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Everything You Need to Know About the Skin Condition Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a condition of your skin that is actually very common. It normally appears on your skin in the form of small bumps. Sometimes people refer to these bumps as goose bumps like a plucked chicken’s skin, or they might call it small pimples. However, it’s actually caused due to skin cells that are dead.

It’s quite harmless. Yet, if their appearance is bothersome to you, or you experience dryness and itchiness there is a treatment that can relieve the symptoms and give you a clearer skin.

These bumps usually are light in color. They can appear on the buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. They can sometimes also come with swelling and redness. Children may get it in their face, although it is very rare. Most of the time among teens and smaller kids, it can disappear on its own when they grow older.

Common symptoms

Most symptoms are normally more among children, although it may happen at any stage or age.

Symptoms and signs can include:

Small bumps that are painless, usually on your buttocks, cheeks, thighs or upper arms

Bump areas on the skin can be rough and dry

With changes of the seasons, it can worsen due to low humidity when the skin may be drier

The bumps will be like sandpaper and look the same as goose flesh

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

Normally it will be caused by a keratin buildup, which is a protein to protect your skin from anything that is harmful, along with infections. Doctors are not sure what cause this buildup, but it forms some kind of plug which blocks the hair follicles of opening.

If your skin is dry, it will be easier for you to develop this condition. It typically may get worse during winter months when the air has less moisture, and clear up during summer months.

Most of the time keratosis pilaris will affect patients that already have certain conditions of the skin, such as eczema. The doctor will be able to diagnose it without doing tests.

Avoid the following and do things to keep the skin comfortable

Don’t spend too much time in water

Rather use water that is warm instead of hot to shower or bath

Avoid rubbing the skin too rough or scratching the bumps

Use a humidifier in the house to add some moisture in the air

Apply moisturizers thick and generously to your skin

Try to use soap with more fat or oil contents

When should you contact your doctor or dermatologist?

Usually, it won’t be necessary for any treatment. Although you might be concerned about these appearances on your child’s or your own skin, then you can consult a dermatologist or your own doctor. They will examine the skin and be able to diagnose it according to the distinctive scaly bumps.

Different treatments

There isn’t any cure available for this condition, although, moisturizing creams or lotions can make your skin feel and look better. Some of these creams and lotions you can get over-the-counter, except when you need a version that is stronger, then your doctor will need to prescribe it.

You can use the following every day for some weeks:


This will remove all the skin cells that are dead from your skin’s surface, such as urea, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acid creams. These creams should not be used on young children because the acids can cause a slight burn or redness.


It’s linked to your vitamin A and helps to prevent your hair follicles blocking up. These creams and lotions contain ingredients, such as tazarotene which contain Tazorac and Avage, and tretinoin containing Retin-A, Avita, and Renova.

However, it might cause some peeling or redness, and irritate the skin. Women should avoid this if they plan to get pregnant, are pregnant or nursing.

Treatment with a laser

Sometimes the doctor can use a laser treatment on your skin for severe inflammation and redness. It can’t cure the condition but provide relief if lotions and creams don’t work properly. A few sessions will be needed for the treatment to be successful.

Some treatments you can do at home

Use mild lotions and cleansers if you have a sensitive skin. You should wash the area every day before you apply the lotion at least twice daily.

The following is applicable:





Moisturizers that is more potent to use between 1-2 times daily as a home treatment:

Compounded three percent of salicylic acid into twenty percent of urea cream

Salicylic acid lotion that contains six percent Salex

Urea cream that contains Urix forty, Carmol forty, Carmol twenty, and Carmol ten

Alpha-hydroxy-acid lotion containing Citrix glycolic lotion fifteen percent and Glytone

Lactic acid lotion containing Lac-Hydrin and AmLactin

It is always best to consult a professional before self-diagnosing as there are a variety of skin conditions with similar symptoms.

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