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Hyperkeratosis, what is it? Types, Symptoms and Treatment of Hyperkeratosis

What it is?

Hyperkeratosis is a condition of the superficial layer of the skin, expressed in an increase in the number of keratin cells of the stratum corneum of the epidermis without changing their structure, leading to thickening of the skin of the affected area. With hyperkeratosis, the skin loses its elasticity, becomes slightly hardy (rigid), its sensitivity to external stimuli decreases.

The concept of hyperkeratosis is associated not only with skin changes. With the development of a pathological process in epithelial cells lining the cervix, they also talk about the presence of hyperkeratosis.

Virtually any person with age or under the influence of unfavorable factors may be noted increased physiological keratinization of the skin of the feet and palms. People with internal metabolic diseases, especially diabetes mellitus , are at a higher risk of developing hyperkeratosis.


Hyperkeratosis skin photo

Widespread hyperkeratosis with the most common skin disease - fungal skin damage and nail fungus, is available for every fifth person on Earth.

Hyperkeratosis of the epithelium of the genital organs occurs, according to different authors, from 5 to 12.5% ​​of all diseases of the cervix.


diffuse hyperkeratosis

photo of a diffuse form of hyperkeratosis

By the mechanism of education, hyperkeratosis happens:

  • Excess formation of keratin - proliferative hyperkeratosis;
  • Delay of rejection of horny cells - retention hyperkeratosis.

By prevalence:

  • Limited - corns, keratomas, warts;
  • Common or diffuse - large surfaces are affected, for example, the skin of the feet, back, limbs, or the whole body, which is observed with ichthyosis.

By type:

  • Follicular;
  • Hyperokeratosis of the feet;
  • Subungual;
  • Seborrheic;
  • Hyperkeratosis of the cervix.


Causes of hyperkeratosis

Endogenous factors, that is, having an origin within the body, contribute to changes in the functioning of the cells of the surface layer of the skin. This process can only be affected by treatment of the causative disease, which will slow the rate of formation of keratinizing cells and improve their exfoliation.

Internal causes can be the following diseases and conditions:

  • Heredity, genetic inclination;
  • Diabetes;
  • Atherosclerosis of the vessels of the legs;
  • Flat feet , Hallux valgus ("bumps" of the big toes), ligamentous apparatus diseases and deformities of the leg bones;
  • Fungal lesions of the skin and nails;
  • Ichthyosis, keratoderma, psoriasis, Devergie's disease (red hair follicle);
  • Insufficient production of thyroid hormones ( hypothyroidism );
  • Hypovitaminosis A.

Exogenous factors , that is, being outside the body and not dependent on it, are most common. The most common cause is excessive pressure on the skin cells, stimulating the growth of keratin cells and leading to thickening of the skin.

When this effect is eliminated, the normal process of cell formation and slimming is restored.

Hyperkeratosis of the foot

External reasons include:

  • Tight, uncomfortable shoes;
  • High heel;
  • Excessive pressure on the foot due to excess weight;
  • Friction of clothes;
  • Excessive fascination with sunburn, leading to accelerated aging of cells;
  • Reducing the natural pH of the skin with aggressive detergents;
  • Smoking - affects the skin from the inside, but is initiated by a person from the outside.

Especially actively provokes the development of hyperkeratosis, a combination of exogenous and endogenous causes. For example, wearing uncomfortable shoes for patients suffering from diabetes and obesity.

Causes of hyperkeratosis of the cervix:

  • Violations of the menstrual cycle: oligomenorrhea, insufficiency of the 2-phase cycle, impaired function of the pituitary-ovarian system;
  • Postponed earlier, inflammatory diseases of the genital organs;
  • Recurrent pseudo-erosions, as well as their excessive treatment, diathermocoagulation, especially without taking into account the indications.

Follicular hyperkeratosis of the skin

Follicular hyperkeratosis of the skin

a photo

The appearance of signs in this form of hyperkeratosis is due to the clogging of the corneal follicles with keratinized scales, which leads to the formation of characteristic dry cones-thorns, which, when palpated, create a "grater syndrome" due to the uneven surface and sharp points of the spinules.

The size of these formations is small and they are hardly noticeable. The usual location for follicular hyperkeratosis is the skin of the posterior surface of the shoulders, subacodial folds, knees, the outer surface of the thighs, elbows, that is, areas of the skin initially prone to dryness.

Usually the lesions are painless and do not bring significant discomfort. With a common lesion, follicular hyperkeratosis of the skin can bring aesthetic discomfort.

Injury of horny formations is dangerous by the infection and development of the inflammation of the follicle mouth. In this case, there is the appearance of point redness, pustules and soreness of the affected area.

Hyperkeratosis of the foot or plantar hyperkeratosis

Hyperkeratosis of the foot

Signs of hyperkeratosis of the feet:

Dry callus - often located in places that are the reference points of the bones: heels, the space under the fingers in the area of ​​metatarsophalangeal joints (where the foot connects to the fingers).

The skin in these places undergoes high pressure, being squeezed between the supporting surface and the bone. As a result, formation is formed with a clear boundary, consisting of compressed keratinized scales.

Corn is characterized by uniform thickness and yellow color, can be accompanied by painful sensations, especially with increasing pressure on the affected area and the formation of cracks.

Rod corn - is a dry callus, in the center of which is formed a semitransparent solid rod, consisting of horny masses.

The corners of the corn are even, the boundaries are clear. Characterized by sharp soreness with vertical pressure, which is due to the impact of the horn rod on the nerve endings inside the skin.

The formation of corns is affected by the soles of the sole in the area of ​​the metatarsal-phalanx joints, the so-called "foot pad", the lateral areas of 1-5 fingers, the skin of the toes at the rear of the foot above the joints between the phalanges, especially when the "hammer-shaped" deformation of these fingers.

The soft corn is localized between the fingers, where there is a high humidity, therefore on it there are sites of ulceration (maceration), which cause permanent pronounced soreness, burning.

It is often complicated by the attachment of infection and the development of inflammation.

Cracks are a complication of common hyperkeratosis of the foot, usually develop around the heel. Cracks can bleed, get wet, become infected and cause severe soreness and discomfort.

Squamous form of foot mycosis, is observed in diabetes mellitus. With this form on the skin of the arch of the foot appear flat dry plaques and thickened spots (papules), having a blue-red color and covered with scales of gray color.

On the edge of the plaques, you can identify a kind of "curb" from the peeled cells. These rashes can be combined and occupy a large area, and sometimes the entire sole, back and sides of the foot. Along with such manifestations, patients can have dry yellow corns with cracks.

With subungual hyperkeratosis, the most common cause is fungal nail damage. It is also observed in injuries and dystrophy of the nail plate. Sign of the pathological process will be a gradual thickening of the nail, starting from its edge.

In response to the multiplication of fungal flora, keratinocytes begin to intensively divide and form a mass of horny epithelium of gray-yellow color, which accumulates under the nail plate, lifting the latter and creating a visible thickening of the nail.

Subungual hyperkeratosis can occur not only on the feet, but also on the hands.

Seborrheic hyperkeratosis

It is manifested by the appearance of spots, plaques and nodules, ranging in size from 2-3 mm to several centimeters, which grow very slowly. The foci have clear, well defined boundaries, the surface is uneven and resembles warts.

The color of the formations is brown, from light to dark, from above they are covered with horn corks and dry keratin.

Hyperkeratosis of flat epithelium

Hyperkeratosis of flat epithelium

Hyperkeratosis of the flat epithelium of the cervix is ​​detected only with gynecological examination. He usually does not cause any symptoms and uncomfortable sensations, in a small number of patients there may be copious transparent secretions.

To confirm the diagnosis, a scraping of epithelial cells is taken, which is sent to a cytological study.

Treatment of skin hyperkeratosis, drugs

Foretal-plus in the treatment of hyperkeratosis of the feet

Common in the treatment of hyperkeratosis of different forms will be the effect on the cause of appearance. The patient needs consultations of a dermatologist, endocrinologist, therapist, in some cases - an orthopedist and a surgeon.

1. Treatment of follicular hyperkeratosis implies:

  • The use of vitamins A and E is external in the form of ointments and inward, in the form of oily solutions;
  • Pilling with fruit and lactic acids, well exfoliating keratinized cells;
  • Moisturizing lotions and creams.

. The use of hard cleansing pumice and scrubs with solid particles can lead to trauma and suppuration of the follicles, so it is categorically contraindicated .

2. Treatment of hyperkeratosis of the feet:

  • Elimination of excess pressure on the foot;
  • Selection of comfortable shoes;
  • Regular removal of coarse skin by yourself using scrubs, saws, grinding apparatus, special blades, or in a pedicure cabinet;
  • Patients with diabetes mellitus for the treatment of feet are contraindicated in the use of sharp objects: scissors, blades, due to reduced sensitivity of the skin and a high risk of injury. You can independently use saws, scrubs, soft softeners, pumice and scrapers.
  • The best option would be the possibility of visiting a doctor - a podiatrist (engaged exclusively in the treatment of feet) of the "Diabetic foot" cabinet for hygienic treatment of the feet;
  • External treatment with preparations with urea: concentration of 2-10% gives a good moisturizing effect, concentration of 40% - pronounced keratolytic and antifungal effect (used in the complex treatment of mycoses). The cream "Foretal-plus" well relieves rough skin on the heels due to a combination of urea in a concentration of 25% with phospholipids, which makes it effective for softening the horny layers, and for moisturizing the skin.
  • Treatment of foot and nail fungus - use of antimycotic drugs inside: introconazole, fluconazole , terbinafine; removal of the affected part of the nail (set "Mikospor"); local application of medicinal varnishes Lotseril, Batrafen, ointments and creams Lamizil, Exoderyl, etc.

3. Treatment of seborrheic hyperkeratosis consists in carrying out various types of coagulation:

  • Laser;
  • Cryo;
  • Chemical;
  • Electrocoagulation.

4. Treatment of cervical hyperkeratosis:

  • Elimination of the inflammatory process, depending on the type of pathogen used: antibiotics, antiviral, antifungal, antichlamydia and other drugs;
  • Laser coagulation is a painless and most effective method, which is recommended to give preference;
  • Cryotherapy is also a painless and very effective method, but has the disadvantage - a fairly frequent return of the pathological process in patients with a disrupted cycle;
  • Efficacy of 74% has the use of solkovagine, which has a local chemical effect. The treatment painlessly and completely destroys the focus of hyperkeratosis;
  • Surgical treatment is performed with pronounced changes in the cervix.

A widely used diathermocoagulation is now considered as a possible, but undesirable, method with many negative consequences.

It is necessary to refrain from the use of funds, stimulating the growth of cells: rosehip oil, ointments with aloe, sea buckthorn oil. The use of these drugs can provoke increased division and cell growth and lead to dysplasia of the cervix.


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