Keratosis pilaris is a very common skin disorder characterised by several small, red spots and patches of dry areas on the surface of the body. It usually occurs in the upper arms, the cheeks and forehead on the face, lower back and buttocks as well as thighs and upper portions of the leg.
Currently, more than 10 million people worldwide suffer from keratosis pilaris and it often develops in children, either at a very young age or during their teenage years. However, it also affects adults, with the typical signs on skin showing up in both men and women.
Keratosis pilaris is caused due to a buildup of the keratin protein in the inner layers of the skin. Keratin is a vital protein present in skin, hair and nails. It performs an important protective function of averting infectious agents from entering the pores on the surface of the skin. When keratin builds up to abnormally high levels, it clogs the pores and forms a bump in the area. Several such protrusions give rise to a scaly and dry appearance of skin.
Keratosis pilaris is a harmless condition and generally does not cause any pain or severe complications. It can sometimes arise due to genetic abnormalities or atopic dermatitis. Although there is no cure for this minor skin disease, in a majority of cases it disappears on its own by the ages of 35 to 40. However, it is best to consult with a doctor, to ensure proper remedial measures can be given to the affected person. Also Read: Atopic Dermatitis Affects Kids At An Early Age
The distinctive indications of keratosis pilaris include:
- Very tiny red spots on the skin, mostly on upper arms, cheeks and thighs
- Extremely dry skin with mild inflammation
- Coarse texture of the skin, resembling sandpaper
Diagnosis And Treatment:
The skin doctor, also known as the dermatologist, will carefully examine the external features on affected areas of skin. Based on their analysis, if distinguishing small red bumps occur in clusters, the diagnosis of keratosis pilaris is confirmed. No additional lab tests or skin tissue cultures need to be performed.
The healthcare provider will then recommend regular application of either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription gels, depending upon the expanse and severity of keratosis pilaris in the patient. Generally, the dry skin healing techniques are by means of topical lotions and no oral medications are required. These creams assist in eliminating the dead skin cells, exfoliating the surface and unclogging pores, to reduce redness and swelling and provide a soothing effect.
Some home remedies and skincare regimens are also suggested to be routinely followed by the physician. These consist of:
- Taking a shower in lukewarm water, to calm inflamed skin
- Avoiding using soaps, body scrubs, shampoos and detergents with harsh chemicals, to prevent further aggravating the skin's surface
- Not wearing extremely tight clothing, that rubs against the bumps on the skin
Keratosis pilaris can hence be managed effectively, by following these simple tips and making sure skin does not become too dry, by moisturizing thoroughly with a soothing lotion on a daily basis. Also Read: Amazing Homemade Moisturizers For Dry Skin