Hair and Skin Care

How to Treat Pitted Keratolysis at Home?

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:57 am

Pitted keratolysis is a skin condition that affects the soles of your feet. Because of this disease, the skin on the forefoot or heel turns white with pitted clusters. This is often accompanied by an offensive odor and is worse when the skin is wet. This odor is the main reason patients seek treatment for this skin condition. If left untreated, this can last for many years.

People who suffer from excessive sweating and those who wear closed shoes for extended durations have a high risk of suffering from this condition. Pitted Keratolysis is a bacterial infection where the bacteria multiply in moist conditions and release enzymes that destroy the horny cells of the foot soles.

With time, this turns into characteristic crater like pits on the skin. They also produce sulphur compounds simultaneously that lead to the odor. Treatment for this skin condition can be categorized under medicinal treatments and home remedies.

Who’s at Risk for Pitted Keratolysis?

Pitted keratolysis is a skin condition affecting the soles of the feet and, less commonly, the palms of the hands. It is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin and may give off an unpleasant odor. Pitted keratolysis can occur in people of any race, any age, and either sex, though it is more common in males. Conditions that make people more likely to develop pitted keratolysis include:

  • Sweaty feet
  • Humid weather
  • Unventilated footwear, such as rubber boots or vinyl shoes
  • Athletes and military personnel develop pitted keratolysis most commonly

Signs and Symptoms of Pitted Keratolysis

The most common locations for pitted keratolysis include:

  • Pressure-bearing sites on the soles of the feet, especially the heels
  • Non-pressure-bearing sites on the soles of the feet
  • Palms of the hands
  • In these areas, the condition appears as white patches studded with small (0.5–5 mm), shallow pits in the superficial skin. These pits can sometimes join (coalesce) to form larger, crater-like lesions.

Pitted keratolysis may occasionally be itchy or painful. The foot odor often associated with pitted keratolysis may be socially embarrassing.

Medicinal Remedies For Pitted Keratolysis

  1. The way to treat this disease is to treat the hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating that triggers it.
  2. Topical fusidic acid ointments or clotrimazole ointments can also provide some relief.
  3. Your doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics to clear stubborn lesions.
  4. Other treatment options include anti-bacterial soap and injectable botulinum toxin. Using a strong antiperspirant with aluminum chloride can also resolve the issue.

Home Remedies For Pitted Keratolysis

  1. The first thing you must do if you suffer from this condition is keep your feet dry. Wearing socks with your shoes is a good idea, as this keeps your feet dry and ventilated. Thus, keeping the bacteria from multiplying. After having a bath, pay special attention to drying your feet. You could even use a hair dryer on your feet.
  2. Wash your feet with soap and water at least twice a day. You could also use an antiseptic cleanser or antibacterial soap.
  3. Try to reduce the number of hours you wear closed shoes. Wear open-toed sandals. Do not wear the same shoes for two days in a row without giving them time to dry out.
  4. If possible, change your socks at least once in the day.
  5. Do not share footwear or towels with anyone else.
  6. Apply antiperspirants to the soles of your feet.
  7. Soak your feet in half a bucket of water with 15-20 drops of tea tree oil.
Self Care Tips to Prevent Pitted Keratolysis

With pitted keratolysis, keeping the feet as dry as possible is important.

  1. Wear absorbent cotton socks and change them frequently.
  2. Wear wool socks, which may wick moisture away from the foot.
  3. Wash the feet with antibacterial soap or antiseptic cleanser daily.
  4. Consider using a hairdryer to dry feet thoroughly after washing.
  5. Apply antiperspirant to the soles of the feet daily.
  6. Minimize the use of tight-fitting, unventilated footwear. (Try sandals if possible.)
  7. Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes 2 days in a row.
  8. Avoid sharing towels and footwear with others.

With some combination of these treatments, the skin lesions and odor of pitted keratolysis usually disappear within 4 weeks.

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