What is a thickening of the skin?Lichenification is the thickening of the skin, which is typical of atopic dermatitis.
The skin is the most important functional organ of the human being, it protects against external influences, as a shell of the inner body and performs important tasks in the human metabolism.
Although the skin itself is protected by its various layers, hair, horny layers and other ingredients, it can cause skin diseases. A rare skin disease is the thickening of the epidermis, the epidermis.
This usually occurs as a symptom and complication of another disease, as medically significant in their occurrence, lichenification, tyloma and sebostasis can be seen.
In a Sebostase but the sebaceous glands too little sebum, whereby the skin loses water and thickened appears. Lichenification is the thickening of the skin, which occurs in chronic skin diseases, it is typical for atopic dermatitis. With Tylom the physician describes the colloquially called corneal thickening skin.
The causes of skin thickening must be differentiated according to the underlying disease.
Skin thickening, for example, due to mechanical stress and inflammation, disturbs the development of the skin cells. The skin cells suffer a shortened life cycle or insufficient removal of dead skin cells, it comes to the thickening of the cell walls or excessive proliferation thereof.
A thick layer of cornea, medically called cornification disorder, is the result. This is visually striking, but serves to protect the underlying skin layers and is therefore initially positive to see. Corneal thickening usually occurs on the soles of the feet and on the palms of the hands, which are particularly heavily stressed in everyday life, but are possible on all skin areas.
Lichenifications are caused by long-lasting mechanical, inflammatory or chemical over-irritation of the skin, for example in atopic dermatitis or allergies.
Sebostases are attributed to deficient sebum production, which usually occurs as a sign of aging.
Diseases with this symptom
- Muckle-Wells syndrome
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Basal cell carcinoma
- node Rose
- Pityriasis rubra pilaris
- Circumcripts scleroderma
Diagnosis & HistorySchematic representation of the anatomy and structure of the skin. The skin is a sensitive organ. Daily care and medical care help against skin aging and skin diseases. Click to enlarge.
If the affected person suffers from thickening of the skin which he can not explain with a mechanical over-stimulation and a cornea that can be explained, or if he appears very strong, then he should introduce himself to a dermatologist.
This will first create a detailed medical history to experience side effects of skin thickening, possible underlying diseases, possible causes and the time of the first appearance of the symptom. Subsequently, the optical examination of the affected skin areas and, if appropriate, the measurement of skin density. This is done either as an estimate with the naked eye or with aids such as a ruler.
In most cases, even during the examination, specific diagnoses become apparent, since the shapes of the thickened skin are different and have a typical appearance. For example, lichenification is associated with increased field drawing and corneal thickening is a local thickening of the skin.
Left untreated, thickening of the skin is often perceived as a cosmetic blemish. Malaise and a reduction in well-being occur. The affected body parts are hidden, which can lead to a feeling of restriction in everyday life.
If it is not possible to cover the thickening of the skin with garments, shame usually leads to a change in one's own body language. Shaking hands, for example, is avoided or a greater distance to another person is established. This can cause incomprehension and be understood as rejection.
At the affected body parts, there is usually a reduced perception of recorded stimuli. This can be felt as pleasant and as unpleasant. If the thickening of the skin is caused by a skin condition such as atopic dermatitis, in most cases long-term medication is used. These have side effects and can trigger new complications.
Skin thickening may be associated with corneal formation. These are usually triggered by over-utilization of the corresponding region. The removal of the cornea therefore usually leads to a new formation. It would be advisable to test existing loads or to check for a malfunction. If there is an inflammation, it is usually treated with tablets. Again, there may be side effects. Organs can be affected or intolerance can have corresponding effects.
When should you go to the doctor?
For a thickening of the skin there can be different reasons. What does it matter if medical treatment is required? When is a thickening of the skin a symptom and when does it represent a disease in its own right?
The skin as an envelope of the body acts as a demarcation to the outside world. It consists of several layers. Even here, skin diseases can occur such as thickening of the epidermis, the so-called epidermis. This thickening of the skin is a symptom, for example, of a Sebastose, in which the sebaceous glands release too little sebum, whereupon the skin loses fluid and thickened. Skin thickening in atopic dermatitis as well as various skin irritations and skin allergies are known. All of these skin conditions should be presented to a dermatologist.
Also to the skin thickening is the cornea. Here it can first be attempted to remove some of the thickening of the cornea with own measures such as filing or removing the cornea-solving means from the pharmacy. If this is difficult or if there is a skin injury, it is time to see the doctor. Occasionally, skin thickening can also occur as a nodule. Then a visit to a doctor is recommended, because in addition to benign thickening, there are still malignant growths that need to be treated as quickly as possible.
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Treatment & Therapy
If the dermatologist has been able to make a definite diagnosis, he will, in consultation with the patient, initiate therapy which he considers appropriate. This, too, usually depends on the cause of thickening of the skin, for example eczema requires skin refatting and sympomatic-systematic treatment.
The treatment of the cornea can usually be performed by the patient himself, by stopping the triggering stimulus and removing the cornea with pumice stones, cornea planing or corneal rasps. In addition, there are corneal dissolving substances that can be used, salicylic acid and urea are the drugs of choice. They dissolve the connections of the corneal cells, so that the degradation is accelerated.
At the same time, the skin dilutes and becomes permeable to other medicines. Urea additionally reduces the growth of the skin and binds water in the horny layer, making it smoother and more tender.
Salicylic acid has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, skin irritations can heal faster. In rare cases the skin thickening is so strong and visually disturbing that an operative removal is necessary. However, certain professional groups also value calluses as protection in the performance of their activities, such as gardeners and guitarists.
Outlook & Forecast
With a thickening of the skin, it does not always come to complaints, so that it does not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. Skin thickening causes decreased self-esteem in some patients. Often the thickening of the skin is a cosmetic defect and the person feels uncomfortable with the symptom and not attractive. This leads to limitations in everyday life and sometimes to break off social contacts. Mental problems rarely arise, but are equally possible.
Due to the thickening of the skin, external stimuli can no longer be properly perceived. This can lead to dangerous restrictions, since cold and heat are not felt properly. If the skin thickening due to an allergy or intolerance, it usually disappears when the respective ingredient has been completely degraded by the body. Medical treatment is aimed at avoiding these ingredients or taking certain medications that can prevent the symptom.
In many cases, treatment of the thickening of the skin is possible with a quick success at home. If the skin thickening lasts longer and does not disappear by means of self-help, then medical advice is necessary. In this case, it can be a different disease.
The regeneration of the skin can be supported independently of the underlying disease. Here are used as a basic therapy and at the same time prevention of skin diseases creams, ointments and water-oil emulsions.
You can do that yourself
Since skin thickening can have a variety of causes, they do not necessarily have to be treated. A classic cause is, for example, the thickening of the corneal layer, which is also referred to as a cornification disorder, but which only serves to protect the skin. This cause of thickening of the skin does not have to be treated by a doctor, only the dead skin layer with pimple stones, cornea planes or corneal rasps has to be removed. Substances such as salicylic acid or urea may also be helpful, as it dissolves connections between the corneal cells and thus accelerates the degradation. If this layer has been removed, the skin begins to dilute again and is again permitted for other medications.
Urea is particularly helpful in enhancing the thickening of the skin, as it also reduces skin growth and then binds water to the corneal layer, making the skin smoother and softer. Salicylic acid, however, is made for a normal case of skin thickening. Since it has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, the skin irritation can heal faster and the skin can thus regenerate better.
Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid as much as possible strong cold or heat. The reason for this is that stimuli can not be perceived well enough. Because of this, the thickening usually disappears when extreme temperatures are avoided.