Have you ever questioned the way to take away arduous pores and skin and what causes it within the first place? Laborious areas of pores and skin are pretty widespread – from the callused arms and ft of athletes to thick and cracked heels as we age – pores and skin can turn into arduous for a lot of causes. The widespread characteristic of all causes of arduous pores and skin is that the useless pores and skin cell layer is thick, dense and hardens. It’s known as hyperkeratosis and hyperkeratotic arduous pores and skin can crack and turn into painful.
The medical title for arduous pores and skin is hyperkeratosis.
I will clarify the causes of arduous pores and skin and share dermatologist’s ideas for protecting your pores and skin tender and stopping arduous pores and skin from forming.
What is tough pores and skin aka hyperkeratosis?
Areas of arduous skincare attributable to a buildup of extra useless pores and skin cells which have turn into compacted and thick. Some types of arduous pores and skin are restricted totally to the useless pores and skin cell layer of the dermis, which is known as the stratum corneum. Others additionally contain thickening of the residing epidermal layer of squamous and basal cells which can be then coated by extreme hardened and thick useless cells. That is vital to grasp with regards to your expectations for eliminating arduous pores and skin. It is simpler to eliminate the stratum corneum useless cells than it’s to melt and eliminate thickened cells within the residing squamous and basal cell layers.
What are the 5 commonest causes of arduous pores and skin?
- The most typical instance of arduous pores and skin is a callus. A callus is a thickening of the useless cell stratum corneum layer.
- Warts can result in arduous pores and skin. These are on account of a viral an infection of pores and skin from the human papillomavirus that additionally thickens the residing epidermal cell layer below the stratum corneum.
- Elbow and knee pores and skin can turn into thick and darkish and has been described as frictional asymptomatic darkening of the extensor surfaces. It can run in households. The pores and skin of elbows and knees is all the time thicker however when the useless cell layer turns into excessively thickened and callused the pores and skin turns into arduous. Friction usually performs a task.
Seborrheic keratosis, a kind of age spots, are warty growths that may kind arduous crusty pores and skin. We do not know what causes these growths of arduous pores and skin however they’re structured like a wart with thickening of each the epidermal and stratum corneum useless cell layer. These growths are sometimes brown and scaly.
- Prurigo nodules, additionally known as picker’s nodules, are areas of arduous pores and skin on account of long run scratching of a small space of pores and skin. These nodules turn into intensely itchy, resulting in extra scratching and extra arduous pores and skin buildup. Prurigo nodules contain a thickening of each the dermis and useless cell layer and are sometimes a brawny reddish colour.
What are the sorts of arduous pores and skin on the ft?
The bottoms of your ft are significantly susceptible to develop arduous pores and skin. This will occur from callouses secondary to repetitive rubbing in opposition to your sneakers, thick heels from each friction and pores and skin growing older, corns and warts.
1. Calluses on the ft
Laborious pores and skin from foot callus might be protecting and assist forestall a friction blister. Once they get too giant, they turn into painful and crack. The big toe and the ball of the foot are significantly susceptible to painful frictional calluses.
2. Thickened heel pores and skin
The pores and skin in your heels can turn into arduous and thick, resulting in cracks and painful fissures. It occurs from each friction and the growing older course of. Ladies after menopause are significantly inclined and the situation presently of life is known as keratoderma climactericum.
3. Plantar warts
Warts are one other kind of arduous pores and skin that generally occur on the ft. These are attributable to a viral an infection of the pores and skin and might be contagious to different areas of your sole. The wart virus is known as the human papillomavirus and there are over 100 sorts so far. Warts on the soles (and palms) are known as palmoplantar warts. They’re attributable to a small subset of the massive human papillomavirus household.
4. Laborious and tender corns
Corns are a type of arduous pores and skin on the foot that occurs from weight bearing in opposition to a bony defect. You turn into extra susceptible to corns with age because the bones in your ft shift into new positions, typically aggravated by poorly becoming footwear that put irregular stress on the pores and skin. Corns usually kind on the ball of the foot, the highest of the toes. Once they kind between the toes, the pores and skin is sweatier and moist making the corn softer. These corns are known as ‘tender corns’. Tender corns are nonetheless painful. The arduous pores and skin of all corns in the end grows inward to kind a ‘corn’ that jabs into your foot and that may be very painful.
Why is it vital to take away arduous pores and skin?
Laborious pores and skin can construct as much as the purpose the place it’s painful. Your pores and skin cannot preserve this thickened hyperkeratosis tender and the arduous pores and skin is susceptible to crack, fissure and even turn into contaminated. Placing stress on arduous pores and skin normally hurts, whether or not it’s a wart, callus or corn.
The best way to eliminate arduous pores and skin?
It is vital to melt and exfoliate the useless pores and skin cells of arduous pores and skin to stop cracking and discomfort. This needs to be achieved progressively as soon as the arduous pores and skin has constructed up. The tactic used is determined by the trigger and site of the arduous pores and skin.
To assist the useless pores and skin cells to slough, we use skincare merchandise with keratolytic substances to melt and put together the pores and skin for exfoliation. Keratolytics are substances that break aside the connections between the useless cells in order that they will shed naturally. The method might be sped up with bodily exfoliation utilizing both a bathe fabric or sponge, or a pumice or file, relying on the situation of the issue.
Keratolytic substances for arduous pores and skin
Essentially the most generally used keratolytics in dermatology embody salicylic acid (a BHA), glycolic acid and lactic acid (AHAs). Medical grade AHA and BHA merchandise are the perfect house treatment merchandise for eliminating arduous pores and skin. Salicylic acid is usually what’s utilized in wart and corn remedy merchandise. Glycolic acid is the perfect keratolytic ingredient general to deal with arduous pores and skin as a result of it penetrates pores and skin nicely and is a strong keratolytic. You possibly can velocity the method through the use of an exfoliating bathe sponge or fabric in your physique and/or pumice or foot file in your ft to cut back the buildup of useless cells.
The most effective house treatment for arduous pores and skin is to use a medical-grade glycolic acid cream after every tub or bathe and to exfoliate the pores and skin on the first signal of arduous pores and skin buildup. – Dermatologist Dr. Bailey
The best way to eliminate arduous pores and skin in your ft
I rely upon the routine in my Tender and Clean Toes Equipment. I’ve mixed medical grade glycolic acid with a extremely nice pumice stone and a foot file. This equipment helps management calluses and tough cracked heels. My directions are as follows:
Step 1: First soak your foot in heat water for 10 minutes. Then gently rub the pumice stone over the areas of arduous pores and skin. Watch out to not exfoliate too deeply and injure the residing pores and skin beneath. Additionally, diabetics and folks with peripheral neuropathy ought to seek the advice of their doctor earlier than submitting areas just like the ft.
Step 2: Apply the Glycolic Acid Physique Lotion after submitting to proceed softening and treating the world till the arduous pores and skin is managed. Cowl your ft with sox in order that your ft aren’t slippery.
Repeat this as wanted till your pores and skin is tender and the arduous pores and skin is gone.
The best way to eliminate arduous pores and skin in your arms, legs or physique
I mix the medical-grade Glycolic Acid Physique Lotion with exfoliation with a bathe fabric and an AHA/BHA pores and skin cleanser for arduous pores and skin on the physique. The routine is in my Extremely-Quick Physique Smoothing Equipment.
To deal with arduous pores and skin from warts, corns and cussed age spots, I like to recommend you see your physician.
The best way to eliminate arduous pores and skin calluses in your arms
Keep in mind that calluses are protecting. Individuals who work and play arduous with their arms typically get calluses to guard hand pores and skin from friction blisters on account of repetitive use – assume musicians, carpenters, athletes and so forth. You do not wish to take away your entire hand callus for those who want it however you’ll be able to management its dimension to assist preserve it from changing into painful.
My Dry Pores and skin Hand Restore Equipment comes with the perfect hand lotion to melt hand pores and skin, Bag Balm and gloves for intensive nighttime pores and skin softening and the proper finger file to exfoliate the callus and management its dimension. If wanted, you may as well use the Glycolic Acid Physique Lotion after showers to harness its keratolytic properties for environment friendly callus exfoliation with the file.
How do you forestall arduous pores and skin?
Stop arduous pores and skin by frequently making use of a medical-grade glycolic acid cream after your tub or bathe. Use the cream the place you might be susceptible to getting arduous pores and skin. At all times apply the cream inside 3 minutes after toweling pores and skin dry for greatest outcomes. When moisturizing your ft, all the time put on sox to stop slipping! Exfoliate the world as wanted to stop arduous pores and skin buildup.
The skincare routines in my two kits above are extremely efficient for eradicating arduous pores and skin on the physique and ft when used a minimum of twice per week.
On the times that you’re not utilizing the keratolytic and exfoliation skincare routine, I like to recommend utilizing lotions and ointments that comprise pores and skin softening substances. These embody lanolin, urea and oils.
Pores and skin softening lotions for arduous pores and skin
Urea is a pores and skin softening ingredient that will also be useful. In excessive concentrations (over 30%), equivalent to wart and corn medicines, it’s also a keratolytic.
Lanolin is one other nice ingredient to melt arduous pores and skin. Time-honored Bag Balm Ointment incorporates lanolin and is great to melt arduous pores and skin and forestall cracking. It is very important know that it’s potential to develop an allergic pores and skin rash to lanolin.
The botanical oils present in physique butters are wonderful pores and skin softening substances. My Pure Physique Butter Cream is wealthy in avocado oil and shea butter to assist preserve pores and skin tender and supple. It may be used from head to toe.
When do it is advisable see a physician for arduous pores and skin?
See a physician if the arduous pores and skin received’t soften and resolve, if it fissures, and/or if it retains rising; pores and skin growths, together with pores and skin most cancers, can mimic arduous pores and skin from callouses, age spots, warts or prurigo nodules. Athlete’s foot, psoriasis and different treatable pores and skin rashes may also result in the event of arduous pores and skin. A physician may also help make an accurate prognosis in case your arduous pores and skin fails to enhance. Corn and wart care is greatest directed by your physician.
Al Aboud AM, Nigam PK. Wart. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Accessible from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431047/
Yousef H, Alhajj M, Sharma S. Anatomy, Pores and skin (Integument), Dermis. [Updated 2021 Nov 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Accessible from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470464/
Piquero-Casals, J., Morgado-Carrasco, D., Granger, C. et al. Urea in Dermatology: A Evaluation of its Emollient, Moisturizing, Keratolytic, Pores and skin Barrier Enhancing and Antimicrobial Properties. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 11, 1905–1915 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-021-00611-y
Writer: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Licensed dermatologist working towards dermatology since 1987. She has achieved nicely over 200,000 pores and skin exams throughout her profession and authors the longest working doctor written pores and skin well being weblog on this planet.