Pitted Keratolysis – What is It?
Pitted Keratolysis is a bacterial infection that makes small holes, or pits, in the skin. It commonly affects the soles of the feet and between the toes. These pits are often worse around the balls of the feet, heels and toe pads, as these are the areas that take the most pressure. This is a treatable condition and can also be avoided with simple precautions.
Pitted Keratolysis – What Causes it?
Sweaty feet offer the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Hot weather and tight footwear will create wet, sweaty feet and a breeding ground for bacteria, with non-breathable footwear being the biggest culprit.
Increased blood sugar can also cause Pitted Keratolysis, so diabetes mellitus sufferers are at higher risk of the condition. The bacteria attack the outer skin, leaving tiny holes.
Athletes, fishermen/women and construction workers are more prone to Pitted Keratolysis.
Pitted Keratolysis Symptoms
Pitted keratolysis doesn’t cause pain for most sufferers, and therefore it may go unnoticed or ignored. One of the main symptoms of this condition is smelly feet, so ignoring the issue can lead to unpleasant odours and embarrassment.
The other key symptom is the small pits on the foot skin, usually surrounded by white bits of skin. Some severe cases may cause inflamed, red skin on the foot, which can be sore or uncomfortable.
Sometimes, pits can form a lesion in the foot which will look unpleasant but rarely cause pain. Again, the primary symptom will be smelly feet. Some sufferers experience itching around the affected area.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment of Pitted Keratolysis involves antiseptics and antibiotics. Consult your GP or a podiatry specialist, such as Louisa Seymour Podiatry. Do not wait until the condition escalates. It is always best to address it as soon as you notice symptoms.
Here are some things you can do to prevent the condition:
- Do not ignore symptoms
- Only wear enclosed footwear when necessary
- Wear good quality, breathable shoes
- Avoid keeping your feet wet unnecessarily
- Let shoes completely dry out if they get wet
- Wash and dry your feet twice daily when possible, including between the toes
- Have a spare pair of shoes to wear if your current ones get damp and need to dry out
If you are experiencing symptoms of Pitted Keratolysis, contact Louisa Seymour Podiatry on 01277 266870.