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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 goosebumps 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 of 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 patients often seek treatment 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 keratolytic 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 the use of a loofah sponge or through picking. Not only are they rarely effective, but they are also discouraged due to the risk of skin irritation.

Prevention

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

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3977
Last updated: 11/10/2022 8:45 PM

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Overall doctor performance

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The doctor listened to you attentively

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The doctor took time to answer your questions

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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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Parking

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Friendliness of the staff during appointment

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

I liked that the doctor was well informed about the proper medicines to help me with my acne, and also was well informed about my medical condition, and was able to prescribe medication to help both!

#12022-05-31

The doctor was a good listener and gave clear answers

#22022-02-15

I thought the waiting area was decorated beautifully and made me feel relaxed and at home.

#32022-10-20

I was made to feel comfortable and was happy that I felt listened to and as though my needs were addressed. I feel confident that the doctor is determined to assist me with my multiple issues. The medical assistant and receptionist were also very helpful and welcoming. Thank you.

#42022-07-06

choice of music - French, Brazilian, etc appreciated being called when a cancellation opened up an appointment for me that was sooner than my originally scheduled appointment

#52022-05-22

the office looks great, doctor is very nice and helpful

#62022-08-22

very comfortable, but classy environment. Gave the feeling that the practice was upscale and therefore service would be quality

#72011-12-22 16:04:37

Having Alana accompany me from start to finish of the appt. It was comforting.

#82011-04-28 17:24:05

The medical assistant was very friendly and sat with me through the registration process to ensure my computer worked properly. The clinican was very patient and provided excellent care.

#92011-05-25 13:14:40

Friendliness of office staff and professionalism of doctor.

#102011-01-17 16:36:22

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

every thing was great!

#12021-12-09

Just continue to be as thorough and caring as my experience today. Quite like a breath of fresh air!

#22022-01-27

your office was just as described to me, most impressive!

#32011-09-07 11:57:29

your office was just as described to me, most impressive!

#42011-09-07 11:57:29

Nothing - excellent.

#52011-01-25 12:57:52

I have a suggestion: I noticed that two of the lovely rugs pose hazards to patients using walkers or who may have other mobility issues. The large rug placed at an angle and the narrow rug placed in front of the reception desk leave no room for these individuals to safely manuveur around the reception area and are likely to contribute to fall risks. I would suggest leaving these areas clear.

#62010-10-04 12:14:56

The only (minor) thing that I was disappointed in was that when I booked the appt. via phone, I was told that in addition to my cosmetic questions and consult, the Dr. would also be able to do my full body check. It turned out that there was not enough time to do both.

#72011-07-27 15:04:39

excellent service

#82022-09-25

Talk a little slower

#92011-09-12 11:44:23

keep on on trying to do your best

#102022-03-04

Customer Rating : 4.6

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