Hyperkeratosis is a thickening of the skin due to an excessive accumulation of a protective protein called keratin. Your skin forms keratin to protect against rubbing, pressure and other irritation. Irritating chemicals, chronic inflammation, infection and excessive sunlight can also cause hyperkeratosis.
Elbows, knees, palms and heels are the areas most commonly affected because they tend to bear a lot of weight. Calluses, corns and a darkening of the skin often develop, which can be unattractive. Wearing comfortable shoes and protecting your skin from rubbing can help prevent hyperkeratosis. Avoid too much leaning on your elbows and knees so they don’t thicken.
If you have hyperkeratosis on your feet, a product with glycolic acid, like NeoStrata – Foot Gel Plus AHA 15, can help relieve your dry, thickened heels and moisturize for a smoother surface. For all other areas, use NeoStrata – Gel Plus AHA 15 for the same type of relief. Call a health care professional if your corns or calluses are painful or if you notice a thickening of your foot, which looks like a plantar wart – these conditions might require special treatment. As long as you take the time to prevent and treat symptoms, your skin will look smooth and supple.