Home Treatments for Pitted Keratolysis

Pitted Keratolysis is a bacterial infection characterized by pits on the skin. Often, this condition affects the feet and palms of the hands. Even so, the infection is common on the feet because the bacteria thrive in a moist environment such as that created by socks and shoes.

When you wear shoes and socks for a long time, your feet can develop an odor. Pitted Keratolysis typically affects more men than women.

Read on to learn more about pitted keratolysis and effective home treatments for pitted keratolysis.

Symptoms Of Pitted Keratolysis

The symptoms of pitted keratolysis range from pits on the top layer of the skin to bad odor in the feet.

The pits appear punched out on the palms of the hand or on the soles of the feet. When skin is moist, the pits are more visible. In other cases, the pits develop into larger lesions with the affected area turning red.

Pitted keratolysis can also cause itching on the affected area especially when you walk as walking exerts pressure on the feet.

Causes Of Pitted Keratolysis

Pitted Keratolysis can occur because of different bacterial infections. Common bacterial species that cause the condition include:

  • Corynebacteria
  • Dermatophiluscongolensis
  • Kytococcussedentarius
  • Actinomyces
  • Streptomyces

If you do not let your feet breath often, you are at risk of developing this condition. This is because bacteria thrive in moist conditions.

In most cases, the bacteria destroy the outer epidermis layer as the microorganisms produce enzyme protease, which results in intense itching. Bad odor occurs due to sulfur compounds produced on the skin as the bacteria multiply.

Tips for Managing Pitted Keratolysis

Managing Pitted Keratolysis is not difficult. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Keep your feet dry at all times. Avoid wearing shoes without your socks on to allow for breathability of your feet. Learn to dry your feet and even use a hair dryer to keep feet in the best condition to keep pitted keratolysis-causing bacteria at bay.
  • Use soap and water to clean your feet twice a day. An antibacterial soap or an antiseptic cleaner can be the best option to fight the different bacterial species.
  • Avoid wearing closed shoes for a long time or wearing the same shoes continuously. Consider open-toed shoes to keep your feet dry.
  • Change socks once a day
  • Avoid sharing of towels and footwear
  • Use antiperspirants on the soles of your feet
  • Consider soaking your feet with 15-20 drops of tea tree oil in a half bucket of water

A thing to point out is that if you sweat a lot and wear closed shoes for a long time, you are more likely to suffer from pitted keratolysis.

Therefore, alongside these tips, it is imperative that you practice the best hygiene. This will help to keep your feet and palms of the hand in the best condition.

Keep your feet dry to prevent bacteria from destroying healthy skin cells.

Home Treatments For Pitted Keratolysis

Coconut oil

Coconut is an excellent antifungal agent. It works wonders due to its chain of fatty acids, which kills fungi responsible for causing pitted keratolysis on the feet.


Mix coconut oil with extra virgin oil and apply a reasonable amount on the affected area. Repeat this two to three times a day until you effectively manage the condition.

Alternatively, mix coconut oil with drops of cinnamon oil. Apply it on the affected area twice a day. This helps to prevent re-growth of pitted keratolysis-causing bacteria.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil is also another effective home remedy that works wonders on the affected feet or palms. It kills fungus-causing infection thanks to its antimicrobial properties that promote healing and protection of the skin from fungal agents.


Mix 1tblp each of oregano oil and virgin olive oil and apply on the affected area. Leave the oil for some hours and then wash it off with clean water.

Alternatively, take 3 drops of oregano oil, add into a glass of drinking water, mix it well and drink it.

Lastly, you may use 1-2 oregano oil two times a day after meals.

These options are effective but you should always use alcohol-free oregano oil.

Olive leaves oil

Olive leaves have strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties that kill fungi. The leaves contain effective natural ingredients that help the skin to recover faster from the condition because it boosts your immunity.


Grind a few olive leaves and make a smooth paste or buy it prepared. Apply on the affected area and let settle for half an hour. Wash it off with lukewarm water and pat your feet dry.

You can also add olive oil to your tea and take 2-3 cups daily for a quick recovery. You only need 1 or 2 tablespoons of dried ground olive leaves to a cup of hot water. Let it boil for 10-15 minutes then drink it.

Onion juice

Onion juice is also another effective treatment for Pitted Keratolysis. It is rich in thiosulfinate component and quercetin. These components fight fungal and bacterial foot infections including stubborn ones like warts.

Things you need

1 tablespoon of onion juice

1 tablespoon betel juice


Mix betel and onion juice well and apply to the affected area. You can apply it twice a day after cleaning the area until the infection is treated completely.


Turmeric is an excellent natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiseptic agent. It has been used for a long time thanks to its healing properties on any kind of skin infection.

Turmeric does not only heal but it also prevents fungal and antibacterial infections from reoccurring.


Apply the juice of raw turmeric root onto the affected palm or feet. Leave it for 2 to 3 hours and then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat this remedy twice a day until you completely treat the pitted keratolysis.

Alternatively, boil one cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon of turmeric. Add 1 tablespoon of honey into it. Drink it warm. Turmeric heals by boosting your immune system and helps to prevent any kind of skin infection.


Pitted Keratolysis can be a stressful condition but with proper care and a combination of home treatments and prescribed medicines, you can put this condition under control.