Punctate porokeratosis

Can punctate porokeratosis give rise to cancer?

On average, approximately 8% of individuals with porokeratosis may develop a skin cancer. Though all types of porokeratosis are thought to increase the chance to develop skin cancer, punctate porokeratosis is thought to have the lowest risk of the group. The chance of porokeratosis becoming cancerous is increased if the affected area is large, located on the limbs, or has been present for a long time.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is punctate porokeratosis?

Punctate porokeratosis is a skin condition that appears in adulthood as many, tiny, ridgelike bumps on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These bumps may slowly spread over the skin and usually do not cause symptoms, though they sometimes cause itching or discomfort while walking. Individuals with this condition often develop other types of porokeratosis as well. The cause of punctate porokeratosis is unknown, though genetic factors, a weakened immune system (immunodeficiency), or previous injury to the skin (for example, a burn) have been suggested as possible risk factors. Treatment depends on the size, location, and aggressiveness of porokeratosis in each affected individual; it may include observation only, medication, or surgery.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might punctate porokeratosis be treated?

Treatment depends on the size, location, and aggressiveness of punctate porokeratosis. Affected individuals are recommended to visit their personal physician regularly to watch for signs of skin cancer, limit sun exposure to the affected area, and use moisturizers as needed. 5-fluorouracil cream has been found to be an effective treatment. A group of medications called retinoids (including acitretin and isotretinoin), as a pill or cream, may be another treatment option. If a skin cancer develops from porokeratosis, surgery is recommended.

Last updated on 05-01-20


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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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