Keratosis Pilaris - Cause

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What was the cause of your keratosis pilaris?

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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. Keratosis pilaris is thought to be partly inherited (genetic) in origin. About 50%-70% of patients with keratosis pilaris have a known genetic predisposition and a high rate of affected family members. Many individuals have a strong family history of keratosis pilaris or "chicken skin." 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, hyperkeratosis, 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.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Norma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

The cause of my keratosis pilaris (KP) appears to be hereditary. I had it at the top of my shoulders. In 2011, I had cancer and took 4 treatments of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy had to be stopped due to side effects. After receiving chemotherapy, KP appeared all over my body. Especially, the worst is on my forearms, very thick. It's just horrible. After I had chemotherapy, every health issue that I had before was made worse. I don't like the prescription my doctor gave me as it is very greasy.

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Comment from: SchrodingersMu, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I'm 25 and I have had keratosis pilaris (KP) for 15 years. I have been in Japan for 3 months now and have realized that my skin seems oilier and my KP has significantly diminished. The largest change to my diet, by far, has been the reduction of dairy products and products produced by cows. I ate cheese made from bovine milk just to test and it seems that the KP has returned a bit.

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