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. PPK can also be a feature of various underlying syndromes. In rare forms of PPK, organs other than the skin may also be affected. PPK can be either acquired during the lifetime (more commonly) or inherited. Acquired PPKs may arise due to changes in a person's health or environment. Inherited PPKs are caused by genetic mutations that result in abnormalities of keratin, a skin protein. Depending on the genetic cause, inheritance can be autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive. Treatment is aimed at softening the thickened skin to make it less noticeable and relieve discomfort.
Last updated: 12/29/2016
How might palmoplantar keratoderma be treated?
Treatment of both hereditary and acquired palmoplantar keratodermas (PPK) is difficult. The goal of treatment is to soften the thickened skin and make it less noticeable. In many cases, treatment only results in short-term improvement and often has unwanted side effects. For people with acquired PPK, it is important to screen for systemic illnesses, infections, culprit drugs, and neoplasia (tumor formation). Treating the underlying condition or stopping possible triggers is the most effective treatment for acquired PPK.
Treatment options may depend on the specific type of PPK a person has and may include: