What is keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition that causes rough patches and tiny bumps on the skin. These bumps are often compared to goosebumps or small pimples, but they are plugs of dead skin cells. The bumps appear most often on the front of the thighs and upper arms. Children can have keratosis pilaris on their cheeks. This condition tends to run in families.
What causes keratosis pilaris?
This common dry skin condition occurs as dry skin flakes get stuck in hair follicles. Every hair on your body grows out of a pore/hair follicle, and when dead skin cells clog many hair follicles, rough, dry patches will form on your skin.
If you have one or more of the following, you are more likely to develop this skin condition:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Dry skin
- Hay fever
- Excess body weight
How is keratosis pilaris treated?
Although it is harmless, the bumps can be improved with good moisturizers if used regularly. Some moisturizers with lactic acid can also help dissolve dry skin flakes. Prescription salicylic acid or retinoic acid creams may also help. As the skin becomes smoother, it is important to continue treatment long-term for maintenance.
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