Pitted Keratolysis Diagnosis

In most cases, the classic appearance and presentation of the pitted lesions and white spots on the feet is proof enough to confidently diagnose pitted keratolysis. There is also the distinctive and unpleasant smell that this disorder is associated with. If there is any doubt, gram's staining of the scraping, along with a culture of the scraped material, can aid in reaching a definitive diagnosis. It is necessary to differentiate between pitted keratolysis and plantar warts or athlete's foot. Plantar warts typically present with localized areas of hyperkeratosis, which is thickening of the outer layer of the skin, and are very often painful. Athlete's foot presents with itching between the toes not limited to pressure-bearing areas of the foot.


- Comments -

  • Nathan Stocks


    I have been diagnosed with Pitted keratolysis and my doctor has given me “Driclor” to apply once a day. The condition almost always happens only when I wear heavy workbooks, which are required to carry out my job. I’ve vistied my doctor many many times and he does not offer me any more help. I’m also unaware of any other suitable footwear that will let me feet “breathe”.

    I must also admit that I’m perhaps not the most healthiest person in terms of my diet – could this also be contributing?

    I’m greatly appreciative of any help as it’s an ongoing problem that will not go away.

    Thank you.

    • admin

      I completely understand your fustration. I would have to think that a poor diet is not helping in the solution, but I don’t know if it’s contributing to the problem. Have you had a chance to take a look at the home treatments section? That might give you a few ideas. Additionally, look at the comments in the “home treatments section”, as well as the comments on the homepage where other people have offered some things that have helped them. I hope you can find something that helps! If you do find something that helps, we’d love to hear about in the future.

      • Dr Rafe

        Admin, concerning your opinion on diet. Vitamin C and a healthy immune system are essential to combat the infection at a significant*1 rate as well as stave off the the infection allowing enough time for the body to heal the affected area.

        *1 if you don’t heal fast enough. Reinfection will set in

    • Erica

      Driclor is to help prevent sweating, it might not clear up the problem and also you might not be using it right. As I remember I was supposed to put driclor on at night and wash it off in the morning. But I wasn’t using it on my feet though.

  • Anya

    Hello, I’ve lived in Florida for over five years and of course this is the best place for something like this to occur! I work on a boat, so I am constantly barefoot or in flip flops.. I’d say 95% of the time my feet are bare or dry and I work out an hour a day 3-4 times a week in shoes but take them off as soon as I’m done. In the 5 years that I’ve been here and been in and out of shoes and humid conditions i have never had any sort or foot issue. My roommate/coworker and I both started having this problem at the same time and after we both started going to a new nail salon :/
    So my question is, even though I read that this isn’t contagious is it possible we both picked it up from the nail salon? Eventually one of the nail techs commented on our feet and told us we had a mild form of athletes foot common in FL and to use the spray/cream found in stores for athletes foot and to also soak our feet in tea.
    Well all of that hasn’t worked I’ve been treating my feet with anti fungal stuff that doesn’t seem to help (after eesding your forum now i know why) It may look like its clearing up but then comes back and my feet look like snake shedding its skin. Luckily it hasn’t reached the point of super bad Oder but we did notice our feet being stinky before and thought it was our shoes. Reading through these forums I see many people have been suffering with this for years! And that some treatments just help the symptoms but don’t take care of it completely. Do i have to get a prescription for the stuff that will kill it for good?? Thank you for your help!!


  • butterflies

    My daughter is 2 years old. We took her for swimming lessons the last the first week of august and noticed a few days latter the circular pits in her feet. I worked feverishly to get her feet healthy again thinking that is was just a condition from the feet walking on the cement type pool floor. after two weeks I looked it up on the internet and the pictures match. I took her to her pediatrician who prescribed an anti-fungal cream 10n days later not much improvement. is this an infection of the skin or does it just develop into an infection? I don’t know much about it and her Dr. is not Impressed so he wont send her to a dermatologist. She complains of pain all the time, how can I help her?

    • Reagan

      I’m sorry about your daughter. From the research I have been doing, it sounds like this pitted keratolysis thing is caused from bacteria, not fungus. Look into anti bacterial treatments instead of anti fungal.

  • alesha

    I have this. Not diagnosed by a doctor because I don’t have insurance. But I rub vagisil all over my feet leaving it very thick. I cover it with socks and the next morning it is gone. I hope this works. It helped me.


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