What Is Hyperkeratosis?

Hyperkeratosis is a painless brown patch and thick skin noticed on people’s arms, legs, knees, elbows and faces. It is caused by extreme collection of keratin in the epidermis surface of the skin.  When the skin becomes thickened, it guards it against resistance and irritation.

Hyperkeratosis can be noticed on the elbows and knees joints.  The skin surrounding the elbows and the knees can become thickened due to frequent leaning on them. The skin of the palm can also be thick if the palm is used for hard chores like farming, washing etc. The soles of the feet, and the heels can be thick by walking on floors and other places without wearing shoes and by wearing tight fitting shoes regularly. Hyperkeratosis can also occur in form of keratosis pillaris which can be seen on the arms, thighs and knees.  It appears like an uneven lump on the hair follicle.  The last type of hyperkeratosis is epidermolytic hyperkeratosis which is caused by gene malformation.  There is no known treatment for this type of hyperkeratosis as it is genetically oriented. It can only be managed by taking long baths, using moisturizer to keep the skin soft and to prevent dryness.

When all the above symptoms are noticed, it is better to consult a dermatologist for proper examination and treatment. Preventive methods can also be used to treat hyperkeratosis. For the hyperkeratosis that shows up on the elbows and knees, it is better to stop leaning on them or use a pad to on the elbows and knees.  Proper shoes can be worn on the feet to prevent thickening of the soles of the feet.

Hyperkeratosis can also be treated based on the location on the parts of the body.  The purpose of the treatment is to reduce the thickness of the skin and also eliminate it.  Relevant creams or ointments that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid can be applied on the affected area.  Skin lightening ointments can be used to lighten the effect of hyperkeratosis on the skin. Salicity acid is commonly used for treating hyperkeratosis.  It improves the removal of thickened skin and it makes the skin softer.

Hyperkeratosis is more pronounced and noticed on the skin of women who have brown skins.  Creams containing glycolic acid should be applied on the thickened skins of the palms, sole, elbows and the knees to soften the skin.  People with hyperkeratosis should not ignore it as it can get worsened as time progresses.



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