Skin Care
Keratosis Pilaris

Dr. Rick Lin and Dr. Dan Ladd, Dermatology Institute

May 14, 2005, 13:46

Keywords: keratosis pilaris, rough skin, raised bumps, exfoliating wash

Keratosis pilaris on the upper arm
Keratosis Pilaris is a common condition.  It is characterized by the presence of horny plugs on the hair follicles.  This condition usually involves the upper arms and thighs.  In the more severe cases, the condition may be present on the face and become more wide spread.  This condition gives you the “sand paper” feel when you run your hand across your upper arms.  The skin texture will feel rough with almost goose-bump-like raised papules.  The exact causes of these small bumps are debatable.  It is thought by many that this is a genetic trait.  These bumps usually appear between 2-3 years old and may continue into the 20’s.  In some cases, the condition may improve in the adult years.

Keratosis pilaris on the face
Keratosis pilaris appears to be more common in individuals with history of seasonal allergies, asthma, and atopic eczema.  Keratosis pilaris is a benign skin condition with no known associated disorders.  The condition is usually asymptomatic and does not require treatment.  It is generally worse in the winter and clears during summer.  People with keratosis pilaris tend to have dry skin.  Therefore, the most important aspect of controlling this condition is improving skin moisturization.  Some of the products, such as Cetaphil Moisturizer and can moisturize your skin effectively.

In addition, a mildly abrasive polyester sponge can be helpful in removing some of the plugs.  Glytone has a Keratosis Pilaris Kit including Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash, Glytone Body Lotion and a body scrub.  This kit is very effective in treating keratosis pilaris.

For most people, proper moisturization and care can significantly improve the condition.  However if the treatment fails, see a dermatologist.  There are other treatment options such as tretinoin cream, oral isotretinoin, and laser procedures that can be offered by a dermatologist in severe cases.

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