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Pitted Keratolysis
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Pitted keratolysis is a non-inflammatory superficial gram positive bacterial infection of the palms and soles, although the latter is most common. Clinically, pitted keratolysis is characterized by small depressions or pits in the top layer of the skin. These pits are typically asymptomatic but can itch or become tender. The species of Corynebacterium and Actinomyces are typically the causative agents.

Although pitted keratolysis is frequently associated with excessive sweating and a foul smell, it is not caused solely by the excessive sweating. Rather, perspiration along with tight clothing like socks creates an environment for the bacteria to grow.

Treatment includes avoiding tight fitting socks and shoes. Additionally, prescription strength anti-bacterial gels or creams such as clindamycin, erythromycin or mupirocin can be helpful. Sometimes a physician will also prescribe a drying agent such as Drysol.

 

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The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is the property of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist. Any use, re-creation, dissemination, forwarding or copying of this information is strictly prohibited unless expressed written permission is given by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

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