Keratosis Pilaris

Among the types of skin diseases keratosis pilaris is a common condition. Keratin is protein found in our skin and it plugs the hair follicles. The good news is that keratosis pilaris is a benign condition.

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

An increase is proteins such as keratin is thought to be the main cause of keratosis pilaris. However, the cause of the increase in proteins that starts the problem hasn’t been discovered. Those who have keratosis pilaris typically have a mild case that is only slightly bothersome. The hair follicle has individual papules that form inside it, giving the skin a sandy feeling. Cold weather typically worsens the condition.

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris has symptoms that are mild and only a little bothersome to the individual. In time the symptoms of this condition will appear and disappear. There are different times of the year when the symptoms will present themselves and the severity of the condition will differ.

A sandy, bumpy texture to the skin is the most common symptoms of keratosis pilaris. In many cases it occurs on the arms or legs but it can present on other parts of the body. Normally the patches are small to medium in size and don’t spread from where they first appear.

Areas of the body not near the original outbreak may have some isolated bumps. This doesn’t mean the disease is spreading or progressing and it is common among individuals with this condition.

A slight red or pink discoloration near the bumps of the affected area is an uncommon symptom of keratosis pilaris. Less than one percent of all known cases has this symptom. Excessive scratching is typically associated with this symptom and will subside once the individual stops scratching.


A diagnosis is very simple in most cases due to the commonality of keratosis pilaris. In order to diagnose the disorder a doctor will normally need a physical exam. A doctor will in a few cases order a skin scraping or culture. This typically occurs in the early stages of the disease when it can be difficult for a doctor to make a diagnosis. When necessary a skin culture will provide a doctor with a definitive answer.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris has no specific cure but it is a benign condition that is not harmful to the patient. The appearance of the skin can be helped with lotions but this isn’t a cure. Through the course of the disease itching become apparent and lotions can also help relieve this. Any discomfort associated with the condition can be relieved by keeping the area damp.

A topical solution may be prescribed by doctors but this also isn’t a cure. Patients can expect a return of symptoms whenever they stop using products and the treatment methods are meant for long-term use.


Having the disease fade away with age is the best that individual with keratosis pilaris can hope for. Within a few years the disease is completely gone in most cases with no lasting damage or remnants. Researchers believe this is due to the decrease of the protein keratin which originally causes the condition. The cause of the decrease is not known, but it does occur and time will often relieve the symptoms or fade the disease away completely.


Keratosis pilaris has no known complications. Of all the cases recorded since the discovery of the condition there has been no reported medical crisis and the disease seems to be more bothersome and cosmetic in nature. The increase in keratin may cause the bodies natural reaction as many researchers believe and the individual with the condition isn’t harmed in the least.

Medical Attention for Keratosis Pilaris

In the case of keratosis pilaris there is not specific timetable for medical attention. Most people just try to live with the symptoms until they go away or use lotion to counteract the effect on the skin since the disease is not treatable. However, you should seek medical attention should other problems develop. Keratosis pilaris can only be diagnosed by a qualified doctor and you should assume anything before you talk with a medical professional.

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