ANATOMY OF THE EAR  
Keratin Patches

Keratin Patches

Description : If the tympanic membrane is examined with sufficient illumination, multiple discrete thickened whitish patches can be seen.

These patches consist of tiny stacks of keratinocytes which have developed as the superficial layers of keratin split apart during their normal outward migration.

Keratin patches are present on the surface of all normal tympanic membranes, although they may not always be visible.

Maceration of the outer surface of the tympanic membrane by moisture or edema of the tympanic membrane, for example during an acute otitis media, usually enhances their visibility.

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