- Adult Skin Problems Slideshow
- Quiz: Is Ringworm Contagious?
- Gallery of Skin Problems Pictures
- Patient Comments: Keratosis Pilaris - Cause
- Patient Comments: Keratosis Pilaris - Experience
- Patient Comments: Keratosis Pilaris - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Keratosis Pilaris - Affected Areas
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Keratosis pilaris (KP) facts
- What is keratosis pilaris?
- Who gets keratosis pilaris?
- Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
- What causes keratosis pilaris?
- What are the signs and symptoms of keratosis pilaris?
- What types of doctors treat keratosis pilaris?
- How do doctors diagnose keratosis pilaris?
- Does diet have anything to do with keratosis pilaris?
- Is keratosis pilaris curable?
- Is keratosis pilaris contagious?
- What conditions mimic keratosis pilaris?
- Are there home remedies for keratosis pilaris?
- What is the treatment for keratosis pilaris?
- What are possible complications of keratosis pilaris?
- What is the prognosis of patients with keratosis pilaris?
Who gets keratosis pilaris?
Anyone can have keratosis pilaris. Although it is commonly a skin condition of children and adolescents, it is also seen in many adults. Females may be more frequently affected than males. The age of onset is often within the first 10 years of life and may worsen during puberty. However, keratosis pilaris may begin at any age. Keratosis pilaris seems to be inherited. It has been commonly been seen in twins. Keratosis pilaris is also seen in patients with atopic dermatitis and patients with very dry skin.
Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
Although possible, it is rare to have keratosis pilaris all over the body. The lesions in keratosis pilaris most characteristically involve the back of the upper arms. Other common locations include the back, thighs, buttocks and occasionally the face. It does not affect the eyes, mouth, palms, or soles.
What causes keratosis pilaris?
The exact cause of keratosis pilaris is unknown. There seems to be a problem with overproduction of the keratin part of the skin called hyperkeratinization. A majority of patients with keratosis pilaris have a known genetic predisposition and affected family members. Keratosis pilaris can be present with ichthyosis vulgaris, dry skin seasonal inhalant allergies, rhinitis, asthma, eczema, and atopic dermatitis.
The bumps in keratosis pilaris seem to arise from the excessive accumulation of keratin (very small, dry skin particles) at the opening of individual hair follicles. The skin as examined under the microscope demonstrates mild thickening, and plugging of the hair follicle. The upper skin layers may have some dilation of the small superficial blood vessels, thereby giving the skin a red or flushed appearance.