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Hyperkeratinosis in paw pads and nose

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

You may wonder why your dog has fluffy paw pads. Or is it normal for a dog to grow hair on the paw pads? Or thick tough skin that cracks deeply? Well, this is caused by a condition called hyperkeratosis. This is where the paw pads get extra layers of skin On the paw pads. It may look like abnormal hair is growing, often growing similarly to hair but on the paw pads, making a fluffy skin patch. Or it may look like hard strong skin like a rhino hide that can crack deeply. On the nose, it looks like a thick layer of skin.

The science

Hyperkeratosis of the paw pads is a condition in which the skin on a dog's paw pads becomes excessively thickened and hard. This condition can occur for a variety of reasons, including genetics, environmental factors, and underlying medical conditions.

Hyperkeratosis is an overproduction of keratin cells that thickens the skin creating an extra layer. Keratinocytes (skin cells) have a normal skin cycle in healthy animals and are keratinized where they become smaller and flatter so they can naturally shed easily, in basic terms it becomes healthy dandruff. With hyperkeratosis, the keratinocytes reach the stratum corneum (surface of the skin) before becoming keratinized so they can't naturally shed because they are still alive and instead make an extra layer of skin.

In severe cases, the extra layer of skin becomes very thick and cracks, this is very painful for dogs as it allows bacterial to creep in and cause infections.

There are several different types of hyperkeratosis of the paw pads, including idiopathic, congenital, and acquired forms. Idiopathic hyperkeratosis has no known cause, while congenital hyperkeratosis is present at birth and acquired hyperkeratosis is caused by underlying medical conditions such as allergies, infections, and autoimmune disorders.

Our recommendation is at any stage, you need to skin the skin soft with a skin recovery balm either for dry skin or greasy skin. If your dog has reached a point where the skin is cracking and causing infection, first of all, consider if he needs to see a vet. If the skin is cracking on the paw pads then we recommend you use your skin mask for its antibacterial and

antifungal properties. It's the perfect way to gently clean the skin and remove any dead skin cells that are ready to come away, never pick at the skin the products will do the work for you. Getting your dog to stand in warm water before and after the mask is perfect then follow on with the skin recovery balm


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