Keratosis pilaris is a general skin condition that causes uneven patches and tiny, acne-like bumps, especially on the arms, cheeks and buttocks.
Keratosis pilaris can frustrate a person since it is usually difficult to treat. These bumps usually do not hurt or itch and are usually white or red in color. However, this condition is not serious and disappears by the age of thirty. Should a person contract this condition, prescription medications and self care measures can improve the appearance of the condition.
Keratosis pilaris signs and symptoms
Keratosis pilaris is mostly common in young children although it can occur at any age. Signs and symptoms include but are not limited to dry, rough and sometimes itchy skin in the areas with bumps, small white or red bumps, characteristically on the upper arms, buttocks, cheeks or legs. This skin condition also worsens in winter when the humidity is low and the kin tends to be drier, it might be limited to individual, sandpaper-like bumps resembling goose flesh. In other cases though, bumps may become inflamed and cause scarring, particularly on the face. Keratosis pilaris gradually resolves on its own.
When to seek medical attention for keratosis pilaris
It is worth noting that keratosis pilaris is often not a serious medical condition therefore its treatment isn’t necessary. Should one get concerned about the appearance of the skin, he or she ought to consult the family doctor or a specialist in skin diseases.
Keratosis pilaris causes
Keratosis pilaris comes about as a result of buildup of a keratin. This hard protein that usually protects the skin from dangerous substances and infections forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Most often than not, the plugs form, causing patches of uneven, bumpy skin. The reason why keratin builds up still remains unknown, yet it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions. Keratosis pilaris also occurs in otherwise healthy people and dry skin usually makes this condition worse.
Keratosis pilaris treatment
Keratosis pilaris has no universal treatment as most options, including self-care measures and medicated creams usually focus on softening the keratin deposits in the skin. Using medications on a regular basis may improve the appearance of one’s skin but when he or she stops, the condition returns. Even with medical treatment, keratosis pilaris may persist for many years thus; individuals are advised to take steps that keep their skin moist and healthy such as use of warm water and limiting bath time to about 10 minutes or less, avoiding deodorant and antibacterial detergents that are usually harsh and drying soaps. In the contrary, choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats. Lastly, one can use a humidifier to add moisture inside the homes since low humidity dries out the skin.
People should always be wary of any bump-like growths in their body especially on their limbs and buttocks as that may be a case of keratosis pilaris. If keratosis pilaris worsens, seek the medical advice from a doctor.