Keratosis pilaris (KP) is really a genetic disorder of keratinization of hair follicles of the skin. It is an exceptionally common benign condition that manifests as small, rough folliculocentric keratotic papules, often described as chicken bumps, chicken skin, or goose bumps, in characteristic regions of the human body, particularly the outer-upper arms and thighs. Although no clear etiology has been defined, keratosis pilaris is often described in association with other dry skin conditions such as ichthyosis vulgaris, xerosis, and, less commonly, with atopic dermatitis, including conditions of asthma and allergies.
Keratosis pilaris affects nearly 50-80% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. It is often noted in otherwise asymptomatic patients visiting dermatologists for other conditions. Most people with keratosis pilaris are unaware the problem includes a designated medical term or that it’s treatable. Generally speaking, keratosis pilaris is frequently cosmetically displeasing but medically harmless.
Overall, keratosis pilaris is described as a condition of childhood and adolescence. Although it often becomes more exaggerated at puberty, it frequently improves with age. However, many adults have keratosis pilaris late into senescence. Approximately 30-50% of patients have a positive family history. Autosomal dominant inheritance with variable penetrance has been described.
Seasonal variation may also be described, with improvement of symptoms in summer months. Dry skin in winter will worsen symptoms for a few sets of patients. Overall, keratosis pilaris is self-limited and, again, tends to boost with age in many patients. Some patients have lifelong keratosis pilaris with periods of remissions and exacerbations. More widespread atypical cases might be cosmetically disfiguring and psychologically distressing.
What have you any idea about keratosis pilaris? Typified by clusters of small bumps in your skin, usually on the backs of top of the arms, thighs, or bottom, this is a condition that affects as much as 40 percent of adults. The Mayo Clinic includes a picture for you; don’t worry, it’s not super gross.
Keratosis pilaris is brought on by keratin accumulating in your hair follicle, forming a plug of keratiny stuff looks at first glance like mild acne. Nobody seems to learn why it happens. Unfortunately, KP may be exacerbated whenever your skin is dry, so whenever you treat it like acne by rubbing it with salicylic acid and such, you can actually make it worse.
Keratosis pilaris is also referred to as “chicken skin,” a term I don’t look after personally, but there you go.
I’ve had mild issues with this particular since forever, in the most common places of top of the arms and the backs of my legs, but I didn’t know it had been anything until many years ago — up until then, I simply assumed I was sitting too much, or something. Yes, that’s ridiculous, but I have already noted that I’m not really a dermatologist.
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is really a genetically based disorder of hyperkeratinization of the skin. An excess formation and/or buildup of keratin is thought to cause the abrasive goose-bump texture of the skin. In these patients, the method of keratinization (the formation of epidermal skin) is faulty. One theory is that surplus skin cells build up around individual hair follicles. The person follicular bumps in many cases are the result of a hair that is unable to reach the outer lining and becomes trapped beneath the keratin debris. Often, patients develop mild erythema around the hair follicles, that is indicative of the inflammatory condition. Often, a tiny, coiled hair can be seen beneath the papule. Not absolutely all the bumps have associated hairs underneath. Papules are thought to arise from excessive accumulation of keratin at the follicular orifice.