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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Palmoplantar keratoderma

Your Question

My brother has been suffering from palmoplantar keratoderma since childhood. Please provide me with information about treatment for this disease.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is palmoplantar keratoderma?

Palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) is a group of conditions characterized by thickening of the palms and soles of the feet. PPK can also be an associated feature of different syndromes.[1] In rare forms of palmoplantar keratoderma, other organs in the body may be affected in addition to the skin. PPK can either be inherited or acquired. Acquired palmoplantar keratodermas may arise as a result of infections, internal disease or cancer, inflammatory skin conditions, or medications.[2] The hereditary palmoplantar keratodermas are caused by a gene abnormality that results in abnormal skin protein (keratin). They can be inherited in an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive patterns.[1][2]
Last updated: 4/29/2011

How might palmoplantar keratoderma be treated?

Treatment of both hereditary and nonhereditary palmoplantar keratodermas is difficult. Treatment usually only results in short-term improvement and often has adverse side effects.[1] The goal of treatment is usually to soften the thickened skin and makes it less noticeable.[2] Treatment may include simple measures such as saltwater soaks, emollients, and paring. More aggressive treatment includes topical keratolytics, topical retinoids, systemic retinoids (acitretin), topical vitamin D ointment (calcipotriol), or surgery to removed the skin, following by skin grafting.[1][2]
Last updated: 4/29/2011

Other Names for this Disease
  • Keratoderma, Palmoplantar
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