Skinformation: Keratosis Pilaris

I knew I had to cover this skin condition at some point in this series because it effects 50-70 percent of the adult population and many don’t even know what this is. I know this because I have it and for years I had no idea what it was, how to treat it and how it comes about. So, this post is long overdue and desperately needed.

Keratosis Pilaris is a very common, harmless condition where small bumps appear on your skin. You usually get patches of small bumps on your arms, thighs or bottom, but they can appear in other places. The bumps can be red, white, skin-toned or darker than your skin. The skin can sometimes feel itchy, and may be better in summer and worse in winter.

What causes Keratosis Pilaris?

Too much keratin. As you may know keratin is a protein that makes up hair, skin and nails but it can also be found in internal organs and glands. Essentially, it protects whatever it is coating as to prevent tearing and scratching.

Keratosis Pilaris occurs when your hair follicles become blocked with a build-up of keratin. The reason for this isn’t completely clear but the assumption is that it’s a hereditary condition. If both your parent’s have, it the chances are you will have it too. It can’t be caught or spread and it normally starts to show as you hit your adolescence.

Do’s and Dont’s

There is no cure for this condition, although it may dissipate as you get older. Therefore, it is imperative to keep your skin in the healthiest possible condition you can. This means hydration, hydration, hydration!

You can go to the doctor who will prescribe a dense, hydrating cream that targets KP specifically. It’s important to be gentle with your skin so, use mild soaps, wash with lukewarm water and pat instead of rub with a towel or washcloth.

To help treat your skin avoid hot showers and baths (this is especially hard when the weather is cold but makes a big difference). Try to stay away from perfumed products which can dry the skin out and avoid scratching or picking the skin.

Remember if you’re ever unsure about whether you have it or how to best to treat it visit a doctor who will be able to provide you with advice based on your skin specifically.