Keratosis Pilaris Information & Treatment Options

The Facts About Keratosis Pilaris

Also known as follicular keratosis, keratosis pilaris causes goosebump-like lesions on the back of the arms, buttocks, and/or thighs. The patches are usually dry and itchy, mostly during winter months when there is less moisture in the air. Keratosis pilaris can occur at any age and is hereditary. The skin condition may go away on its own but can be a chronic condition for some patients.

Keratin is a skin protein which protects the skin from infection. When keratin blocks hair follicles, a bumpy and rough rash forms, the main characteristic of keratosis pilaris. It's frequently found along with other skin conditions, such as eczema. The exact cause of the build-up is unknown but treatments include prescription medications such as:

  • Medicated creams or lotions with 12 percent ammonium lactate that softens the affected skin.
  • Topical exfoliants to help loosen and remove dead skin cells.
  • Topical corticosteroids for temporary relief of symptoms.
  • Topical retinoids that increase cell turnover and reduces the plugging of hair follicles.

Keep the affected area moist, avoid harsh soaps, and use warm water while bathing to lessen your symptoms.

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