Causes and Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris
By Susha Cheriyedath, MSc
Causes of Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is caused by abnormally high buildup of keratin. The reason for this buildup is still not clear. However, studies indicate that it can be associated with some skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or genetic disorders.
Keratosis pilaris is found to be more common in people who have dry skin. In dry weather, this skin condition seems to worsen and hence flares up in winter and clears in summer. Targeted cancer therapies such as vemurafenib can also cause lesions resembling that of keratosis pilaris as a side effect.
Keratosis pilaris is an inherited skin condition that runs in families. It usually develops in childhood, is at its peak during adolescence, and often clears in adulthood.
Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris normally clears up on its own at a slow pace. In order to speed up recovery, treatment methods are available, which mainly focus on exfoliation and moisturizing of the affected skin. It can take months to see any improvement and the tiny bumps almost always come back on stopping treatment.
• Moisturizers and Exfoliants…show more content… If general moisturizers or emollients don’t work, dermatologists usually prescribe medicated creams. Skin creams that contain alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea help in exfoliating or removing dead cells from the skin. These creams are called topical exfoliants and they also soften and moisturize dry skin. They are available as over the counter as well as prescription medicines. Follow your doctor’s advice on how often to apply these creams. Topical exfoliants are usually not prescribed for children as the acids present in these creams can cause skin irritation or