure.
Hyperkeratosis can be prevented in many ways. Hyperkeratosis mostly affects parts of the body that are subjected to friction. The elbows are one of the parts. To prevent hyperkeratosis in the elbows, ensure that you avoid resting heavily on your elbows at all times. If you have to lean your elbows as you seek rest, ensure that you do this on a surface that offers good support and above all, cushioned.
Hyperkeratosis also affects the feet and it shows through corns and calluses. Friction in the feet is mostly caused by tight fitting shoes. You should always wear shoes that fit you correctly and give free space for your feet inside there. The perfect shoes are the ones that let your feet ‘dance’ a bit inside.
You should avoid always walking bare foot. The ground causes friction to your feet and putting you at risk of hyperkeratosis. Always ensure that you wear shoes or sandals at all times even when you are out of the pool or in your house.
Do not subject your body to irritating chemicals. The chemicals tend to affect your feet by harming the skin. As a defense measure, your skin produces keratin to counter the irritation and return the normal hardness of the skin. Harsh soaps are also not good for the skin as they irritate it.
Hyperkeratosis is caused by deficiency in vitamin A and chronic exposure to arsenic. Ensure that you take foods rich in vitamin A and also preventing things that have arsenic in them. Some pesticides and insecticides have arsenic in them. Be careful as you use them.
Finally, preventing hyperkeratosis is a simple task. All you need to know is know the causes and avoid them.