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Hyperkeratosis is thickening of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis), often associated with the presence of an abnormal quantity of keratin, and also usually accompanied by an increase in the granular layer. As the corneum layer normally varies greatly in thickness in different sites, some experience is needed to assess minor degrees of hyperkeratosis.

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This is a picture of my arm as of today. I have a rare form of hereditary Ichthyosis (a skin disorder) called Epidermolytic Hyperkeratosis. Long word, but simple to explain. The keratin in my skin clumps up and causes it to look scaly like a reptile's. My skin cells rebuild at an accelerated rate which burns energy and boosts my metabolism. This fact is both good and bad. I'm missing a protective layer of tissue that's usually found near the epidermis. This means that if i barely bump something or rub it against something wrong, my skin will tare like paper. Yet, there is a bright side. With my skin cells reproducing so fast, a wound that would normally take people a week or two to heal, only takes me a few days. My dad actually used to call me "Wolverine's little cousin" because of it. With all of this in mind, there are of course some little nuisance that come into play. The more skin that builds up the more uncomfortable I get. At the same time this skin tends to shed and fall off EVERYWHERE. That can get frustrating, but oh well, that's life. Since my skin makes NONE of it's own moisture, I have to use lubrication methods that most people would find excessive for their own skin. I have to mix a whole jar of petroleum jelly and extremely thick dry skin cream to suffice as well as regular lotion does for others. Otherwise my skin will be ridiculously dry and start to crack within a couple hours, and that's not a pretty site. I also have to take more bath's than the average bear to keep the build up down but, hey, who doesn't mind being extra clean! The rest of my body functions are relatively healthy accept for a few bone alignment issues. Many times I've been looked at funny and made to believe I wasn't as good as "normal" kids. However, I found out a while ago that I'm one of 250,00 people with this disorder!! Guess that makes me pretty special huh? ;D I only know one other person in my city with an Ichthyosis disorder and he's probably around 10 (like 8 years younger than myself). I think he has a different form than I do but I haven't been able to track him down. Anyways, hope this info was more than you needed to know :) Thanks for reading!!

Contributed by Tekiuh Hutton

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