What does hypergranulosis mean?

Hypergranulosis means an increased number of cells in the granular layer of the skin. The granular layer is found near the surface in a part of the skin called the epidermis. Hypergranulosis is a non-cancerous change.

The granular layer is a normal part of the skin and is usually 1 to 2 cells thick. The granular layer is named after the dark purple granules that can be seen when skin is examined under the microscope. These granules make the specialized squamous cells at the surface of the skin strong and provide them with moisture to keep them healthy.

Pathologists use the word hypergranulosis when they see an increased number of cells in the granular layer under the microscope. It is not a diagnosis although finding this change can be used as evidence to support a diagnosis.

What causes hypergranulosis?

Hypergranulosis can be seen in many different types of skin conditions including:

  • Viral warts
  • Many types of rashes
  • Trauma caused by rubbing, itching, and scratching of the skin
  • Chronic inflammation of the skin
  • Certain types of nevi

This change can also be seen with other types of skin changes including hyperkeratosis and acanthosis.

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