This month we will discuss a skin condition that is so common, that you probably have some form of it somewhere on your body. Keratosis Pilaris (or “KP”) is so common that some dermatologists do not even consider it to be a “condition” or a “disease”. They consider it to be a normal variant.
What is it?
Keratosis Pilaris usually presents as rough little bumps on the back of peoples arms (in the tricep area). The bumps are spiny little plugs in the hair follicles. When you run your fingers over skin with KP, it feels like braile (some people call it “chicken skin”). If you look closely at the back of anyone’s arms, you will usually find at least a few KP bumps. Some people have quite a bit, and it can become irritated and red and even start to look like acne.
How do we treat it?
Because KP is caused by spiny little plugs in the hair follicles, the treatments are designed to dissolve these plugs. We do this with prescription creams. We cannot “cure” KP, only improve it. Some children grow out of it. Adults will find that it comes and goes and can even change throughout the day. It is also affected by the weather. Many patients report that their KP clears when traveling to dryer climates.
Something to look forward to…
Future newsletters will continue to contain discussions about very common skin conditions, new developments in dermatology, and skin product recommendations. Also we welcome suggestions…
The Staff and Doctors at Minars Dermatology