Keratosis Pilaris (KP)

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Adult Skin Problems Slideshow Pictures

Does diet have anything to do with keratosis pilaris?

Diet does not affect keratosis pilaris. Vitamin A deficiency may cause symptoms similar to keratosis pilaris, but it's not a known cause of keratosis pilaris.

Is keratosis pilaris curable?

There is no available cure, miracle pill, or universally effective treatment for keratosis pilaris. It sometimes clears completely by itself without treatment.

Is keratosis pilaris contagious?

Keratosis pilaris is not contagious. People do not give it to someone else through skin contact and do not catch it from anyone else. Some people are simply more prone to developing keratosis pilaris because of genetics and skin type.

What conditions mimic keratosis pilaris?

Other medical conditions can mimic keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris may resemble acne, milia, folliculitis, eczema, atopic dermatitis, facial rosacea, or dry skin (xerosis). Keratosis pilaris may also resemble uncommon skin conditions like lichen spinulosus, pityriasis rubra pilaris, phrynoderma (vitamin A deficiency), ulerythema ophryogenes, ichthyosis vulgaris, eruptive vellus hair cysts, keratosis follicularis (Darier disease), Kyrle disease, lichen nitidus, lichen spinulosus, perforating folliculitis, and trichostasis spinulosa.

In India and other countries, a specific condition called erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli occurs. This unusual condition has a possible genetic relationship to keratosis pilaris. Erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli is characterized by the triad of hyperpigmentation (darker skin color), follicular plugging (blocked hair follicles), and redness of the face and neck.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/28/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Keratosis Pilaris - Cause

    What was the cause of your keratosis pilaris?

    Post View 15 Comments
  • Keratosis Pilaris - Experience

    Please describe your experience with keratosis pilaris (KP).

    Post View 4 Comments
  • Keratosis Pilaris - Treatment

    What was the treatment for your keratosis pilaris?

    Post View 7 Comments
  • Keratosis Pilaris - Affected Areas

    Where on your body do you have keratosis pilaris? Have you found an effective treatment?

    Post View 5 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors