Keratosis Pilaris is regarded as one of the commonly found skin conditions. It is also referred to as ‘follicular keratosis’ or colloquially as ‘chicken skin’. The condition is regarded as autosomal dominant condition. These are rough blisters like patches appearing on arms, buttocks, face, thighs and other body regions. These patches may also be elevated and appear reddish or white in color. Generally keratosis pilaris are painless and does not itch. In majority of cases these patches are not serious and may ebb away without any medical aid. Yet it is crucial to consult a doctor and get any such anomalies diagnosed.
These blisters can occur anywhere on the body but not on glabrous skin regions such as palms or sole of the feet. When such blisters appear on the face, they are often mistaken with acne. Keratosis affects around 40 to 50 percent of the adult population. In the adolescent population it is recorded in around 50 to 80 percent individuals. As compared to men this anomaly is highly found in women.
Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis Pilaris may affected human at any age. It is commonly found in children. This condition may affect any part of the year but is said to be common during winter. Studies indicate that excessive keratin is the reason behind occurrence of the condition. Affected individual may suffer from certain symptoms of the condition which are:
- Small bumps appearing slightly reddish or white, occurring on thigh, arms and legs
- Dry and rough skin appearing at the affected region which may sometimes be accompanied with itchy sensation
- If it is keratosis, the condition aggravates during winter
In most cases the condition is restricted to sandpaper-like bumps which may resemble goose-bumps. In some instances the bumps may aggravate and become inflamed leading to scaring which is especially seen on face.
There are several dissimilar types of Keratosis Pilaris. ‘Keratosis Pilaris Rubra’ is one of its types which include reddish and inflamed bumps that often occur on arms, head and legs etc. Another type is ‘Keratosis Pilaris Alba’, wherein rough bumpy skin region occurs but without any irritation or discomfort. ‘Keratosis Pilaris Faceii’ is yet another kind of keratosis which is characterized by slightly red rashes appearing on the cheek.
Most people may neglect the condition mistaking it for goose-bumps which are temporary occurrence. Goose-bumps occur due to contraction of muscles. The only similarity between the two conditions is that they take place of skin regions where hair follicles are present.
Causes of Keratosis Pilaris
It is studied that buildup of keratin is the chief cause of Keratosis Pilaris. Keratin is a hard protein which is responsible for protecting the skin from infections and detrimental substances. These keratin when built-up, forms into a scaly plug which obstructs the hair- follicle opening. Generally, in almost all cases there are many plugs that form in the follicles which lead to rough patches of bumpy skin. It is not yet determined why keratin accumulates and turns into plugs. However, it is believed that the condition may occur in association with any underlying genetic anomaly or possible skin irregularities such as atopic dermatitis. The disorder may become worse if the skin becomes dry or dehydrated.
Keratosis pilaris – diagnosis
There are no specific tests that can help in diagnosing the condition. In fact it is generally diagnosed through typical skin examination and analysis of your medical history. Your doctor may probe you on the condition. He may ask you when the condition started and whether the symptoms are consistent or recurrent. He may also ask about certain things that may influence the symptoms making them either worse or better. Your doctor may seek information about any health anomalies or particularly skin issues experienced earlier in life.
There is no certain treatment meant to treat keratosis pilaris. People are suggested with self-care methods and topical solutions which focuses on alleviating symptoms and making the affected skin region supple by softening keratin deposits.
It is crucial to consult with a dermatologist if you are suffering from skin irregularities. Your doctor may suggest you topical cream for exfoliation. These creams will help in moisturizing and softening dry skin while at the same time eradicates dead skin- cells. Depending on the strength of the cream some of them may be prescription based while many can be bought over-the-counter. These creams are not suggested for young individuals unless approved by a doctor.
Topical retinoid based creams can also be helpful in opening up pores. Retinoid are derived from vitamin A that works by stimulating cell turnover and avoids blockage of hair follicles. Though retinoid is a potentially effective treatment option for Keratosis Pilaris it may lead to severe dryness, irritation, peeling of skin and also redness. This treatment may not be recommended for pregnant ladies.
Laser therapy is said to be a successful way to get rid of keratin plugs that blocks follicles. It also helps in cases wherein redness and inflammation accompany the condition. In this technique, bursts of lightening of intense level are passed through the affected skin region. This treatment may require more than one sittings and assistance from certified doctor. One can also treat the condition at home by using home- treatments such as being soft on your skin, always dry the skin gently, use humidifier, use moisturizers, try urea or lactic acids, etc. Though home- remedies for keratosis pilaris may be helpful it is highly suggested to obtain professional medical aid for the issue.
Keratosis pilaris and the Coconut Oil Natural Treatment
Coconut has been proven to be a miracle worker to treat Keratosis pilaris naturally. Many people have found that on application of this oil, their skin turns flawless once again in a matter of two weeks, or less. The reason for keratosis pilaris to occur is due to inability of the hair follicles to shed well enough, they get clogged with keratin. Coconut oil takes care of inflammation, moisturizes the skin and reduces redness and itching.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, the fatty acid in the oil are easily absorbed by the skin, moisturizing it to the hilt. You can make use of a loofah to lather up your skin with coconut oil or simply use a sugar scrub. After you are done with the shower, you can apply a little bit of coconut oil to the wet skin and rub the oil in. You can also use coconut oil body butter for greater effect.
Keratosis Pilaris Pictures