What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition that causes rough patches and small bumps on the backs of your arms and thighs (fronts). Some people refer to keratosis pilaris as strawberry skin and chicken skin. Many people have so many bumps that they cover their forearms or lower legs. It can be embarrassing, but it's not a health problem and doesn't hurt or itch.
What is keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris (ker uh-TOE-sis pih-LAIR-is) is a hereditary skin condition that causes tiny, dry, rough bumps to appear on the backs of your arms and thigh. These bumps are often hard and look like sandpaper or chicken skin. It can also show up on your cheeks or buttocks.
You'll know you have keratosis pilaris when you notice that the bumps are more prominent and redder than before. It's usually more noticeable in winter than in summer, and the bumps may go away on their own or become less visible by about age 30.
How is keratosis pilaris diagnosed?
A healthcare provider can diagnose keratosis pilaris by looking at your skin and asking questions. The doctor can also examine your skin with a unique dermoscopy tool. The dermoscopy can show how the bumps look under magnification.
The doctor will probably ask you to keep track of the number and size of your bumps. This will help the doctor understand how severe your condition is.
If your doctor thinks you have keratosis pilaris, your doctor might take some skin cells and put them under a microscope. This skin biopsy test can help the doctor see if you have other skin conditions similar to keratosis pilaris.
How can I tell if I have keratosis pilaris?
The best way to tell if you have keratosis pilaris is to run your hands over the backs of your arms. If you have bumps that look rough and don't itch, you might have keratosis pilaris.
You might also have a hereditary condition that makes you more likely to get this skin condition. Those with atopic dermatitis, which can cause itchy skin, are likelier to have keratosis pilaris.
What is the difference between keratosis pilaris and psoriasis?
KP is caused by a buildup of a hard protein called keratin. It blocks the opening of hair follicles, causing rough patches on your skin.
This buildup happens when your body makes extra keratin, a natural substance that helps protect the skin from damage and infection. Sometimes keratin builds up due to a genetic disease or an underlying condition such as eczema or atopic dermatitis.
What is a keratosis pilaris treatment?
There's no cure for keratosis pilaris, but treatment can improve the look and feel of your skin. Your doctor can prescribe moisturizing lotions and creams to ease your symptoms. You can also try a retinoid cream or a topical medication to help you control the bumps and prevent them from getting more significant.
Our 3-Step Keratosis Kit contains all the ingredients that assist in minimizing and preventing KP.