Should I Worry About Hyperkeratosis?

A hyperkeratotic condition is one that pertains to or is connected with suffering from hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is the excessive keratin formation on the surface of the skin as witnessed in a number of dermatological conditions. It is the appearance of thickened, horny, verruca-like scales (for example, warts and calluses) over the entire body, concentrated in flexural areas. This thickening of the outer layer of the skin may occur as an inherited disorder affecting the soles of the feet. Thus it may result from normal use (corns, calluses), chronic inflammation (eczema), or genetic disorders (X-linked ichthyosis, ichthyosis vulgaris).

This condition mostly occurs in women with brown skin predominantly those from the Latina, Asian or African communities. The thickening of the skin protects it against rubbing, pressure and irritation. The majority of the forms of hyperkeratosis are painless. Although hyperkeratosis may occur anywhere on the skin, there are several areas that are typically involved. The elbows and knees are common sites for thickening of the skin. Hyperpigmentation accompanies this type of hyperkeratosis which is due to repeated leaning on the elbows and kneeling on the knees.

If you want to get treatment it would be best to go to the doctor first and after an examination, he can determine the best treatment method. Some hyperkeratosis has no treatment while others are can be treated using different available methods although ultimately, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent the condition, do not kneel on elbows and knees, and if necessary kneel on a pad and never rub or scrub the areas. It is advisable to always wear low healed shoes so that your weight is distributed on your soles and to avoid tight shoes around the toes or the sides of the feet. It is important to apply moleskin on the places where the feet are being rubbed and never to walk bare feet.

For treatment to be determined, some factors are important. First is the type of hyperkeratosis, second the location, third the severity and finally the cause. Treatment is meant to soften the keratin and this can be achieved using topical creams that have salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (lactic or glycolic acid), urea, or tretinoin. For brown skin due to discoloration, skin lightening creams can be used. Salicylic acid is very common in hyperkeratosis treatments and is a keratolytic agent that it breaks up or lyses the keratin and improves the shedding of thickened skin and softens it. Salex Cream or Lotion, a formulation of salicylic acid is time released as opposed to being spike released and reduces water loss from the skin and increase skin hydration.

Hyperkeratosis, abnormal thickening of the skin is disheartening and causes mental discomfort to women with brown skin and should either be avoided or treated sooner.

HyperkeratosisHyperkeratosis Further Reading:

Hyperkeratosis – Actinic Keratosis

Hyperkeratosis – Seborrheic Keratosis