P is for Palmoplantar keratoderma

July 15, 2023

Palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) is a group of skin conditions characterized by thickening of the skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) is a group of skin disorders characterized by thickening of the skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It is a rare condition that can be inherited or acquired, and it often presents with symptoms such as dryness, scaling, and thickened skin in the affected areas. PPK can affect individuals of any age, from infancy to adulthood.

There are several different types of palmoplantar keratoderma, each with its own distinct features and underlying causes. There are many different types, with the most common ones being:

  1. Non-epidermolytic PPK: This is the most common form of PPK and is usually inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. It is characterized by a thickening of the skin on the palms and soles, without blistering or redness.
  2. Epidermolytic PPK (also known as V├Ârner’s PPK): This type of PPK is caused by mutations in genes that encode proteins called keratins, which are important for the structure and function of the skin. Epidermolytic PPK is usually inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern and is characterized by thickened skin that is prone to blistering, particularly in response to trauma or pressure.
  3. Focal PPK: Focal PPK is characterized by localized areas of thickened skin on the palms and soles. It can be inherited or acquired and may be associated with other conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
  4. Diffuse PPK: Diffuse PPK involves a more widespread thickening of the skin on the palms and soles, often extending to other areas of the body. It can be associated with other medical conditions, such as certain types of cancer or nutritional deficiencies.

Treatment for palmoplantar keratoderma aims to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected individuals. This may involve a combination of topical treatments, such as keratolytic agents to help remove dead skin cells, moisturizers to reduce dryness, and emollients to soften the skin. In some cases, oral retinoids may be prescribed to reduce thickening of the skin.

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