What is keratosis pilaris?
"Keratosis" means a rough, scaly patch of skin due to overgrowth of the upper layer of skin. "Pilaris" is related to hair.
Keratosis pilaris is a skin problem in which dead skin cells from the upper layer of your skin plug up the hair follicles in your skin, causing little bumps.
Keratosis pilaris is common and harmless
It usually happens in cold weather and gets better in summer
Your skin may feel rough because of the bumps
Doctors can treat the itching or redness of keratosis pilaris using skin lotions or laser treatments
What causes keratosis pilaris?
Doctors aren't sure what causes keratosis pilaris, but heredity may play a role. It doesn't seem to be an allergic or immune system disorder.
People with atopic dermatitis Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) "Derm" within a word means it has to do with the skin. "Itis" means inflammation. So dermatitis is inflamed skin. Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a long-term type of dermatitis that... read more are more likely to have keratosis pilaris.
What are the symptoms of keratosis pilaris?
Symptoms of keratosis pilaris include:
Small bumps that are skin-colored or red, usually on the upper arms, thighs, and bottom, sometimes on your face
Sometimes, plugs in the middle of the bumps that look like pimples
Redness and itching of your skin
How can doctors tell if I have keratosis pilaris?
Doctors can tell you have keratosis pilaris by examining your skin.
How do doctors treat keratosis pilaris?
Most of the time, keratosis pilaris doesn't need treatment. If itching or redness bothers you, doctors can treat it using:
Skin moisturizers with glycolic or lactic acid
Sometimes, laser treatments to lessen the redness