A proper regimen for hyperkeratosis treatment necessitates that you know about the disorder and the different types of hyperkeratosis.
To begin with, hyperkeratosis is a skin condition in which the outer layer of the skin thickens. This layer of the skin contains keratin, which is basically a hard protein present in the hair, skin as well as nail cells.
Having a major impact on skin, hyperkeratosis can begin soon after a baby’s birth and can affect skin on the larger areas of the body.
In most of the cases, hyperkeratosis occurs as a secondary reaction, when the skin faces ongoing rubbing, friction, pressure, infection, irritation or even harmful radiation. In fact, experts point out that this localized thickening of the outer layer of the skin is actually your skin’s way of protecting your deeper skin tissues from any damage.
Depending on what caused it and which body part gets affected...
Hyperkeratosis can present itself as:
• Corns and calluses,
(the itchy, bluish-purple, scaly patches on the skin), Actinic keratosis (the flat, red, coarse skin patches) and
As far as the causes of hyperkeratosis are concerned, it can occur either due to genetic or physiological reasons. It can also occur due to certain habit-related factors. For instance, one of the reasons why oral hyperkeratosis is likely to occur is over-brushing. Similarly, cheek hyperkeratosis is likely to occur due to long-term tissue-chewing, which happens when you keep biting the inside of your cheek or lip.
As another possible related factor of hyperkeratosis, vitamin A deficiency can also cause or aggravate the condition.
Key types of hyperkeratosis
In this section, we will talk about some of the most important and common types of hyperkeratosis.
• Follicular hyperkeratosis - A skin condition defined by an excessive development of keratin in the hair follicles. It will usually result in the development of rough, elevated, cone-shaped papules with sebum deposits at the openings.
• Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis - A hereditary skin disorder which is defined by blistering and reactive scaling of the skin, in varying intensities.
• Subungual hyperkeratosis - A scaling that happens under the hyponychium, which is the thickened layer of epidermis beneath the free end of the nail.
• Palmoplantar hyperkeratosis – A heterogeneous group of disorders defined by the thickening of palms and soles.
• Retention hyperkeratosis – A condition which occurs in the acne prone skin when the excessive oil gets clogged inside the pores. However, this condition will occur only in those who are genetically prone to develop acne.
• Cheilitis, which can also occur along with hyperkeratosis. If you have hyperkeratosis with a cheilitis, you will also experience a whitish discoloration of the lip at the border where it meets your facial skin.
In the section that follows, we will give you some of the most important guidelines for hyperkeratosis treatment, starting from some of the very basic tips for prevention.
Observe the below mentioned easy-to-follow preventive measures to avoid development of hyperkeratosis:
• Wear comfortable footwear so that you don’t get corns and calluses
• Avoid direct contact with those having warts
• Do not walk barefoot on floors like those of the gym or pool decks
• Avoid excessive sun exposure
• Avoid using strong soaps or cosmetics, especially if you have symptoms of eczema
If you have been diagnosed with hyperkeratosis, treatment options will be offered according to the type of hyperkeratosis you have. Here, we’ve elaborated on a few basic options:
• Cryosurgery, an effective hyperkeratosis treatment option, especially if you have warts, seborrheic keratosis or actinic keratosis
• Laser therapy or surgical removal, also for warts
• Corticosteroids ointments or creams for chronic eczema and lichen planus
• Salicylic acid for hyperkeratosis feet treatment
• Skin peels and dermabrasion for more advanced cases
By Jasmin Pannu
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