Keratosis Pilaris - Dream Health

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Tuesday 9 December 2014

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris – Common & Harmless Skin Condition 

Keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless skin condition causing the skin to become rough and bumpy as if it is covered in permanent goose pimples making the skin feel like sandpaper. The bumps tend to be light coloured and appear usually on the upper arms, buttock and thighs with swelling or redness at times. They also tend to show up on the face which is less common. With the exception of itching, this ailment does not hurt or gets worse.

 Children and teenagers tend to suffer from this condition which disappears as they get older. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris though there are treatments to improve the rash, like usage of soap free cleansers and exfoliating gently. The need to visit the physician does not arise unless the condition tends to cause reasons for concern.

Patches of the affected skin may be covered in tiny spiky bumps which may be white, red or skin coloured and this spotting tend to appear like `chicken skin’ or permanent goose pimples. This condition is not contagious and could get worse during winter months or dry conditions but improves in summer.

Build-up of Keratin 

Keratosis pilaris is the result of build-up of keratin, which is the protein that protects the skin from infections together with other harmful issues. These build-up acts as a plug which blocks the opening of a hair follicle and what triggers it, is not known.

If a person tends to have a dry skin, they are more likely to suffer from keratosis pilaris which gets worse in winter when the moisture level is the air is less, though it can get better in summer time. Besides this, it could also affect people with certain skin conditions like eczema which is also known as atopic dermatitis.

This condition cannot be prevented though it can be kept under control by lessening it effects which include using warm water instead of hot for showering and bathing, limiting the time in water, avoid scratching at the bumps or rubbing the skin roughly, using soap which contains added oil or fat, adding moisture to the air with a humidifier at home and using thick moisturizers generously on the skin.

Treatment – Moisturizing/Exfoliating/Laser Therapy 

With no cure for this condition, moisturizing lotion or creams could be of tremendous help to the skin which can look and feel better, where various options are available over the counter though for stronger versions, a prescription would be needed.

To reduce the redness, steroid creams could also be used though the effectiveness of these treatments is limited. It often takes months for the improvement of the skin. Warm baths followed by exfoliating the affected areas with coarse cloth or a stiff brush could be helpful in unplugging the pores and can be used as a treatment method.

Several case of keratosis pilaris have been successful with treatment of laser therapy which involves the passing of intense bursts of light at the affected areas of the skin and based on the response to the treatment, multiple sessions over a period of few months would be essential.

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