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Keratosis Pilaris - Symptoms and Treatment

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition, which are actually dead skin cells that build up around the hair follicle. Keratosis pilaris contains keratin, a protein in the skin, forms hard plugs within hair follicles. The cause is not known, although heredity probably plays a role. Also, people with atopic dermatitis are more likely to have keratosis pilaris. It often occurs in people who have rough dry skin. Multiple small, pointed keratotic follicular papules appear mainly on the lateral aspects of the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks; facial lesions may also occur, particularly in children. Lesions are most prominent in cold weather and sometimes improve in the summer. Skin may appear red. The problem is mainly cosmetic, but the disorder may cause itching or, rarely, produce follicular pustules. Treatment is not needed unless the person is bothered by the appearance of the disorder. Skin moisturizers are the main treatment. Creams with salicylic acid, lactic acid, or tretinoin can also be used. Keratosis pilaris is likely to come back when treatment is stopped.

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin disorder that causes small, acne-like bumps. Although it isn't serious, keratosis pilaris can be frustrating because it's difficult to treat. The disorder results from a buildup of keratin, a protein, in the opening of the hair follicles in the skin. Though quite common with young children, keratosis pilaris can occur at any age. In the population as a whole, keratosis pilaris may affect as many as one person in three. Its name gives some idea of what it is. 'Keratosis' means that there is too much keratin which makes up the tough outer layer of the skin: 'pilaris' comes from the Latin word for hair (pilus). In keratosis pilaris, many small (1 to 2 mm. across) plugs can be seen blocking the hair follicles on the upper and outer parts of the arms and thighs. There are several different types of keratosis pilaris, including keratosis pilaris rubra (red, inflamed bumps), alba (rough, bumpy skin with no irritation), rubra faceii (reddish rash on the cheeks) and keratosis spinulosa (solitary or multiple patches of follicular papules topped with scaly spines on any part of the body). Children, growing adolescents, pregnant and post-partum women suffer from keratosis pilaris more than any other group. For most people it tends to subside in adulthood and disappear in older age, though a mineral-deficient or high-sugar diet may cause the condition to persist.

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

Common Causes of Keratosis Pilaris :

  • The cause is unknown.
  • The deficiency of vitamin A, is also the main cause of keratosis pilaris.
  • The main cause of keratosis pilaris is a genetic disorder. The family history of keratosis pilaris follows the 'autosomal dominant' pattern - which means that there will be a 1 in 2 chance that each child of an affected parent will inherit the condition.
  • Keratosis pilaris often runs in families.
  • A dry skin is called as ichthyosis, which increases the chances to get affected by keratosis pilaris.
  • Keratosis pilaris appears when extra keratin accumulates in the hair follicles.

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Some common Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris :

  • Bumps the size of a grain of sand and skin colored.
  • Fine, bumpy texture to skin over the outer upper arm and thigh or elsewhere.
  • Slight pinkness may be seen around some bumps.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris

  • Medicated lotions with urea, 15% alphahydroxy acids, or Retin A can also be applied one to two times daily.
  • Using a tretinoin cream (a drug which is chemically related to vitamin A).
  • Apply moisturizing cream twice daily; try those containing urea , salicylic acid or alphahydroxy acids .
  • Using petroleum jelly with water, cold cream, or salicylic acid (which removes the top layer of skin) to flatten the pimples.
  • If you are get affected by keratosis pilaris, then avoid the use of soap, it may bring the dryness.








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