Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial skin infection that can impact both the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. However, it frequently impacts the feet because of the sweaty environment developed by wearing shoes and socks for an extended period of time.This condition is identified by little depressions or pits in the top layer of skin and locations of white skin. It can be a reason for foul-smelling feet and is much more typical in men than women.
What Are the Symptoms of Pitted Keratolysis?
The most typical symptom of pitted keratolysis is a noticeable smell from the feet, due to the infection of the skin on the bottom of the feet.
Those with this condition will generally have clusters of “punched-out” pits on the soles of their feet or palms of their hands. The pits will be more noticeable when the skin is wet.
Sometimes these pits can join together, or “coalesce,” to form bigger lesions.
There’s also a kind of pitted keratolysis where the impacted areas of the skin turn red. While the pits themselves usually won’t provide with other symptoms, they sometimes feel sore or itch when pressure is placed on the foot while walking.
What Causes a Person to Develop Pitted Keratolysis?
A number of different bacterial types will cause pitted keratolysis; the most typical offenders are:
- Dermatophilus congolensis
- Kytococcus sedentarius
These bacteria frequently multiply in wet or moist conditions. This is why individuals who do not let their feet air out enough often develop it.
The bacteria on the feet or palms will produce protease enzymes, which destroy the outermost layer of the epidermis, triggering the particular pitting. The bad odor is brought on by sulfur substances that are produced by the bacteria on the skin.
How Is this Condition Diagnosed?
If you think you have pitted keratolysis, see a doctor. You will need antibiotics to treat the infection.
To diagnose you with pitted keratolysis, your doctor will swab the area or do something called a skin scraping, where your doctor acquires a sample of skin to check for bacteria and parasites under a microscope.
How is Pitted Keratolysis Treated?
To treat pitted keratolysis, your doctor will most likely prescribe a topical antibiotic or antiseptic, the majority of frequently clindamycin, erythromycin, or mupirocin. It’s also advised that you avoid tight-fitting socks and shoes. In rare cases, your doctor might suggest a drying representative like Drysol.
In extreme cases, your doctor may recommend shots of botulin to treat this condition.
What Is the Outlook for Pitted Keratolysis?
Pitted keratolysis is both easily dealt with and preventable. By taking topical antibiotics and other precautions, this condition will typically clear up in about four weeks.
Can Pitted Keratolysis be Prevented?
Since this bacterial infection prospers in moist environments, it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible to prevent pitted keratolysis. Take the following preventative measures to keep feet healthy and dry:
- Wear shoes for as little time as possible.
- Wear socks made from moisture-wicking materials, such as wool and nylon.
- Wear open-toed sandals as regularly as possible.
- Wash feet regularly with antiseptic cleanser.
- Prevent sharing footwear with others.