The key difference between hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis is that hyperkeratosis is the formation of excess keratin on the skin surface while parakeratosis is the retention of the nuclei in the stratum corneum skin layer.
Skin is the largest organ present in the human body. There are different cells involved in the formation of skin layers. Keratin is the main pigment present in skin cells that provides colour to the skin. Therefore, it is important to understand the anatomy and the physiology of the skin in order to study the deformities of the skin.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Hyperkeratosis
3. What is Parakeratosis
4. Similarities Between Hyperkeratosis and Parakeratosis
5. Side by Side Comparison – Hyperkeratosis vs Parakeratosis in Tabular Form
What is Hyperkeratosis?
The condition of hyperkeratosis arises due to the excess deposition of keratin in the skin cells. In this condition, skin cells will produce more keratin than the normally expected amount. Hyperkeratosis may have many causes. They can be an actinic keratosis, forming darkened patches in the skin, calluses, eczema, psoriasis and warts. However, in certain genetic and fungal manifestations, the condition of hyperkeratosis can lead to a worse and a more critical condition.
The condition of hyperkeratosis is often misinterpreted as an allergic reaction due to the similar symptoms they showcase during hyperkeratosis. Therefore, it is important that allergens or the causative mode are known. When a person is diagnosed with the condition of hyperkeratosis, it is important that the patient is left in isolation until the disease aetiology and epidemiology is understood. Adjusting environmental temperature is an important step towards reducing the effects of hyperkeratosis.
What is Parakeratosis?
Parakeratosis is the condition where the nuclei in the stratum corneum are retained. Thus, the characterization of keratinization takes place through the presence of the nuclei. Even though this is a normal process in the mucous membranes, when it takes place in the skin cells, it turns out to be abnormal. Therefore, the deposition of the abnormal nucleated cells takes place in the skin cells.
Parakeratosis leads to the thinning of the skin cells. It may also lead to a malignancy state in skin cells. Furthermore, this may create an inflammatory response in the skin cells too. Moreover, this condition is visible during psoriasis and dandruff.
What are the Similarities Between Hyperkeratosis and Parakeratosis?
- Hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis are two conditions associated with keratinization.
- Both take place in the skin cells.
- They may be visible in psoriasis condition.
- Factors such as temperature affect the severity of both conditions.
What is the Difference Between Hyperkeratosis and Parakeratosis?
Hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis take place in relation to keratinization. Hyperkeratosis is the condition where there is an increase of keratin production in the skin cells. In contrast, parakeratosis is the condition where the expression of nuclei in the skin cells increase. So, this is the key difference between hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis.
Summary – Hyperkeratosis vs Parakeratosis
Hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis are two conditions that are involved in the keratinization process. Hyperkeratosis is the condition where there is an increase in keratin production in the cells. In contrast, parakeratosis refers to the condition where the nuclei are present in the skin cells. Both conditions are associated with skin conditions such as psoriasis. However, factors such as temperature play an important role in the development of both conditions. So, this is the summary of the difference between hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis.
1. Rachel Nall, RN. “Hyperkeratosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 20 Jan. 2018, Available here.
2. “Granular Parakeratosis.” Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, 8 Nov. 2019, Available here.
1. “Lichen simplex chronicus – low mag” By Nephron – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Micrograph of early actinic keratosis with parakeratosis” By Mikael Häggström, M.D.- Reusing images – From: (2011). “Histopathological Variants of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Review”. Journal of Skin Cancer 2011: 1–13. DOI:10.1155/2011/210813. ISSN 2090-2905. (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia