The skin is the largest and most extensive organ in the body, and its main function is to be the first line of defense against any external irritation, from viruses and bacteria to shock and extreme temperatures. To carry out work, layers of an inert tissue called keratin constantly form on the surface of the skin, the production of which depends on the constant turnover of skin cells. Under certain circumstances, the amount of keratin produced can exceed what is considered normal and this excess can lead to a condition called follicular hyperkeratosis. In this FastlyHealarticle we will explain what follicular hyperkeratosis is about : causes and treatment , a skin condition that fundamentally depends on your nutritional habits.
Table of Contents
What is follicular hyperkeratosis
Hyperkeratosis is a term used to refer to the presence of an excessive amount of keratin in the skin . Keratin is the most superficial part of the skin and is basically layers of a protein formed by the skin to create a protective barrier. When this excess keratin is found specifically in the hair follicles , the part of the skin where the hairs are attached, it is considered a particular type of hyperkeratosis, called follicular hyperkeratosis.
Follicular hyperkeratosis: causes
Although there may be a related genetic component, many cases of follicular hyperkeratosis, as well as cases of other types of hyperkeratosis, are related to deficiencies of the vitamins that are essential for healthy skin, such as vitamins A, B and E , and for Therefore, it is related to poor diets and is more frequent in developing countries, its appearance being more likely in developed countries when a person has problems that hinder their nutrition, such as a gastrointestinal disease , or as consequences of surgeries.
Other causes of hyperkeratosis can include as a response to certain skin irritations:
- Constant friction
- Constant pressure
- Excessive sun exposure
- Chemical irritation
Symptoms of follicular hyperkeratosis
Follicular hyperkeratosis is characterized by the formation of multiple small papules on the surface of the skin due to excessive keratin formation in the hair follicles, and as a result the affected area takes on a bristly skin-like appearance . The accumulation of keratin in the hair follicles can also cause the exit of the fat that occurs in the sebaceous glands that contain the follicles to be blocked, and as a result, lesions resembling pimples, blackheads or acne are formed , which can mean that a follicular hyperkeratosis goes unnoticed.
Due to the origin of follicular hyperkeratosis, its appearance is often accompanied by other symptoms related to nutritional deficiencies , such as:
- Inflammation of other mucous structures such as the tongue, lips, and gums
- Muscular weakness
- Nasal bleeding
- Appearance of purples and red spots on the skin
The signs that this condition leaves on the skin are like the one in the following photo of follicular hyperkeratosis .
Treatment of follicular hyperkeratosis
Due to its origin linked to nutrition, the most important thing in the treatment for follicular hyperkeratosis is to identify the vitamin deficiency that is causing the condition and solve it, either by modifying the diet or by implementing nutritional supplements . Follicular hyperkeratosis can always be treated with other local treatments, but there will always be the risk that it will reappear as long as the vitamin deficiency persists.
The alteration in the skin is usually resolved with creams that are used to treat any type of hyperkeratosis, and whose purpose is to eliminate excess keratin and soften the skin, which will ideally be recommended by a dermatologist in a consultation.
The most frequently used product is salicylic acid in cream, gel or liquid for topical application, widely used to treat other more common disorders such as corns. This medication works by causing little damage to the keratin with which it comes in contact, making it easier to remove excesses.
Other creams with similar actions are those of urea, glycolic acid and lactic acid. In addition to facilitating the elimination of keratin, these compounds favor the hydration of the skin by reducing the amount of water it loses, thereby softening it. On rare occasions, the implementation of corticosteroid cream may be necessary.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Follicular hyperkeratosis: causes and treatment – with photos , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.