Keratosis pilaris: Causes, symptoms and treatments

The keratosis pilaris, also known as gooseflesh (although in this case is not caused by low temperatures), is a genetic skin disease characterized by small rough bumps or granites reddish, manifested especially in the top of arms, thighs, breasts and glutes.

keratosis pilaris

What is keratosis pilaris?

The keratosis pilaris or follicular keratosis is a very common and harmless skin condition in which the skin becomes rough with the appearance of small red bumps.

It is also known as “goose bumps”, although in this case it is not caused by cold. It is popularly called that because of the similarity with the skin of a plucked chicken.

It manifests when the keratin accumulates in the hair follicles are grains or hard bumps that prevent the hair from the emerging countries through the pores, favoring the hair cyst.

In some cases, especially when the accumulation is quite important, the pimples become irritated causing a very reddish skin tone.

Keratosis pillars can appear at any time of life, although it is more common in childhood and adolescence. There are many women who also manifest this condition after childbirth.

It is a skin condition that has no cure but before which it can improve the rash and its appearance using specific hygiene and care habits that we will explain a little later.

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is manifested by small red bumps, rough to the touch, very similar to sandpaper. Although it can sting, this does not get hurt. Except for those forms of keratosis that create more important, inflamed and irritated bumps.

The granites are generally of reddish color or skin color, although the tone may vary depending on the type of skin of the affected person, which may be red, flesh, white, brown, black or pinkish. For example, light skins are more pinkish. On the contrary, in dark skins, these are browner.

It usually appears on the back, legs, arms, buttocks and cheeks and becomes much more noticeable in winter and in places where the climate is drier, while in summer it tends to improve.

Interestingly, the keratosis pilaris, is improving as it gets older and even in some cases, disappears completely in adulthood. In some cases, this condition is often mistaken for acne and rosacea. With the latter, especially when it manifests in the face, due to the pinkish color acquired by the granites and the surrounding area where small pink spots may appear.

Causes and diagnosis of Keratosis Pilaris

The cause of keratosis pilaris is the accumulation of keratin in the hair follicles of the skin.

causes of keratosis pilaris

This excess of keratin causes plugs of hard and rough skin , after opening the pores, leave the skin with an irregular appearance.

This condition is not contagious, nor is it caused by fungi or bacteria. Rather it has a hereditary component. If one of the parents has this disease, their children have a 50% chance of inheriting it.

For the diagnosis of this disease, the doctor will perform a skin scan and ask several questions related to this condition, such as when the symptoms were first noticed, whether these are permanent or come and go, what seems to relieve or worsen the symptoms and if any member of the family has a similar problem.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris

There is no cure for keratosis pilaris that can be considered valid for all cases. Sometimes, this skin condition disappears completely without the need to intervene with a treatment. In general, it does not seem the power supply to have to do with keratosis, although vitamin A deficiency can determine the onset of symptoms similar to those of keratosis. However, there are several ways to control the symptoms of this skin disease. There are in many, to take into account the beneficial effects of performing a skin lubrication program, but it should consist of a continuous care.

The main rule is to implement the general tips to make sure that the skin does not become extremely dry. For example, you should use very delicate detergents. There are also several moisturizers that are sold without a prescription in pharmacies that can act positively in the clearest cases of keratosis pilaris. Also available are lactic lotions, creams with urea and steroid ointments. Your doctor will specifically tell you, the evaluation of the situation, what option to choose.

It would be advisable to wash each part of the body with a delicate action, and apply twice a day, with a light massage, lotions for sensitive skin. Recall that, in case of skin irritation, it should be used exclusively by the reading of the moisturizing creams. In certain cases, the doctor may prescribe a treatment with a topical steroid cream, which is coated once or twice a day on the inflamed area. Keratosis pilaris typically reveals a chronic condition, which must be understood in the long term. It is important not to wait for the results in a short period of time and at the same time, we should not lose hope, because sometimes the condition can resolve on its own.

Laser Treatment

If you notice thick hair in the affected area, laser hair removal may be helpful. Intense pulsed light (IPL) laser is usually used to extract the hair from the follicle during hair removal; this procedure can also improve keratosis pilaris by ridding the skin of keratin that blocks the pores.

If your keratosis pilaris is accompanied by a troublesome red pigmentation, consider the pulsed dye laser that emits short rays of intense yellow light to destroy the targeted tissue. The light destroys the blood vessels but leaves the skin intact all around. The treatment is safe and does not damage the skin but it requires several sessions.

Home remedies for Keratosis Pilaris

The first step is to refine the appearance of the skin, by means of a regular exfoliation. There are many natural exfoliants that you can choose to improve your skin, so do not be afraid to experiment until you get the one that you like the most. However, we should not be too aggressive with our skin as it could aggravate the symptoms. Neither should we rub when drying, but rather try to gently dry the skin. In turn, it is important to stay well hydrated.

Regarding food, we can increase the consumption of vitamin A and lactic acid, the first causes the upper layer of the skin to grow faster, reducing bumps; the second, which is mainly found in milk, also improve the appearance.

In relation to topical creams, we can try coconut oil, which we should rub on clean skin. It is especially useful as it treats the situation quickly, because your skin will quickly absorb all the nutrients that the oil has. Apple cider vinegar is another excellent option, only that it should be applied twice a day, by using a cotton ball or mixing it with water and spraying it on the skin.

It is important to increase the humidity of your home to eliminate goose bumps: very dry or cold environments worsen the situation.

Perhaps one of the most widely used home remedies is a type of exfoliating-moisturizing cream based on olive oil, sugar and a few drops of hot water. This should be prepared at the time of use, and should be applied gently in the affected areas.

In the event of any health problem, changing one’s lifestyle is an excellent approach. If you change your diet to consume more magnesium, a mineral essential to hundreds of body functions, you may experience an improvement in your skin in areas with keratosis pilaris. Like zinc, magnesium fights dry and itchy skin.