Hardness in the Feet or Hyperkeratosis. What They Are, How to Treat Them and How to Prevent Them

“I have something hard on the sole of my foot that hurts when I support it,” “I have had a pimple between my toes and it hurts when I walk”, “I have cracked heels” …

These are usually the phrases of many patients who come to our consultations looking for solutions to the discomfort they suffer when walking, and their diagnosis is, in many cases, hardness or hyperkeratosis.


Hardnesses or hyperkeratosis are a thickening of the most superficial layer of the skin due to an increase in dead and scaly cells, caused by the pressure or continued rubbing caused by improper footwear or a bad footprint.

It is a skin protection mechanism against an area of more friction.

A more superficial hardness plate may appear or grow inward, which will be called heloma. If you want more information about this lesion, you can consult it in “Plantar heloma. Causes and treatments”.

CAUSES. Why do they occur?

Here are some of the most common causes of hardness or hyperkeratosis:

– FOOTWEAR. Inadequate footwear with a narrow toe encourages the appearance of hardness between the fingers, backs of the fingers and even in the most distal area of ​​these. This is due to the use of a small footwear. Likewise, this lesion will also appear in the lateral area of ​​the first and fifth fingers, if a narrow shoe is used that presses the foot. In turn, the abuse of heels or an incorrect support of the foot negatively affect this aspect.

– DEFORMITY. If the patient has a deformity in the foot, such as a claw or mallet toe, they will also be prone to suffer, as they produce more pressure on the back of the finger against the footwear or even on the pulp.

– DEHYDRATION. Dehydration of the foot is a factor that also helps its appearance. It is very common in the heel area. In the article “Dry and cracked heels?” We tell you all about this dermal lesion.

– NAIL. This accumulation of cells can also appear in the nail channels or under them.

TREATMENT. How to treat this skin lesion?

– VISIT TO THE PODOLOGIST. First of all, it should be commented that it is a mistake to try to treat or cut one’s hardnesses. You should always go to a specialized podiatrist to use the appropriate and sterilized tools, and thus avoid a bad diagnosis and cuts that cause infections and inflammations of the skin. In turn, buying products with chemical components (callicides or similar) can damage the skin causing a burn and macerating it. In the article “Callicides. Are they recommended to end the calluses and hardness of the feet” we analyze the negative consequences they can produce.

– DIABETES. If a person is diabetic or has circulation problems, special care must be taken for complications resulting from poor healing.

– CHIROPODY. This podiatric treatment that consists of the elimination of calluses and alterations in the toenails will help to have 100% healthy feet and that the slight lesions can be aggravated.

– BIOMECHANICAL STUDY. Performing a biomechanical study of the tread we can observe the points of greatest pressure when walking and, with a customized Podoactiva insoles, rebalance the pressures and be able to discharge those points of maximum foot pressure to prevent plantar hardnesses from appearing.

PREVENTION. How to prevent the appearance of hardness?

Going to the podiatrist is essential to avoid this ailment but, in our homes, we can also try to prevent it if we follow these guidelines:

– Wearing appropriate footwear is essential to prevent this ailment as it is very important to change shoes regularly. It is advisable not to always use the same shoe but to alternate using different types so that friction does not always occur in the same areas.

– Keep your feet well hydrated, especially in areas prone to hardness formation.

– Dry the feet well after washing them, taking special care between the toes.

– Apply specific moisturizers to keep them healthy. In the case of hardnesses, those containing urea are beneficial, since this component affects the skin cells, promoting their desquamation. It is important to choose the right urea concentration for each foot. For example, a medical moisturizer for feet with hard and quite dehydrated feet would have to have a concentration of 20% to 30%, while for more extreme cases it would be 40 or 50% urea. For this reason, to assess the type of foot, it is advisable to go to a podiatrist so that he can advise you on which one best suits your needs.

– Pumice stone. Using the pumice stone to exfoliate dead skin while showering will help prevent the appearance of hardness. It is important to do it superficially, and before any injury or irritation go to the specialist. It is not a treatment, but a complement.

– Go to the podiatrist at least once a year to do a review of your feet and thus detect possible ailments or pathologies.

TIPS. What is the most suitable footwear to avoid hardness?

Regarding footwear, it is always advisable to buy a suitable shoe that has certain characteristics to avoid damaging our foot. In this link we discuss several aspects to take into account when buying shoes and we leave other points to highlight below:

1. Comfortable and wide footwear that is not too hard and thin toe, because if these characteristics are not met, the shoe will generate even more pressure on the fingers and friction and discomfort will appear. In these cases, for example, hardness may appear between the toes and over them due to the pressure exerted by a tip of a narrow shoe. On the other hand, it is also not advisable to wear shoes that are too large that do not fit our size. Therefore, the recommendation is simple: wear appropriate shoes to our foot size.

2. A good fit of the footwear is essential to avoid any type of injury. For this reason, we advise you to use shoes with closure adjustment such as laces or velcro for a better fit.

3. Avoid wearing heels. However, if you use them, it is recommended a wide heel of about 3 or 4 centimeters, since the higher the entire weight of your body will be concentrated on the forefoot with more pressure on it and the fingers.

4. Footwear that provides stability and that contains rigid buttresses to hold the foot well, in addition to avoiding thin soles to have less reactive ground forces. This is beneficial for shock absorption.

5. In addition, we must buy shoes that are made of quality materials and breathable fabrics. These should be alternated and not always use the same so that it does not generate continuous pressure at the same point and promote hardness.

In short, hardnesses or hyperkeratosis are a very common skin lesion among our patients. On many occasions, chiropody is the treatment we apply to them, but this will depend on the characteristics of the person and in what state their feet are. However, what is certain is that this condition has to be treated by a specialist to avoid increasing the problem.

Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin and Hair Health

Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the shea tree nuts that grow widely in African savannah. The nutrients contained therein are good for skin and hair health. Shea butter can be used as a sunscreen to dandruff medication.

To become shea butter, seeds from shea tree nuts will be processed into powder by drying, roasting, and grinding. Furthermore, the powder is boiled to produce oil.

The oil that appears on the surface of the water is then separated and cooled until it becomes solid like cream or butter. This butter can be used for cooking or processed into beauty products, such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, to skin moisturizers.

Shea Butter

Ingredients and Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin and Hair

What makes shea butter one of the prima donna in skin and hair care products is the nutritional content in it. Shea butter contains anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radicals, and is believed to be able to overcome a number of disorders of the skin.

Nutrients contained in shea butter include:

  • Vitamins A and E. These vitamins can increase circulation and growth of skin cells, and make skin healthier.
  • Essential fatty acids consisting of linoleic, palmitic, stearic and oleic acids, to balance oil levels in the skin.
  • Triterpenes, tocopherols, phenols, and sterols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Triglyceride fats, to maintain skin health.
  • Cetyl ester, which helps maintain skin moisture

Another advantage is that shea butter does not contain substances that have the potential to make skin dry and irritated, but also does not make skin oily, making it safe to use on all skin types.

The following are some of the benefits that can be obtained from using shea butter:

1. As a moisturizer and sunblock

Shea butter can work as an emollient that can soften and moisturize dry skin. In addition, shea butter contains SPF (sun protection factor), so it can be used as an additional sunscreen to protect skin from sun exposure. But to increase protection against sunlight, you still have to use sunblock.

2. Overcoming minor burns

The anti-inflammatory component of shea butter is believed to reduce redness and swelling. Its fatty acid component can also soothe minor burns, such as sunburn, by keeping the skin moist during the healing process.

3. Delay premature aging

The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin is a sign of premature aging. Shea butter can prevent premature aging because the content of triterpenes in it can maintain and increase collagen production which is important for skin elasticity. Meanwhile, vitamins A and E in shea butter can help the process of skin regeneration by stimulating the formation of new skin cells.

The combination of these nutrients can prevent premature aging, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, so the skin looks youthful.

4. Prevent and reduce stretch marks and keloids

The content of vitamins A and E in shea butter is known to moisturize and restore skin elasticity, so it can help prevent and reduce stretch marks. A study also showed that the content of essential fatty acids in shea butter can hydrate the skin while reducing keloid growth.

5. Prevent acne

Shea butter is rich in various types of essential fatty acids that can control excess oil production and restore and maintain skin moisture, so the skin is not dry and not oily. The balance of oil levels in the skin can prevent acne.

6. Treat skin infections

The nutritional content of shea butter is believed to be able to fight skin infections due to fungi, such as ringworm and water fleas. Shea butter is also often used to treat skin infections due to mites, such as scabies.

7. Overcoming inflammation in the skin

The anti-inflammatory component of shea butter is known to calm the skin and relieve itching caused by eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. The results showed that shea butter can be used together with cream to treat eczema.

8. Treating dandruff

One way to treat dandruff is to restore the dry, irritated scalp moisture. Now, a study shows that the combination of shea butter with other moisturizers can help reduce dandruff and risk of scaly skin.

There are 2 types of shea butter, namely refined and unrefined shea butter. Refined shea butter is shea butter that undergoes many screening processes, while unrefined shea butter is pure shea butter which does not undergo much filtering.

Keep in mind that the screening process can make shea butter lose some of its nutrients. So if you want to feel the maximum benefits, you should choose unrefined shea butter products because the nutrients are still awake.

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Various Benefits of Turmeric Masks for Facial Skin

Turmeric is one of the natural ingredients that can be used as a mask. There are various benefits of turmeric masks for skin health, which is a shame if passed.

One of the benefits of turmeric masks is to prevent the appearance of zits. Turmeric is able to prevent the appearance of acne because of the curcumin content in it which is able to kill the bacteria that cause acne.

Benefits of Turmeric Masks

Besides being able to prevent the appearance of acne, there are other benefits of turmeric masks that you need to know about, including:

1. Disguise acne scars

Not only able to prevent and treat acne, turmeric masks are also believed to help disguise acne scars. In fact, the use of turmeric balanced with a healthy lifestyle is also believed to reduce the chance of developing skin cancer.

2. Brighten the skin

The use of turmeric masks on a regular basis can make facial skin look brighter. This is because the antioxidant content in turmeric is able to help fight free radicals as one of the causes of dull skin.

3. Reducing wrinkles on the face

The appearance of wrinkles on the face can also be overcome with turmeric masks. This is because the active ingredients contained in turmeric are believed to be able to improve the overall skin texture, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition, turmeric is also believed to be effective in increasing collagen production in the body which can maintain skin elasticity so the skin will remain tight.

4. Overcoming skin hyperpigmentation

The use of turmeric masks on a regular basis is believed to be able to help overcome the appearance of dark spots on the face due to hyperpigmentation. One study showed that by applying turmeric to the skin for 4 weeks, skin hyperpigmentation can be reduced by 14%.

Things To Look For When Using Turmeric Masks

You can make turmeric masks at home easily. But before applying turmeric to the face, make sure first whether allergic to turmeric or not.

The way is easy enough. Apply a small amount of the newly made mask to the inner arm, then leave it on for a few minutes and rinse thoroughly. After that, watch for redness or rashes and swelling on the turmeric-smeared skin area, within 24 hours.

If the area smeared with a turmeric mask experiences a reddish and swollen rash, do not continue to use, because it may not be suitable or allergic to turmeric.

You should also avoid using turmeric masks if you have dry skin. This is because turmeric can make your skin condition drier.

Also, if you make your own turmeric mask, or apply turmeric directly to the skin, your skin may be a little yellowish in color. But do not worry, because this is normal and will only last a while. You can overcome this by cleaning your skin using warm water or facial cleansers that contain scrubs.

Turmeric masks do have a variety of benefits for the skin, but be careful when using them. You should still consult a dermatologist first, especially if your skin has problems.