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Do you know what Keratosis Pilaris is?

Keratosis Pilaris
Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain
January25/ 2017


Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that results in small, hard bumps on your skin surface. During this disease condition the appearance of your skin is similar to sandpaper. The bumps generally appear light colored and are often seen on your upper arms, thighs and buttocks. In few rare cases these bumps swells and appear red in color. Appearance of these bumps on face is very rare.

Keratosis pilaris causes itching and is not painful. Keratosis pilaris often disappear with time and does not lead to any major complications.

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Symptoms vary from person to person. Keratosis pilaris can occur at any age, but usually seen in young children. The common signs and symptoms of keratosis pilaris include:

  • Tiny painless bumps that appear on upper arms, thighs, buttocks and cheeks.
  • Rough and dry areas of bumps
  • Skin becomes more dry with change in seasons
  • Sandpaper like bumps resembling goose fish

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

Excess accumulation of keratin in your body results in keratosis pilaris. Keratin is a type of protein that is known to protect your skin from infections. Buildup of keratin blocks the opening of hair follicle. The exact reason of keratin build up is unknown.

People with dry skin are more likely to suffer with keratosis pilaris and the condition becomes worse during winter season. In most of the cases the bumps appear during winter and disappear during summer season.

Keratosis pilaris usually occurs in combination with other genetic and skin diseases like atopic dermatitis. Certain skin diseases or infections increase the risk of keratosis pilaris in children.

Keratosis Pilaris Diagnosis

There are no specific diagnostic tests that are used for keratosis pilaris. Your dermatologist can determine the disease by observing your skin. The affected area generally appears rough and dry thus, helping in early diagnosis and treatment.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatment

Keratosis pilaris clears up on its own during summer season. For treating keratosis pilaris, you can make use of certain skin products to moisturize your skin and certain medications if required. Your dermatologist may recommend the following:

  • Cream or lotions to remove dead skin cells
  • Lotions to prevent plugged follicles

Prevention of Keratosis Pilaris

There are certain tips that you can consider to prevent keratosis pilaris. The most common tips include:

  • Keep your skin moist
  • Don’t scratch or rub the bumps as it can increase the risk of other skin infections
  • Use warm water for bathing
  • Try to use soap which contains high amounts of fats and oils
  • Frequently use moisturizers
  • Use humidifier at home to increase the moisture content at home

When you experience any symptoms related to keratosis pilaris, get yourself diagnosed to avoid the spread of infection. Keep your skin moisturized will help in decreasing the risk of keratosis pilaris. Using moisturizers can nourish your skin and prevent it from getting dry and rough.

Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain

Atefa Noorain, (Microbiologist) former Head of the Department of Life Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Sujatha Degree College for Women. She worked as an Associate Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters and an Associate Editor of two research journals. She has presented her research work in 3 International Conferences. She has written articles for national journals and international journals. She had been felicitated as a Young Speaker in the last conference. She has worked on Nanoparticles as a part of her research project and won the Best Scientist of the Day award.

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