Keratosis pilaris is a common skin diseases. It is a skin condition which commonly occurs on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks. Keratin is a protein found in human hair and nails. This is generally thought to be a genetic disorder, although the symptoms of keratosis pilaris are often seen with ichthyosis and allergic dermatitis. It can also be observed in people of all ages who have either inherited it, have a vitamin A deficiency or have dry skin.
It occurs in about 60% of teens and is more commonly seen in girls. About 40% of adults will get it in varying degrees.
The specific causes of this disorder are unknown. Keratosis pilaris is a hereditary disorder. One can inherit it from one or both parents. Keratosis pilaris appears when extra keratin is present in the hair follicles. This is mainly present in childhood, and most obvious during adolescence, often it clears in adulthood. Keratosis pilaris also occurs in otherwise healthy people. Dry skin tends to worsen the condition.
The deficiency of vitamin A, is already is big cause of keratosis pilaris. A dry skin is called as ichthyosis, which increases the chances to get affected by keratosis pilaris.
Keratosis pilaris causes small, acne-like bumps, which usually appear on the upper arms, legs or buttocks. In mild cases, small bumps, similar in appearance to "goose bumps," are found on the backs of the upper arms. The texture is that of very coarse sandpaper. The bumps create rough patches and give skin a goose flesh or sandpaper appearance. Typically, patches are skin colored.
Keratosis pilaris can also appear on the face, where it closely resembles acne. Unlike elsewhere on the body, keratosis pilaris on the face may leave small scars.
Initial treatment should be using moisturizing. Try a cream such as Acid mantle, Vaseline or Complex 15 after bathing, and if possible re-apply the cream again several times daily.
The simplest treatment is to keep the skin moist with the frequent use of moisturizers particularly just after the skin has become wet. Increasing the humidity in the sleeping quarters has also been shown to improve the rash.
Avoid scratching the bumps because they can become open and infected. Also avoid wearing tight clothing and using abrasive body or facial scrubs, which can make the condition worse.