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Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common, benign skin condition characterized by the appearance of multiple small firm skin colored bumps on the lateral aspect of the upper arms and sometimes thighs. There can be surrounding redness. The bumps can resemble goose bumps and are sometimes referred to by the lay population as "chicken skin". They can cause the skin to have a sandpapery feel when touched. These bumps can also be seen on the face along the outer cheeks in children. The asymptomatic bumps occur due to the harmless buildup of keratin in hair follicles. The condition usually improves with age and is a trait that is often seen in multiple family members. About 10% of the population carries this trait but there is an increased incidence in people with eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of keratosis pilaris is easily made by a dermatologist based on its appearance. No biopsy is necessary. The diagnosis is further supported by obtaining a history of other family members with a similar condition.

Management

Treatment is not necessary but is often sought because of the rough feel, the bumpy appearance of the skin or the accompanying redness. The appearance and texture can be improved with the use of a topical moisturizing lotion that contains filaggrin-like peptides and ceramides (Cetaphil Restoraderm) or topical keratolytics such as moisturizing lotions that contain citric acid, alpha hydroxy acid (e.g. Eucerin plus lotion or cream), ammonium lactate (e.g. AmLactin 5% lotion or cream) or urea (e.g. Ureacin 10% lotion). These lotions are readily available over the counter without a prescription. Roughness and bumps reduce significantly after about 2 weeks with regular twice daily use. If improvement is not seen with these medicated moisturizers, a higher strength of these ingredients or prescription topical retinoids, which are commonly used for acne treatment, can be applied. Gentle physical exfoliation can also be performed for resistant lesions through in-office microdermabrasion. It is important to know that lotions need to be used regularly to keep the condition under control; if the lotions are stopped the bumps will become prominent with a delay of about 2 weeks. Redness usually reduces at the same time as the skin becomes smooth but if it persists, pulsed dye laser treatment may be pursued. Several sessions spaced 4 weeks apart are often necessary to completely remove redness. Results are long lasting.

Coping

Most people are assured by understanding the benign nature of the condition. However, when the appearance of these bumps or surrounding redness is disturbing, treatment may be started. Many will treat during the warmer months of the year when they wear short sleeves or in anticipation of an important event. In such cases, treatment should begin at least 2 weeks prior to the date. Some people will employ aggressive measures to remove the bumps of keratosis pilaris such as through use of a loofah sponge or through picking. Not only are they rarely effective, they are discouraged due to the risk of skin irritation.

Prevention

Keratosis pilaris is an inherited trait, therefore prevention is not possible at this time.

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SKIN

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Last updated: 12/03/2019 4:34 PM

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The doctor explained treatment options

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The doctor explained treatment options

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Front desk performance

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Aesthetician performance

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Office comfort

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Friendliness of the staff.

#12019-08-17

everyone was very pleasant and made me feel comfortable about my situation as well as gave me the hope for relief I was hoping for.

#22019-08-20

Very impressed by the Doctor and staff.

#32019-01-17

This was the fastest (in a positive way) medical appointmenet I've had since moving to this area.

#42011-01-05 08:38:17

I thought everyone was very professional and nice.

#52019-06-30

I came here because my previous doctor's staff was not friendly or helpful. I am very glad I switched. Everyone here has been very nice and professional

#62019-05-21

I WAS VERY COMFORTABLE WITH THE VISIT

#72019-09-08

Knowledgable and friendly staff.

#82019-10-31

I didn't feel rushed and felt like I was really listened to and taken seriously. I didn't feel like someone was just throwing ointments at me to get me out the door. I really appreciate the care I received here. Thank you.

#92019-05-10

The service overall was excellent!

#102012-07-06 12:10:33

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Waiting time in reception area was too long.

#12019-08-28

all good

#22010-10-14 12:21:49

Not a lot to improve on service is already top notch.

#32010-09-30 11:25:20

I can't think how anything could have been better.

#42019-07-25

Everything to date that your office has performed has been done professionally and expeditiously. It's a pleasure to deal with all the staff.

#52019-11-25

Hard to say, this was a short visit and the service and treatment, as far as I can tell, were excellent

#62019-05-27

No comments, everything is great.

#72011-02-21 13:37:17

Thank you

#82011-02-23 17:11:29

You guys give excellent service

#92010-10-04 15:02:52

I think that you should just mkae the vists a little bit quicker, and thats all.

#102010-10-27 08:46:34
Customer Rating : 4.5

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