Plantar keratoderma climatericum: Successful improvement with a topical estriol cream

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Keratoderma climatericum affects menopausal women, and the diagnosis relies on typical clinical findings and exclusion of other potential causes of acquired keratoderma. Although its pathophysiology is still unknown, there has been speculation about its relation to hormonal dysregulation (possibly a local estrogen deficiency) since the 1930s. A female patient with long-lasting keratoderma climatericum was initially prescribed a topical 50% urea ointment and clobetasol propionate 0.05% ointment, with just a slight improvement after 2 months of daily use. The patient was started on topical estriol 0.125 mg/g vaginal cream applied on the plantar surface after her daily shower and application of the same topical 50% urea ointment and clobetasol propionate 0.05% ointment on alternate nights. There was a marked improvement under this regimen with total and fast control of the pruritus. At 6-month follow-up the patient retained total symptomatic control and was just applying the estriol cream and the 50% urea containing ointment. We report a case of a difficult to treat plantar keratoderma that markedly improved after adding a daily topical application of a vaginal cream containing estriol 0.125 mg/g. Trials that determine the efficacy and safety of topical estrogens for keratoderma climatericum are warranted.

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