Skin concerns are some of the most common reasons for people to seek advice from their doctors. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor
or your dermatologist
. Keratoderma is a generic medical term for any condition that gives the skin a thick, horn-like quality. As you say, there can be many causes for keratoderma. Some severe forms are genetic or inborn, but most are simpler and acquired. One of the most common types of keratoderma are calluses, which are thickened areas of skin over areas of frequent friction or pressure. They are generally treated by trying to eliminate the irritating stimulus. Chronic inflammatory conditions of the skin can also produce keratoderma. These include dermatitis, such as allergic reactions to certain chemicals or very dry skin, fungal infections of the feet (tinea pedis), and warts (infections caused by the human papilloma virus). Other more generalized medical conditions that can produce keratoderma include psoriasis and HIV. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.