Hyperkeratosis is a condition in which the skin thickens as a result of constant friction and it is more a defensive mechanism than a condition. There is an excessive production of keratin thus causing the thickening of the skin. There are a few different forms of hyperkeratosis, some worse than others from small bumps on the skin known as pilaris keratosis to thick growths called seborrheic keratosis. The milder condition is the easiest to treat or keep at bay. The bumps resemble acne and are usually dark in color. Women of African descent are more likely to develop them than anyone else. It is not a dangerous condition however it may be irritating and it is frustrating to treat. Although it may be a condition known to come back even after it’s been treated, there are some medicines that can be used to keep it at bay.
This is a condition that cannot be simply cured because it is neither a disease nor an infection in the first place. There are some simple ointments that can be applied that seem to help. Substances like ammonium lactate can help to smooth the roughness but it will do nothing about the redness. Urea is another substance that can be used and it is very effective as it helps the roughness ease off and it moisturizes the skin beautifully. The only downside is that it will irritate the normal skin surrounding the area unless it is applied methodically. Some topical ointments are meant for temporary use as many of them have adverse side effects and are not advisable for long term use. Topical retinoids are yet another option though they too can cause skin irritation.
Daily care at home
These simple tips will not completely get rid of hyperkeratosis but they will help you make the condition more manageable. During every bath avoid scrubbing the area vigorously. Contrary to what people believe that scrubbing will rid them of the condition, it only serves to worsen it as it causes irritation. Instead after bathing blot the area with a towel and make sure you leave some moisture in. Topically apply a moisturizer of your choice and leave it to soak in as this will help trap in the moisture from bathing. Also try applying lactic acid as this will remove any keratin present and prevent any from forming. Using a humidifier in your home can help with keep the air moist so that your skin doesn’t dry out.
Additional hyperkeratosis treatments you could use would be to invest in hot oil treatments. Treat the area affected by hyperkeratosis with essential oils in order to soften it. Using a body lotion containing glycolic acid can also help to elleviate the hyperkeratosis by gently exfoliating the skin.