What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a harmless rash of the skin that manifests as tiny discolored bumps around the hair follicles on the cheeks, upper arms, thighs and/or buttocks. Typically, these bumps resemble small pimples and can create a rough feel to the affected area. Some say this skin condition also resembles the look of goose bumps. Although there is no direct cure for keratosis pilaris, there is treatment available to reduce its appearance. Usually those with dry skin, those who live in a dry climate or swim often, commonly suffer from this skin condition. People of all ages can suffer from keratosis pilaris, but it is common in children and young adults. Keratosis pilaris is also common with those who also suffer from eczema. At Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX, our board-certified dermatologists can assist with diagnosing this condition and helping to minimize the symptoms and its appearance.
What Causes Keratosis Pilaris
The cause of keratosis pilaris is due to the build up of fibrous proteins, called keratin, which protects the skin from infection. Keratin is produced near the hair shaft, just under the skin. The bumps formulated on the skin are irritated hair follicles. This irritation of the swollen hair glands results in a production of small numerous bumps on the surface of the skin. Keratosis pilaris is not contagious and is thought to be an inherited skin condition. It is commonly seen among those who also suffer from eczema, dry skin, hay fever or asthma.
Keratosis Pilaris Reviews
"I really wish she could be an "all-in-one" doc for every medical need possible. Yes, I know, not possible...it's a wish, right? Just had my 12 year old daughter looked over by Dr. Snyder for a yearly skin check and keratosis pilaris which my daughter unfortunately has everywhere. Dr. Snyder explained in terms my daughter could understand about what KP is and how to manage it. She really is as good as it gets."- M.L. / Yelp / Nov 24, 2015
"I am SO, SO grateful I found Snyder Dermatology and Dr. Jennifer Aranda. I have seen multiple Dermatologists in the Austin area and none compare. I have worked with Dr. Aranda on ongoing issues and uncommon skin conditions and her level of care and attention is incredible. I have never felt embarrassed or like my concerns were not valid. Every visit, her priority is making you feel better and making sure your skin and body are as healthy as possible. Even when she has a full schedule she gives you 100% of her attention and is always extremely sincere. Not to mention, she is a PRO at non-invasive biopsies. She hardly ever leaves a scar and removes the smallest amount of skin possible. She goes above and beyond, gives you samples of new products to try and does everything in her power to give you peace of mind. She and her assistants and the entire Snyder Dermatology staff, are extremely professional and accommodating. I wish I could see Dr. Aranda for every medical need or concern! She is AMAZING."- A.H. / Yelp / Aug 30, 2017
How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris
Occasionally, our physicians can prescribe a 7- to 10-day course of a medium potency, emollient-based topical steroid cream to be applied once or twice a day for the red bumps in the area. Once the inflammation has ceased, rough bumps may be treated with a routine of a preparation of either 2-3% salicylic acid or 20-40% urea cream. Intermittent dosing of topical retinoids (eg, weekly or biweekly) seems to be quite effective and well tolerated, but usually the response is only partial. After initial clearing with stronger medications, patients may then be placed on a milder maintenance program. There are several practical home remedies that can assist in improving keratosis pilaris. Such practices include daily moisturizing of the affected area or gentle exfoliation.
Although there’s no cure for keratosis pilaris, doctors can perform a screening by looking at the skin in order to determine whether a patient has this specific condition so that the proper treatment can be recommended. There are a variety of over-the-counter creams available for treatment, as well as medicated lotions that can provide a stronger result. For patients with severe cases of keratosis pilaris, our dermatologists can prescribe stronger medications to help improve the symptoms. Creams and lotions recommended may include the following ingredients: urea, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. Our dermatology office also offers laser and light treatments that can help reduce areas due to the coiled hairs that are trapped in the skin where the condition is more severe and visible. These in-office treatments can help improve the skin and create a softer, healthier skin appearance.
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Even though keratosis pilaris is not painful, the appearance of it on the skin can be embarrassing. Don’t allow this condition to control your self-confidence, there are many treatments available to help improve and lessen its appearance. Our exceptionally skilled staff can help diagnosis keratosis pilaris and lead you on the road to smoother skin.