What is a Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is a condition that causes skin irritations. It causes small, hard bumps to appear on the skin and can also come with redness and swelling. Most commonly, these bumps show up on arms, thighs, and buttocks. The face is a less common area for these bumps to appear. It is also common in children and teens, but they grow out of it as they grow older. Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition that is not harmful, but it can be irritating. It is often described as having a sandpaper-like and itchy effect on the skin.

This condition is caused by a buildup of proteins called keratin. Keratin is the protein that protects skin from harmful, damaging things like infections. When keratin builds up like that, it begins to clog your pores, specifically hair follicles and causes the characteristic bumps of keratosis pilaris. People with dry skin and other pre-existing skin conditions, like eczema, are usually more prone to keratosis pilaris, especially during the winter.

There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, nor is there any way to prevent it. There are different topical treatments used to moisturize the skin and lessen the itching that comes along with keratosis pilaris. These topical treatments are available over the counter or can be prescribed by a doctor. The lotions and ointments need to be used every day for several weeks to see any improvement.

Along with topical treatments, changes to your daily routine can be made to aid in moisturization and reducing the effects of keratosis pilaris. These include avoiding scratching the bumps, being in the water for less amount of time, using warm water instead of hot when bathing, using soap with extra oil or fats, using a humidifier, and using a thick moisturizer.

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