Porokeratosis refers to a group of skin problems that affect different parts of the body. Porokeratosis is a disorder that causes keratinization which forms thin, raised, ridge-like surfaces on the palms and soles of feet. It may also occur in other parts of the skin such as legs. They may also form in other parts of the body like the upper part of the toes. This condition is not to be confused with keratosis which involves formation of raised, coarse bumps on the skin on other parts of the body apart from the soles of feet and the palms. Keratosis also has different causal factors to porokeratosis.
Due to the description of this disorder, it is commonly known as seed corns by most people. There are five recognized forms of porokeratosis which are: basal cell papilloma, senile keratosis, senile warts, seborrheic verruca, brown warts and barnacles. Porokeratosis have the ability to develop into skin cancer. This is usually observable in form of a sore that forms on the lesion. When a sore is seen, the person must immediately see a doctor to determine whether it is cancerous.
This disorder is seen mostly in fair skinned people and is rare among darker skinned ones with the exception of African American. Some of the similarities that may exist between porokeratosis and other forms of keratosis are that it is usually caused by excessive exposure to the sun, immune suppression, it may be hereditary and treatments for both the conditions are very similar. Keratosis also includes several types of skin conditions. Some types of keratosis are also pre-cancerous and may lead to skin cancer if left unchecked.
Porokeratoses are treated by surgery, application of certain creams and electrodessication. This type of keratosis can be completely cured even when it has reached a cancerous stage. This is largely due to the fact that keratosis is confined to the skin and does not spread to other parts of the body even if the growth has become cancerous. This type of keratosis can be either acquired or hereditary.
An example of a hereditary form of this condition is linear porokeratosis. It can be present at birth but only develop at the adult stage of life. It is a skin lesion with a thinned center. Surrounding it is a ridge-like border known as the cornoid lamella. It may appear in the form of many patches closely situated mostly along a limb, head or neck. It is particularly prone to developing into a cancerous lesion.
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