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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 70-71

Punctate palmoplantar keratoderma

Department of Skin and STD Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore-575 001

Correspondence Address:
Department of Skin and STD Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore-575 001


A 50-year-old male presented with multiple, small, hyperkeratotic papules on palms and soles since 30 years. Elimination criteria for other clinical conditions and a histopathological evaluation helped to consider a diagnosis of Punctate Palmoplantar keratoderma. This cas is presented for its clinical rarity.

How to cite this article:
Jose S, Kamath K N, Pai G S, Pinto J. Punctate palmoplantar keratoderma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2003;69, Suppl S1:70-1

How to cite this URL:
Jose S, Kamath K N, Pai G S, Pinto J. Punctate palmoplantar keratoderma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2020 Nov 24];69, Suppl S1:70-1. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Palmoplantar keratodermas are a heterogenous groups of disorders characterised by abnormal thickening of palms and soles. Autosomal recessive, x-linked and dominant modes of inheritance as well as acquired forms have been described. Clinically three distinct patterns of palmoplantar keratodermas may be identified-diffuse, focal and punctate. We report a case of Palmoplantar Keratoderma-Punctate type.

   Case Report Top

A 50-year-old male presented with multiple, diffuse hyperkeratotic papules on palms and soles since 30 years. They have gradually increased in number spontaneously and have been painful while walking. There was a family history of similar lesions, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and carcinoma.
On cutaneous examination multiple, punctate hyperkeratotic papules of a near uniform size of 0.5x0.5cm diameter were seen on plantar aspect of both feet including the lateral borders. Palms show hyperkeratosis and few papules. Mucosal surfaces were not involved. Patient had no systemic complaints.
Routine investigations, blood biochemistry, USG abdomen and x-ray chest were inconclusive. VDRL and ELISA for HIV were negative. Tissue analysis for arsenic was inconclusive. Eye examination showed a normal picture.
Histopathological examination of biopsy specimen showed hyperkeratosis, hypergranulosis, acanthosis, elongation of rete ridges and sparse dermal mononuclear cell infiltrate.
Compilation of clinical and laboratory data helped to conclude the diagnosis of Palmoplantar Keratoderma-Punctate type.

   Discussion Top

Punctate keratoderma has failed to be identified as a clinical entity because of varied nomenclature and differing usage of related terms. Synonyms used in literature for punctate keratoderma are disseminated clavus of hands and feet, focal acral hyperkeratosis, hereditary painful callosities, keratosis punctata palmoplantaris, keratodermia palmoplantaris papulosa (Buschke-Fischer), porokeratosis palmaris et plantaris disseminata, punctate keratoderma of the palmar creases.[1]
Punctate keratoderma is an autosomal dominant disorder with equal sex incidence. Incidence reported is 1.17/100000. The onset of the condition is much later than the diffuse variety of keratodermas. Lesions usually appear in 2nd or 3rd decade. Hard keratotic papules appear on palms and soles which can be picked out easily leaving small pits. In contradistinction to diffuse keratodermas there is no associated hyperhidrosis.[1] Associated features are rare and can be spastic paralysis,[2] ankylosing spondylitis, anodontia, deuteranopia, deuteranomalia and freckle like hyperpigmentation on the dorsa of hands and feet. Coincidental and a possible familial association with gastrointestinal malignancy have also been reported.[3]
The possibility of a keratin gene mutation being responsible for this pattern of keratoderma has been excluded by linkage analysis. Other mechanisms than keratin mutations may also be responsible for punctate keratoderma.
Differential diagnosis considered include corns, calluses, secondary syphilis, AIDS associated keratoderma, Reitre's syndrome, Bazex syndrome and arsenical keratoses.[4]
Prior to the advent of retinoids there was no satisfactory treatment for punctate keratoderma, but subsequent to their availability there have been reports regarding a variable response. Etretinate 0.5mg/ produced good results in three patients, moderate in four while it failed in two patients.

In another study, acitretin was rapidly effective but did not induce complete regression of the lesions. Maintenance therapy was required to prevent relapse.[5]
This case is presented for its clinical rarity. 

   References Top

1.Griffiths WAD, Judge MR, Leigh IM. Disorders of keratinization. In: Textbook of Dermatology. Edn. Champion RH, Burton JL, Burns DA, Breathnach SM, 6th Edn. Blackwell Science; 1998:1571-1572.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Powell FC, Venencie PY, Gordon H et al. Keratoderma and spastic paralysis. Br J Dermatol 1983; 109:29-34.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Bennion SD, Patterson JW. Keratosis palmaris et plantaris and adenocarcinoma of the colon. J Am Acad Dermatol 1984; 10:587-591.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Stevens HP, Leigh IM. The inherited keratodermas of palms and soles. In: Dermatology in General Medicine. Edn. Freedberg IM, Eisen AZ, Wolff K et al, Mc graw- Hill, New York 1999 5th edn. Vol 1, 603-613.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Hesse S, Berbis PH, Privat Y. Keratoderma palmoplantaris papulosa (Buschke-Fischer's disease). Efficacy of actitretin Br J Dermatol 1993; 128:104-105.  Back to cited text no. 5    


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