The thickening of the external layer of the skin is known as hyperkeratosis. This layer comprises keratin, a type of protein produced in excess due to different reasons. Hyperkeratosis could develop later in life; however, it could be a genetic condition for some. At times, it could also be an early sign of some serious skin condition.
The following are some different types of hyperkeratosis:
Corns and calluses
A type of lesion, corns usually develop on or between the toes. It has a center lesion made of hard keratin, accompanied by an outer ring of skin tissue that is comparatively softer. Calluses, on the other hand, are areas of thickened skin that normally affect the feet. However, they can also form on fingers. Unlike corns that have varying levels of texture, callus is evenly thick.
In this condition, the body develops dry and scaly skin patches. The exact cause of eczema is undetermined. However, medical investigators believe that it could be a result of environmental or genetic factors.
Actinic keratosis is a skin disorder where tiny, scaly, and reddish bumps form on the skin. This happens if the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays for prolonged periods. These should be inspected by a dermatologist as they could be an indicator of precancerous growths.
These are tiny black or brown patches that often develop on the face, neck, shoulders, or back. Seborrheic keratosis can come across as a cause of concern; however, they are noncancerous. In adults, it is one of the most common benign growths that develop on the skin.
Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis is a skin condition that is observed at birth. Infants typically develop blisters and reddish skin. There are two types of hyperkeratosis, that is, PS-type epidermolytic hyperkeratosis and NPS-type epidermolytic hyperkeratosis. The PS-type affects the hands and feet of the newborn. On the other hand, NPS-type hyperkeratosis will develop thick skin patches on other parts of the body.
Also called goose flesh, keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin disorder. In this condition, excessive keratin in the body leads to the development of tiny bumps on the skin. Typically, keratosis pilaris affects the upper arms. However, it might also form on the buttocks and legs.
In this condition, a single bump appears on the skin, usually on the face. This condition, in most cases, is observed among middle-aged or elderly individuals. The good part is that follicular hyperkeratosis growths are noncancerous.
An autoimmune, inflammatory disorder, psoriasis develops scaly patches that are itchy and might have blisters too. Researchers believe that an abnormal immune system response, that is, the attack of white blood cells on healthy skin cells, is responsible for psoriasis. However, it is still unclear as to what causes the immune system to behave in this manner.
Hyperkeratosis, in most cases, is nothing to worry about and can be effectively managed with the help of medications and lifestyle changes. However, at times, the hyperkeratosis growths might resemble cancerous ones. Therefore, it is important that one gets them evaluated by a dermatologist.
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