Hyperkeratosis Treatment Options

Hyperkeratosis is thickening of the skin and can appear in many forms on various areas on the body. The treatment depends on the type of hyperkeratosis you are suffering from and the possible cause of the condition. Treatment for mild forms of the condition may be sought through the use of scrubs and lotions. More serious cases may require treatment by a professional. Consult a health professional such as a GP, dermatologist or pharmacist for diagnosis and advice on how to treat your specific form of hyperkeratosis.


Corns and calluses are hyperkeratosis forms which manifest on the feet. Use padding next to the affected area to manage pain. Wear comfortable footwear and avoid friction. Always wear suitable shoes and avoid walking in bare feet, especially on hard surfaces.  Ointments available over-the-counter can reduce friction while medicated pads can also be used to soften the skin layers and make them easier to remove. Don’t attempt to cut or shave off a corn or callus yourself. This can be dangerous. It is best to consult a professional for treatment of this nature. A range of acid preparations are available to reduce corns and calluses. These can be bought over the counter or prescribed. Common prescription treatments contain salicylic acid, lactic acid and collodion. Over-the-counter treatments contain weaker acids, such as trichloroacetic acid. Take care when using these preparations to treat hyperkeratosis as they can be harmful. Products with acid in them are not advisable for patients who have diabetes.


Warts are another form of hyperkeratosis. Health care professional can remove warts for you in one of the following ways: freezing them with liquid nitrogen, vaporizing them with a laser or trimming them away surgically. Whichever treatment is used, if the layer of skin infected with the wart virus is not treated properly the wart may reform. Repeat treatments could be necessary. Non-prescription remedies are also available for warts. Self-treatment will take longer than professional treatment but this can be an effective way of preventing a wart from returning after you have received professional treatment.


Hyperkeratosis conditions that result in thickened areas of skin or keratosis pilaris can be treated through the application of topical creams that contain salicylic acid, urea, lactic acid or glycolic acid. Salicylic acid enhances shedding of the skin and softens skin. Urea creams increase the water content in the skin and soften the skin in this way. Urea can irritate healthy skin so take care in the application of this treatment. Lactic and glycolic acid are both alpha-hydroxy acids which increase shedding of the thickened skin.


Keratosis polaris is hereditary so treatment may not resolve the condition entirely. However, exfoliating and keeping the area hydrated will be beneficial to this condition of hyperkeratosis.


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