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What is Pitted Keratolysis?

Pitted keratolysis or Erythrasma is a bacterial infection that can occur in people of any race, any age, and either sex, though it is more common in males. The bacteria infection creates pits or small depressions on the top layer of the skin, mainly the pressure bearing sites on the sole of the feet but can also affect the hands.


Itchy and flaky skin and an odour. Caused through:

  • Sweaty feet 

  • Hot or humid weather or being unable to dry your feet effectively.

  • Unventilated (occlusive) footwear, such as rubber boots or vinyl shoes.


In these areas, the condition appears as white patches studded with small (0.5–5 mm), shallow pits in the superficial skin. These pits can sometimes join (coalesce) to form larger, crater-like lesions.

How to treat Pitted Keratolysis?

This will require a visit to your G.P for a consultation who will prescribe possibly some anti-bacterial topical cream, or in extreme cases an oral anti-biotic.  The treatment typically takes between 3-4 weeks. 

Keeping the feet as dry as possible is important.


Try the following:

  • Wear natural material socks, which may wick moisture away from the foot and change them daily. 

  • Wash your feet with soap daily and apply the cream for the full required period.

  •  Consider using a hairdryer to dry feet thoroughly after washing them.

  • Minimize the use of tight-fitting, occlusive footwear. (Try sandals if possible.) 

  • Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes 2 days in a row and make sure they are fully dry before wearing again.

Pitted Keratolysis

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