Keratosis Pilaris Causes and Complications – Other Skin Conditions That Bring About Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris occurs when small, acne-like bumps appear on the surface of the skin in rough patches. These bumps are generally located on the arms, thighs, buttocks, and occasionally the cheeks.
Individuals experience keratosis pilaris as the result of the buildup of keratin, a protective skin protein, in hair follicles. This keratin buildup creates plugs that prevent hairs from pushing through to the surface of your skin, which leads to unsightly, rough bumps on the skin’s surface.
Although keratosis pilaris can occur in otherwise-healthy individuals, existing skin conditions can predispose you to developing this disorder. The reasons behind the body’s buildup of keratin are currently unknown, but keratosis pilaris often appears to occur in association with other skin conditions or genetic diseases in some patients.
Any skin condition that involves dryness or moisture loss can contribute to developing keratosis pilaris. For example, many patients experience worsened symptoms during winter when humidity is low, as the harsh weather conditions can prompt the skin to experience moisture loss.
Similarly, individuals with ichthyosis who experience long-term thick, dry, and scaly skin are also more likely to have keratosis pilaris as well. Although no clear method of causation has been discovered, keratosis pilaris is also frequently seen in those with xerosis, which involves symptoms like dry, irritated skin that is cracked or feels tight, especially after bathing.
Keratosis pilaris has also been associated with skin conditions that are related to allergic reactions and asthma, although this has not received much clinical attention yet.
Researchers have noted that keratosis pilaris is often observed by physicians in otherwise-healthy patients who are visiting dermatologists for the treatment of other skin conditions and complaints.
If you are experiencing a skin condition that is causing you concern or discomfort, see your doctor or a dermatologist to diagnose and to address your symptoms. He or she can suggest various therapies and over-the-counter treatments to alleviate your discomfort and to promote well-moisturized skin.
Keratosis Pilaris Causes and Complications – Possible Complications Of Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is a widespread skin condition, affecting an estimated 40% of adults and nearly 50% to 80% of adolescents worldwide. Individuals who suffer from this condition have tiny, bumpy patterns along their skin; these rough areas resemble permanent goose bumps or “chicken skin.”
Although keratosis pilaris is a common and relatively harmless skin condition, certain patients may experience potential complications that range in severity from minor itching to permanent scarring. If you are suffering from keratosis pilaris and its associated complications and do not receive appropriate treatment, you are at risk for permanent skin damage in the affected areas.
For some people with keratosis pilaris, the affected areas of their skin may demonstrate temporary discoloration. Complications involving discoloration are usually the result of changes in the skin’s pigment, although this is not common among keratosis pilaris patients.
Pigmentary changes are referred to as either post-inflammatory hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation, indicating conditions where skin is either lighter than or darker than the surrounding tissue. As indicated by their names, post-inflammatory hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation generally follow a period of prolonged or temporary inflammation of the affected area.
Additionally, superficial scarring can also occur in some individuals with keratosis pilaris. In general, any scarring in these cases is the result of deep picking, overly aggressive treatment, or another source of inflammation.
Some patients may also experience a gradual loss of hair in their affected facial areas, especially when keratosis pilaris occurs around the eyebrows. Hair loss has not been associated with other affected areas besides the face, however.
Thankfully, these complications usually disappear with treatment. Keratosis pilaris rarely involves substantial complications, as it is primarily a cosmetic skin condition. If you think you may be experiencing keratosis pilaris or that your skin condition may be worsening, speak with your doctor or a dermatologist. He or she can suggest treatments to protect your skin and to reduce inflammation. He or she may prescribe a topical corticosteroid cream or refer you for multiple laser therapies.
Additionally, your team of medical professionals can direct you to the best at-home remedies, such as moisturizing twice a day or installing a humidifier in your home.
For more ideas on keratosis pilaris causes and complications as well as treatment, watch this video – How to treat Keratosis Pilaris (aka Chicken Skin)
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