|Classification and external resources|
|ICD-10||L08.8 (ILDS L08.850)|
Pitted keratolysis (also known as "Keratolysis plantare sulcatum," "Keratoma plantare sulcatum," and "Ringed keratolysis") is a non-contagious skin infection that can be caused by wearing tight or restricting footwear and excessive sweating. The infection is characterized by craterlike pits on the surface of the feet and toes, particularly weight bearing areas. Treatment consists of the application of topical antibiotics. Pitted Keratolysis is caused by bacteria, which thrive in these environments.
The condition is fairly common, especially in military where wet shoes/boots are worn for extended period of time without removing/cleaning. Skin biopsy specimens are not usually utilized, as the diagnosis of pitted keratolysis is often made by visual examination and recognition of the characteristic odor. Wood lamp examination results are inconsistent.
The most obvious sign that a person is suffering from pitted keratolysis is its classic appearance. The circular and shallow pits are the calling card of pitted keratolysis. The pits often overlap in places to produce larger areas of erosion. Occasionally these legions present with a green or brown hue around and within the pits. These superficial erosions are found under the toes and on the soles of the feet, and especially at the pressure bearing points such as the heel. Both sides of the foot are usually equally effected. Pitted keratolysis is often linked to excessive sweating of the palms or soles (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis.) The bacterial digestion of the keratin results in a very foul odor, causing many of its suffers great anxiety, especially in social situations. Thankfully, irritation is generally minimal, though occasionally burning, itching, and soreness are experienced with pitted keratolysis. The appearance of this condition’s characteristic lesions is much more pronounced when the affected area is wet.
People of any age, race, or sex can fall victim to this disorder, though it is more commonly found in men. People who sweat or wash excessively tend to be prone to pitted keratolysis. The prolonged wearing of occlusive footwear, such as tight shoes or rubber boots, also makes one more susceptible. Not surprisingly, athletes and soldiers are extremely prone to this problem. Hot and humid weather is another factor for raising the risk. Those on immunosuppressive drug therapy or diabetes sufferers are also more likely to succumb to pitted keratolysis.
Pitted keratolysis was first named "Keratoma plantare sulcatum.":268
It was first described in India but has worldwide distribution.
Over the counter treatment
Pitted keratolysis can be reduced and eventually stopped by regularly applying a liberal amount of antiperspirant body powder to the inside of the shoes and socks of the sufferer. Regular powder application will greatly reduce foot perspiration and keep the plantar surface of the foot dry therefore creating an environment hostile to the Corynebacterium.
- Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0.
- "Pitted keratolysis (Hyperhydrosis)". bunionbusters.com. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Without Proper Treatment, Skin Infections Can Sideline Your Season". American Academy of Dermatology. March 3, 2006. Retrieved February 2007.
- James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Fairly common, especially common in military. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.