Signs and Symptoms for Pitted Keratolysis

The most obvious sign that a person is suffering from pitted keratolysis is its classic appearance. The circular and shallow pits are the calling card of pitted keratolysis. The pits often overlap in places to produce larger areas of erosion. Occasionally these legions present with a green or brown hue around and within the pits. These superficial erosions are found under the toes and on the soles of the feet, and especially at the pressure bearing points such as the heel. Both sides of the foot are usually equally effected. Pitted keratolysis is often linked to excessive sweating of the palms or soles (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis.) The bacterial digestion of the keratin results in a very foul odor, causing many of its suffers great anxiety, especially in social situations. Thankfully, irritation is generally minimal, though occasionally burning, itching, and soreness are experienced with pitted keratolysis. The appearance of this condition’s characteristic lesions is much more pronounced when the affected area is wet.

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  • Eli

    I have concluded that I have pitted keratolysis from the appearance of affected areas, but there seems to be no odor…is it possible that this is another condition?

    • Lindsey

      Hi Eli,
      After looking at this site I also feel that I may have pitted keratolysis, however there is no odour what so ever and my feet are never warm and damp for any significant amount of time on a regular basis. Just wondering if you found out if it was PK and if so how did you treat it?

  • Paul

    Hi, I’m in the U.S. Air Force and we are required to wear combat boots and basically spend 12 or more hours in them a day. Right now I’m in training which means a lot of running in 3 lb boots which is resulting in the sweat build up in my boots. I’ve read this whole website on what it’s says about PK and understand how to prevent it. But given my job where I am required to wear these kinds of footware, what do you suggest I do? I really don’t want to have these pitts in my foot, I’ve never had this till joining and it’s rather embarrassing, plus these makes your feet smell REAL bad.

    Ps: This whole comment probably didn’t make much sense or is very clear on what I’m asking, but it’s like the middle of the morning and have to wake up extremely early. P

    • Lewis

      Hi Paul,

      I had your same symptoms too for similar reasons.

      Bathe your feet daily for half an hour in hot water, dry them thoroughly, use a foot scraper and then wash your feet with soap again.

      Add a disposable sole to your boots to wash and then bin at the end of the week, which will absorb sweat and use lots of talcon powder in your boots and on the sock.

      Bin your old socks and wash your new ones on high heat daily.

      Should smell better after two days and look better in about a week.

      If it doesn’t time for all that plus new boots.

      Best regards.

    • Amy

      Paul, one of the comments was for bamboo fiber socks which are supposed to be anti-bacterial, that may help since you have to wear the boots.

  • riata

    Hi.so the entire time I was thinking I had foot fungus until I googled my symptoms and came across the pictures of pk, wich looks exactly what my feet look like,except I also have scaling skin and no foot odor.anyways so today, something really stupid happened.i had to use the bathroom and my daughter was playing in her room.as I came out , I saw she had a used sock of mine in her hand.i keep those in a separate box next to the laundry basket, cause how I mentioned I thought I had foot fungus and didn’t wanna mix those with all the other laundry.anyways she dragged that sock all over the carpet and she is still in that age where she puts everything in her mouth ( I’m not sure if she did) but now I’m really concerned that she might get it or it will be able to spread all over the carpet and my husband may pick it up.i read its not contagious, but I also read you shouldn’t share towels or shoes and wash your socks in hot water.so if it wouldn’t be contagious I do not understand why you would have to do all this…i also dont know if i can walk barefoot in my house and not spreading it.so long story short, I’m confused about pk being contagious or not.i would really appreciate any help.😊thank you

    • cassandra

      Hello riata, I find it is contagious because I do not have sweaty feet and wear sandals most of the time, my boyfriend has had this for a long time and I just recently showed signs on my big toe and within two weeks it was on both feet on toes and pad of foot. I figure this is from the bottom of our shower cuz I have never experienced feetproblems before this .He never realized it was this until we googled it just now. We now know what it is and will start to treat it. hope this helped you, I would shampoo your carpets just to minimize the chances of your little one getting it… :)

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