Q: This is lovely DC but I have something that has been bothering me for a while about my son’s palms. I thought I ask if you can help me out please. He’s 6 years old and I just discovered his palms are hard. I keep wondering why because he’s young. Is there any help I could get from you so that he will have a smooth palms again? Thank you
A: Thanks for writing in dear. You didn’t mention how long ago you noticed this. You need to take in your baby to see his doctor. The paediatrician will refer to a skin doctor. It is only after examination that a proper diagnosis can be made.
But, hard skin like you described in your son could be due to a condition called ichthyosis, an inherited skin disorder with hallmark dry and scaly skin which may be either very thick or very thin. In the case of thickened skin, dead skin cells accumulate and form thick scales on the skin surface causing this condition to be referred to as fish scale or fish skin disease. Mild cases usually pass off as very dry skin.
Skin usually appears normal at birth and then gradually become dry, rough and scaly before the children turn one year of age. Symptoms include thickened palms and soles of feet which may also have more lines than normal. The skin may also split and/or crack. Symptoms are worse in cold, dry conditions and improve in humid conditions.
There is no cure for this condition. But judicious moisturizing and exfoliation (using creams with alpha hydroxy acids) are very helpful. Oral medications which reduce the production of skin cells may also be prescribed.
Other tips to help….
Give your baby a long soak in a bath and then use a rough sponge or pumice stone (the stone you use to smoothen rough skin on soles of feet) to help with scale removal. After a bath, try dabbing your baby’s skin so that it is still slightly moist before applying a moisturizing lotion that locks in the moisture. Drying your body completely aggravates the dryness. Lotions that contain glycerine, lactic acid and panthenol are very good. Body washes with moisturizers are also be a good for those with this problem as they will not dry out your skin when you take a bath. Having a humidifier at home to moisten the air helps too.
So, I end as I started. First step is go see your baby’s doctor who will examine and make a proper diagnosis and then take it from there.
I wish you all the best.
Have a good night, y’all 😀