Individuals with keratosis pilaris experience outbreaks of small, hard bumps and rough patches on their skin. These bumps are often light-colored, but they may become red in severe cases or in response to inflammation.
Affected areas of skin generally appear across the face, arms, thighs, and buttocks. This condition is common and primarily harmless, but it can be persistent and lead to prolonged itching or redness in some cases.
Keratosis pilaris is caused by the buildup of keratin, a protective protein found in your skin. The keratin buildup forms a scaly blockage in the opening of your hair follicles. This blockage involves tiny keratin plugs, which widen the pores and give skin a spotty appearance.
Once enough of these bumps accumulate, they can create the larger trademark patches of rough, pale, bumpy skin that are associated with keratosis pilaris. The reason why keratin forms this buildup is currently unknown, but it seems to be correlated with the presence of a genetic disease or with chronically dry skin.
Winter usually worsens the effects of keratosis pilaris, but symptoms of this illness can often improve in warmer seasons because of the higher levels of humidiy. This skin disorder appears to have some genetic contribution, as it can be inherited from your parents.
It is also associated with other dry-skin conditions such as eczema and ichthyosis. In some cases, keratosis pilaris may become inflamed and lead to scarring, especially when it occurs on the face. Despite its unpleasant appearance, keratosis pilaris is not contagious.
There are currently no known cures for keratosis pilaris, but moisturizing lotions can often improve the look and feel of affected skin. Your doctor can prescribe a stronger moisturizer if you find that over-the-counter options are not working sufficiently. He or she can also suggest other at-home remedies such as bathing in warm water, using soap with added oils or fats, and moisturizing the air in your home with a humidifier.
If your skin does not respond well to these treatments, your doctor may also suggest prescription creams as well. Additionally, you might consider seeing a dermatologist for further assistance in treating your skin disorder and relieving any discomfort.
Causes Of Keratosis Pilaris – Gender And Keratosis Pilaris
People who are affected by keratosis pilaris experience rough, acne-like bumps on the surface of their skin. These bumpy areas are usually white or red and may become inflamed or irritated, which gives this condition its descriptive label of “chicken skin.”
Keratosis pilaris affects people from all populations, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity: approximately one out of two people are affected at some point in their childhood or young-adulthood by this condition. However, some studies have noted that women are slightly more prone to developing keratosis pilaris than men are.
Although females are affected by keratosis pilaris more frequently than males are, researchers have not yet determined why this is the case. In both male and female patients, however, the symptoms of keratosis pilaris are similar in their location, extent, and severity. Most individuals with keratosis pilaris begin to display symptoms within the first 10 years of their life; symptoms often worsen during puberty in both males and females as well.
The rough bumpy patches that are commonly associated with keratosis pilaris are generally located on the outer side and back of the upper arms, on the thighs, and on the buttocks. Other affected areas can include the cheeks, and even in rare cases the scalp and eyebrows. These symptoms are due to the buildup of keratin, a protective skin protein that guards your skin from harmful substances and potential infections. Because of this keratin buildup, plugs form at the opening of hair follicles, creating patches of bumpy, scratchy skin.
Although keratosis pilaris can be frustrating because of its unpleasant appearance or resistance to treatment, the condition is not usually serious and often resolves on its own. Many patients report a disappearance of their symptoms by age 30.
If you are suffering from keratosis pilaris, see your doctor or a dermatologist. He or she will be able to suggest home remedies such as moisturizing regularly and exfoliating with a gentle, soap-free cleanser. Alternatively, he or she may also suggest prescription creams such as a topical corticosteroid or may recommend other procedures like laser therapy to reduce the effects of keratosis pilaris.
Causes Of Keratosis Pilaris – Genetics And Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is a widespread skin condition that involves raised, rough patches along the surface of the skin. These bumpy patches are caused by the buildup of keratin, a protective skin protein. As keratin buildup progresses, it creates tiny plugs that block hair follicles and forms small, discolored bumps on the skin. Although keratosis pilaris is cosmetologically displeasing, the condition is harmless and does not usually involve medical complications.
This skin disorder seems to be inherited: that is, your parents’ genetics strongly influence your chance of exhibiting the symptoms of keratosis pilaris at some point in your life. The majority of patients have other family members who also are experiencing or have experienced keratosis pilaris before. If one individual in a set of parents has keratosis pilaris, researchers estimate that there is a one in two chance (50%) that any children they have will inherit the condition and demonstrate symptoms during their lifetime.
This conclusion is based on recent studies which suggest that keratosis pilaris is inherited as an autosomal-dominant gene, which means that a single gene from either parent can create the condition in a child. Keratosis pilaris is commonly seen in twins, which supports the genetic association of the condition.
Despite its genetic influences, keratosis pilaris does not affect certain racial groups more than others. In fact, researchers maintain that the condition “has no widely described racial predilection or predominance,” and it is “commonly noted worldwide in persons of all races.” Interestingly, studies also note that although both genders are affected by keratosis pilaris, females are usually affected more often than males.
Keratosis pilaris may also occur in association with certain genetic illnesses, studies suggest. For example, chromosomal 18p deletion appears to correlate with the presence of keratosis pilaris in some patients. Additionally, keratosis pilaris may also be present alongside other skin conditions like atopic dermatitis (eczema) that involve similarly dry skin.
Partially because of its genetic influences, there is no way to fully prevent keratosis pilaris, although the condition may improve over time if treated appropriately. Treatment usually involves ongoing maintenance through daily moisturizing, exfoliating, and applying glycolic or lactic acids at the recommendation of a doctor or dermatologist.
For more ideas on the causes of keratosis pilaris, watch this video – Keratosis Pilaris and Gluten – What you need to know!
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