Keratosis Pilaris

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 Keratosis Pilaris

Have you been diagnosed with keratosis pilaris? This condition is so common (affecting over half of all kids and up to forty percent of adults) that you may have it and not even know what it is. Keratosis pilaris is a skin disease where the protein keratin isn’t shed properly from the surface of the skin, causing it to build up. This leads to the formation of little red bumps around hair follicles on various areas of the body. These little red bumps, which can also be flesh colored, often show up on the outer arms and thighs and give skin the texture of sandpaper. Key symtoms include:

Small bumps that look like "goose bumps" on the back of the upper arms and thighs

Bumps feel like very rough sandpaper

Skin-colored bumps are the size of a grain of sand

Slight pinkness may be seen around some bumps

Bumps may appear on the face and be mistaken for acne

Is there a Remedy for Keratosis Pilaris?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, although the little red bumps may become less pronounced as a person ages. The best way to minimize the appearance of the bumps and reduce itching is to use a mild, unscented cleanser that won’t dry out the skin. Mild liquid cleansers are usually best since they’re less likely to disrupt the fatty barrier that protects the skin from moisture loss. With keratosis pilaris, it’s important to keep the skin’s natural moisture barrier in place by not washing with harsh soaps and taking long showers.

Which Moisturizer is Best?

According to research from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the best moisturizer to use for treating keratosis pilaris is one that contains lactic acid such as Lac-Hydrin.  Lactic acid helps to exfoliate excess cells from the surface of the skin while drawing additional moisture to the skin both from the outside environment and from the deeper layers of the skin. Moisturizers that contain other alpha-hydroxy acids or urea have a similar effect, although they may not be as effective as lactic acid.

A Prescription Remedy for Keratosis Pilaris

If a gentle liquid cleanser and moisturizer containing lactic acid doesn’t work, ask your dermatologist about topical retinoids such as Retin-A to treat keratosis pilaris. Retinoids help to increase skin cell turnover which causes fewer little red bumps to form. Unfortunately, topical retinoids can cause skin irritation which usually lessens over time.

The Best Way to Treat Keratosis Pilaris

Use a gentle, liquid cleanser and a moisturizer containing lactic acid twice a day. If this doesn’t work, ask your doctor or dermatologist about topical retinoids. Keep in mind that the little red bumps of keratosis pilaris can be tough to treat – so give it time.  

Kaya Clinic in the UAE can help with managing these conditions. Alternatively, for details of Dermatologists, go to our Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras AlKhaima, and Ajman business directory.  


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