Keratosis Pilaris: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/10/2020

Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition characterized by small, painless bumps on certain areas of the skin. Keratosis pilaris is very common. Keratosis pilaris is not associated with any serious medical consequences or complications. It has been considered to be a form of normal skin.

Signs and symptoms of keratosis pilaris include painless, small white or red bumps around the hair follicles mainly seen on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. Other associated signs and symptoms can include

  • dry, rough skin in the areas with bumps,
  • worsening of the condition when seasonal changes cause low humidity and skin tends to be drier, and
  • sandpaper-like skin bumps resembling goose flesh or chicken skin.

Cause of keratosis pilaris

The exact cause is unknown.

Other keratosis pilaris symptoms and signs

  • Dry, Rough Skin in the Areas with Bumps
  • Painless, Small White or Red Bumps Around the Hair Follicles Mainly Seen on the Upper Arms, Thighs, Buttocks, and Cheeks
  • Sandpaper-Like Skin Bumps Resembling Goose Flesh or Chicken Skin
  • Worsening of the Condition When Seasonal Changes Cause Low Humidity and Skin Tends to Be Drier


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.