Granular parakeratosis is an itchy skin condition that affects the folds of the skin. Here are four things you need to know about granular parakeratosis.
What are the signs of granular parakeratosis?
If you have granular parakeratosis, you'll see hyperkeratotic (thickened) lesions on your skin folds. These lesions can present as either papules, which are pimple-like lumps, or plaques, which are scaly and flat. These lesions are itchy, and they can also cause a tingling sensation in the area.
What causes granular parakeratosis?
The exact cause of granular parakeratosis still hasn't been identified. Researchers have identified a number of factors that may trigger it, however. It may be triggered by contact reactions to products that you put on your skin, like antiperspirants or creams. It's also been linked to obesity.
Granular parakeratosis may also occur as a secondary phenomenon to other skin conditions. For example, fungal infections of the skin may trigger granular parakeratosis. It may also occur secondary to skin cancers like carcinoma. Some studies have reported that people with granular parakeratotis recover completely when they move to colder climates, so the heat may also trigger the condition.
Is granular parakeratosis serious?
The main concern with this condition is the discomfort associated with the lesions. The itching or tingling sensations can be very uncomfortable and can make it hard for you to sleep. The lesions are benign, so aside from the discomfort, this condition isn't serious.
How is granular parakeratosis treated?
Many different medications have been used successfully to treat this condition. These include topical corticosteroids or retinoids. Corticosteroids work by controlling inflammation, while retinoids work by making your skin cells replace themselves quickly.
If these creams don't work for you, your dermatologist may recommend using an antifungal cream. Antifungal creams are typically used to get rid of fungal infections of the skin, but they have been used off-label with some success for granular parakeratotis patients.
If your condition doesn't respond to creams, surgery can also be done to treat you. Cryotherapy has been used successfully, and it involves destroying your lesions by freezing them.
Home remedies can also be helpful. Your dermatologist may tell you to either avoid using antiperspirant or to minimize its use. Since some people have been helped by colder temperatures, you may want to start keeping your home at a colder temperature.
If you have itchy bumps or scales on your skin folds, you may have granular parakeratosis and should see a dermatologist, such as those at Advanced Dermatology Care.