Have you ever questioned the best way to take away laborious pores and skin and what causes it within the first place? Onerous 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 turn out to be laborious for a lot of causes. The frequent function of all causes of laborious 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 laborious pores and skin can crack and turn out to be painful.
The medical identify for laborious pores and skin is hyperkeratosis.
I will clarify the causes of laborious pores and skin and share dermatologist’s suggestions for conserving your pores and skin mushy and stopping laborious pores and skin from forming.
What is difficult pores and skin aka hyperkeratosis?
Areas of laborious skincare attributable to a buildup of extra lifeless pores and skin cells which have turn out to be compacted and thick. Some types of laborious pores and skin are restricted solely to the lifeless pores and skin cell layer of the dermis, which is known as the stratum corneum. Others additionally contain thickening of the dwelling epidermal layer of squamous and basal cells which might be then coated by extreme hardened and thick lifeless cells. That is necessary to know on the subject of your expectations for eliminating laborious pores and skin. It is simpler to do away with the stratum corneum lifeless cells than it’s to melt and do away with thickened cells within the dwelling squamous and basal cell layers.
What are the 5 most typical causes of laborious pores and skin?
- The commonest instance of laborious pores and skin is a callus. A callus is a thickening of the lifeless cell stratum corneum layer.
- Warts can result in laborious pores and skin. These are as a result of a viral an infection of pores and skin from the human papillomavirus that additionally thickens the dwelling epidermal cell layer beneath the stratum corneum.
- Elbow and knee pores and skin can turn out 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 at all times thicker however when the lifeless cell layer turns into excessively thickened and callused the pores and skin turns into laborious. Friction usually performs a task.
Seborrheic keratosis, a kind of age spots, are warty growths that may kind laborious crusty pores and skin. We do not know what causes these growths of laborious 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 laborious pores and skin as a result of long run scratching of a small space of pores and skin. These nodules turn out to be intensely itchy, resulting in extra scratching and extra laborious 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 forms of laborious pores and skin on the ft?
The bottoms of your ft are notably vulnerable to develop laborious 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
Onerous pores and skin from foot callus will be protecting and assist stop a friction blister. After they get too giant, they turn out to be painful and crack. The big toe and the ball of the foot are notably vulnerable to painful frictional calluses.
2. Thickened heel pores and skin
The pores and skin in your heels can turn out to be laborious and thick, resulting in cracks and painful fissures. It occurs from each friction and the growing older course of. Girls after menopause are notably inclined and the situation presently of life is known as keratoderma climactericum.
3. Plantar warts
Warts are one other sort of laborious pores and skin that generally occur on the ft. These are attributable to a viral an infection of the pores and skin and will be contagious to different areas of your sole. The wart virus is known as the human papillomavirus and there are over 100 sorts thus far. Warts on the soles (and palms) are referred to as palmoplantar warts. They’re attributable to a small subset of the big human papillomavirus household.
4. Onerous and mushy corns
Corns are a type of laborious pores and skin on the foot that occurs from weight bearing in opposition to a bony defect. You turn out to be extra vulnerable 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. After they kind between the toes, the pores and skin is sweatier and moist making the corn softer. These corns are referred to as ‘mushy corns’. Smooth corns are nonetheless painful. The laborious 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 necessary to take away laborious pores and skin?
Onerous pores and skin can construct as much as the purpose the place it’s painful. Your pores and skin cannot maintain this thickened hyperkeratosis mushy and the laborious pores and skin is vulnerable to crack, fissure and even turn out to be contaminated. Placing stress on laborious pores and skin often hurts, whether or not it’s a wart, callus or corn.
How you can do away with laborious pores and skin?
It is necessary to melt and exfoliate the lifeless pores and skin cells of laborious pores and skin to stop cracking and discomfort. This needs to be finished steadily as soon as the laborious pores and skin has constructed up. The tactic used relies on the trigger and placement of the laborious pores and skin.
To assist the lifeless pores and skin cells to slough, we use skincare merchandise with keratolytic components to melt and put together the pores and skin for exfoliation. Keratolytics are components that break aside the connections between the lifeless cells in order that they will shed naturally. The method will be sped up with bodily exfoliation utilizing both a bathe material or sponge, or a pumice or file, relying on the situation of the issue.
Keratolytic components for laborious pores and skin
Essentially the most generally used keratolytics in dermatology embrace salicylic acid (a BHA), glycolic acid and lactic acid (AHAs). Medical grade AHA and BHA merchandise are the very best residence treatment merchandise for eliminating laborious pores and skin. Salicylic acid is usually what’s utilized in wart and corn remedy merchandise. Glycolic acid is the very best keratolytic ingredient general to deal with laborious pores and skin as a result of it penetrates pores and skin effectively and is a robust keratolytic. You may velocity 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 cut back the buildup of lifeless cells.
The perfect residence treatment for laborious pores and skin is to use a medical-grade glycolic acid cream after every bathtub or bathe and to exfoliate the pores and skin on the first signal of laborious pores and skin buildup. – Dermatologist Dr. Bailey
How you can do away with laborious pores and skin in your ft
I rely upon the routine in my Smooth and Clean Ft 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 laborious pores and skin. Watch out to not exfoliate too deeply and injure the dwelling pores and skin beneath. Additionally, diabetics and other people 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 realm till the laborious 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 mushy and the laborious pores and skin is gone.
How you can do away with laborious 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 laborious pores and skin on the physique. The routine is in my Extremely-Quick Physique Smoothing Equipment.
If you wish to handle laborious pores and skin on each your ft and the physique, my Salux Material and Pumice Stone are all out there individually.
To deal with laborious pores and skin from warts, corns and cussed age spots, I like to recommend you see your physician.
How you can do away with laborious pores and skin calluses in your fingers
Keep in mind that calluses are protecting. Individuals who work and play laborious with their fingers typically get calluses to guard hand pores and skin from friction blisters as a result of repetitive use – assume musicians, carpenters, athletes and so on. You do not wish to take away your complete hand callus in the event you want it however you’ll be able to management its measurement to assist maintain it from changing into painful.
My Dry Pores and skin Hand Restore Equipment comes with the very best hand lotion to melt hand pores and skin, Bag Balm and gloves for intensive nighttime pores and skin softening and the right finger file to exfoliate the callus and management its measurement. If wanted, you can even use the Glycolic Acid Physique Lotion after showers to harness its keratolytic properties for environment friendly callus exfoliation with the file.
How do you stop laborious pores and skin?
Stop laborious pores and skin by commonly making use of a medical-grade glycolic acid cream after your bathtub or bathe. Use the cream the place you might be vulnerable to getting laborious pores and skin. All the time apply the cream inside 3 minutes after toweling pores and skin dry for finest outcomes. When moisturizing your ft, at all times put on sox to stop slipping! Exfoliate the realm as wanted to stop laborious pores and skin buildup.
The skincare routines in my two kits above are extremely efficient for eradicating laborious 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 components. These embrace lanolin, urea and oils.
Pores and skin softening lotions for laborious pores and skin
Urea is a pores and skin softening ingredient that may also be useful. In excessive concentrations (over 30%), reminiscent of wart and corn medicines, it’s also a keratolytic.
Lanolin is one other nice ingredient to melt laborious pores and skin. Time-honored Bag Balm Ointment comprises lanolin and is great to melt laborious 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 components. My Pure Physique Butter Cream is wealthy in avocado oil and shea butter to assist maintain pores and skin mushy and supple. It may be used from head to toe.
When do it’s essential see a health care provider for laborious pores and skin?
See a health care provider if the laborious 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 laborious 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 laborious pores and skin. A health care provider can assist make an accurate prognosis in case your laborious pores and skin fails to enhance. Corn and wart care is finest 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 Overview 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 effectively 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.