Keratosis pilaris is a very common inherited condition where small keratotic papules in hair follicles appear as patches of bumps on the skin. The bumps can be red, white, or darker than the skin.
Keratosis pilaris is stealthy in that patients who develop this condition are asymptomatic and it goes unnoticed. The disorder usually affects upper arms, upper legs, and buttocks. Certain age groups have a higher prevalence of this disorder, adolescents to be exact.
It is caused by excess keratin in the hair follicles, and although the causes have not been understood, a hormonal influence may be involved considering the high prevalence in adolescents.
No cure is available for keratosis pilaris, preventive measures like avoiding excessive skin dryness by moisturizing, staying away from long hot baths, and using mild soaps decrease the symptoms. In severe cases, keratolytic agents such as lactic acid, salicylic acid and urea cream are effective at reducing the appearance.
Written by: Naif Alshaikh, Medical Student