Have you ever questioned easy methods to take away arduous pores and skin and what causes it within the first place? Laborious areas of pores and skin are pretty frequent – from the callused fingers and ft of athletes to thick and cracked heels as we age – pores and skin can grow to be arduous for a lot of causes. The frequent characteristic of all causes of arduous pores and skin is that the lifeless pores and skin cell layer is thick, dense and hardens. It’s referred to as hyperkeratosis and hyperkeratotic arduous pores and skin can crack and grow to be painful.
The medical identify for arduous pores and skin is hyperkeratosis.
I’ll clarify the causes of arduous pores and skin and share dermatologist’s suggestions for preserving your pores and skin gentle and stopping arduous pores and skin from forming.
What is tough pores and skin aka hyperkeratosis?
Areas of arduous skincare brought on by a buildup of extra lifeless pores and skin cells which have grow to be compacted and thick. Some types of arduous pores and skin are restricted totally to the lifeless pores and skin cell layer of the dermis, which is named 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 lifeless cells. That is necessary to know in relation to your expectations for eliminating arduous pores and skin. It is simpler to eliminate the stratum corneum lifeless 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 lifeless cell stratum corneum layer.
- Warts can result in arduous pores and skin. These are attributable to a viral an infection of pores and skin from the human papillomavirus that additionally thickens the residing epidermal cell layer beneath the stratum corneum.
- Elbow and knee pores and skin can grow to be 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 lifeless cell layer turns into excessively thickened and callused the pores and skin turns into arduous. Friction sometimes performs a job.
Seborrheic keratosis, a sort of age spots, are warty growths that may type 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 lifeless cell layer. These growths are sometimes brown and scaly.
- Prurigo nodules, additionally referred to as picker’s nodules, are areas of arduous pores and skin attributable to long run scratching of a small space of pores and skin. These nodules grow to be intensely itchy, resulting in extra scratching and extra arduous pores and skin buildup. Prurigo nodules contain a thickening of each the dermis and lifeless cell layer and are sometimes a brawny reddish colour.
What are the kinds of arduous pores and skin on the ft?
The bottoms of your ft are significantly liable to develop arduous pores and skin. This could occur from callouses secondary to repetitive rubbing in opposition to your sneakers, thick heels from each friction and pores and skin growing old, corns and warts.
1. Calluses on the ft
Laborious pores and skin from foot callus may be protecting and assist forestall a friction blister. Once they get too giant, they grow to be painful and crack. The big toe and the ball of the foot are significantly liable to painful frictional calluses.
2. Thickened heel pores and skin
The pores and skin in your heels can grow to be arduous and thick, resulting in cracks and painful fissures. It occurs from each friction and the growing old course of. Ladies after menopause are significantly inclined and the situation presently of life is named keratoderma climactericum.
3. Plantar warts
Warts are one other kind of arduous pores and skin that generally occur on the ft. These are brought on by a viral an infection of the pores and skin and may be contagious to different areas of your sole. The wart virus is named the human papillomavirus and there are over 100 sorts to this point. Warts on the soles (and palms) are referred to as palmoplantar warts. They’re brought on by a small subset of the massive human papillomavirus household.
4. Laborious and gentle 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 grow to be extra liable to corns with age because the bones in your ft shift into new positions, usually aggravated by poorly becoming footwear that put irregular stress on the pores and skin. Corns sometimes type on the ball of the foot, the highest of the toes. Once they type between the toes, the pores and skin is sweatier and moist making the corn softer. These corns are referred to as ‘gentle corns’. Gentle corns are nonetheless painful. The arduous pores and skin of all corns in the end grows inward to type a ‘corn’ that jabs into your foot and that may be very painful.
Why is it necessary 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 gentle and the arduous pores and skin is liable to crack, fissure and even grow to be 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 necessary to melt and exfoliate the lifeless pores and skin cells of arduous pores and skin to forestall cracking and discomfort. This needs to be finished regularly as soon as the arduous pores and skin has constructed up. The tactic used depends upon the trigger and placement of the arduous pores and skin.
To assist the lifeless 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 lifeless cells in order that they will shed naturally. The method may be sped up with bodily exfoliation utilizing both a bathe material or sponge, or a pumice or file, relying on the placement of the issue.
Keratolytic substances for arduous pores and skin
Probably 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 most effective residence treatment merchandise for eliminating arduous pores and skin. Salicylic acid is usually what’s utilized in wart and corn therapy merchandise. Glycolic acid is the most effective 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 pace the method through the use of an exfoliating bathe sponge or material in your physique and/or pumice or foot file in your ft to scale back the buildup of lifeless cells.
The perfect residence 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 on the routine in my Gentle and Clean Ft Package. I’ve mixed medical grade glycolic acid with a very nice pumice stone and a foot file. This package 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 usually are not slippery.
Repeat this as wanted till your pores and skin is gentle 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 material 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 Package.
If you wish to deal with arduous pores and skin on each your ft and the physique, my Salux Fabric and Pumice Stone are all obtainable individually.
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 fingers
Keep in mind that calluses are protecting. Individuals who work and play arduous with their fingers usually get calluses to guard hand pores and skin from friction blisters attributable to repetitive use – assume musicians, carpenters, athletes and so on. You do not need to take away your entire hand callus should you want it however you may management its measurement to assist preserve it from turning into painful.
My Dry Pores and skin Hand Restore Package comes with the most effective 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 measurement. If wanted, it’s also possible to 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 often making use of a medical-grade glycolic acid cream after your tub or bathe. Use the cream the place you might be liable 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 forestall slipping! Exfoliate the world as wanted to forestall 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 no less than 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 include 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%), akin 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 accommodates lanolin and is great to melt arduous pores and skin and stop cracking. It is very important know that it’s doable 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 gentle and supple. It may be used from head to toe.
When do you could 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 also can result in the event of arduous pores and skin. A physician may help make an accurate analysis 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-. Obtainable 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-. Obtainable from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470464/
Piquero-Casals, J., Morgado-Carrasco, D., Granger, C. et al. Urea in Dermatology: A Evaluate 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
Creator: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board Licensed dermatologist practising dermatology since 1987. She has finished 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 the planet.