A common disorder of the skin, keratosis pilaris (KP) is characterized by rough epidermal regions and patches of small acne-like bumps that typically appear on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. These bumps can be white, tan, or red in color. The condition is caused by the keratinization (or cellular “hardening”) of the skin’s hair follicles.
Although its poses no serious medical threat, KP is often considered cosmetically displeasing. The disorder can affect people of all ages, but most patients find that the major symptoms of KP disappear completely by age 30.
Apart from the noticeable roughness and bumps, eruptions of KP are usually completely asymptomatic. During particularly violent outbreaks, many KP sufferers report persistent itching in the affected area. Doctors typically identify KP in patients who complain of the appearance of “gooseflesh,” “goose bumps,” or “chicken skin” on various body parts.
Because the general public is unaware of KP as a medical condition, many individuals are diagnosed with the condition when visiting dermatologists and other medical professionals for unrelated skin conditions. KP is often seen in patients with other epidermal disorders such as dry skin and eczema.
Facts About KP
- KP affects 50 percent of all adolescents and 40 percent of all adults.
- KP tends to be genetically inherited.
- Although KP isn’t technically “curable,” it often becomes less noticeable with time.
- Although it may spontaneously clear without treatment, KP generally requires ongoing maintenance and therapy.
Effective Treatments For KP
There is no universally accepted cure for KP, but a number of prescription medications and self-care modalities have been shown to significantly ameliorate the condition. The simplest preventative and therapeutic treatment for KP is to wash the affected area several times a day with a gentle soapless cleanser such as Dove or Cetaphil. The condition can also be controlled through the regular application of the right moisturizer.
More aggressive KP treatments include medicated creams that contain astringent exfoliates such as alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. Doctors may also prescribe topical retinoids such as tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) and tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova). To treat extremely problematic cases of KP, dermatologists have developed a range of laser therapies to remove ingrown hairs and completely resurface epidermal tissue. Due to this condition being more cosmetic than health damaging, try TrueLipid products before putting yourself through the unnecessary expenses and risk of laser therapies.