What is pitted keratolysis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Linda J Fromm, MD, MA, FAAD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Pitted keratolysis is a skin disorder characterized by crateriform pitting that primarily affects the pressure-bearing aspects of the plantar surface of the feet and, occasionally, the palms of the hand as collarettes of scale. The manifestations of pitted keratolysis are due to a superficial cutaneous bacterial infection. [1, 46]

Pitted keratolysis has gone through several name changes. [2, 3] Pitted keratolysis was described initially in the early 1900s as keratoma plantare sulcatum, a manifestation of yaws. Pitted keratolysis was identified in the 1930s as a unique separate clinical entity, and the name was changed to keratolysis plantare sulcatum. The current name, pitted keratolysis, describes the clinical presentation well and has remained the modern nomenclature to describe this entity.

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