Many people suffer from the appearance of small, stiff skin protrusions, similar to the texture and appearance of sandpaper. Doctors refer to this case as Keratosis Pilaris, and because these bumps are prominent to the skin, it can give the appearance of plucked chicken skin, hence the more common name of this condition.
While Keratosis Pilaris might be annoying and a source of discomfort, it is not considered a health issue, as it is not accompanied by any kind of pain. This condition might affect different areas of the skin but it is most common on the arms, thighs, cheeks, or the back, as it seems to be most active when the humidity decreases and the skin becomes drier.
What is the cause of Keratosis Pilaris?
If you are wondering about the reason behind the emergence of keratosis Pilaris, then to simplify things we will discuss the protein known as Keratin, we often hear about Keratin’s ability to straighten the hair in salons, However, thisprotein is naturally present within the skin layer, as it forms both skin and hair as well as the nails, its presence isn’t limited to these parts of the body, as it appears in the glands and internal organs, but how is this protein connected to KeratosisPilaris?Keratin functions as a protectant of cells from external influences, and when it accumulates in abundance in the pores of the skin, it causes the appearance of the protrusions of keratosis Pilaris, Usually, this occurs in the hair follicles (the place from which the hair grows), which closes these follicles and jams the hair inside the bump formed. This explains why when these pumps are picked on, a part of the hair inside them will be noticed, but is there a scientific explanation for KeratosisPilaris? Unfortunately, scientists have not discovered the real reason behind the accumulation of the protein keratin in the skin, but they attribute a part of it to genetics, it is also thought that certain conditions may attribute to keratosis Pilaris such as atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema).
Who can develop keratosis Pilaris?
Even though there isn’t s specific cause for Keratosis Pilaris, some risk factors may make you more susceptible than others, for example, fluctuations in hormonal levels during pregnancy or teenage years could cause the appearance of Keratosis Pilaris. This condition can appear in any age group, but it is more common in babies and teenagers going through puberty. Here are some risk factors for Keratosis Pilaris:
•Being a female.
•Dry skin or Eczema.
•Skin conditions known as Ichthyosis.
What are the available treatments for Keratosis Pilaris?
Before starting treatment methods you may want to know how this case is diagnosed, which is pretty simple the clinical examination includes examining the bumps under a magnifying glass, the physician will be able to recognize Keratosis Pilaris immediately.
As for the treatment, usually, this condition gradually disappears on its own, and there is no complete treatment for it, however, the available treatments are used to improve the appearance of keratosis bumps, if simple treatments fail, the doctor may prescribe treatments specific to this condition, including the following:
•Exfoliating topical treatments: Some creams that mayor may not require a prescription contain active compounds that help remove dead skin blocking the pores, in addition to moisturizing the skin and softening it, these include lactic acid, urea, salicylic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids.
•Vitamin A derivatives: Creams derived from vitamin A are available under the name of topical Retinoid, including the two compounds Retinoic and tazarotene, these compounds improve the process of skin regeneration, and prevent the blockage of hair follicles, which causes the appearance of keratotic bumps, it should be noted that these creams may cause irritation and dryness of the skin, and must not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women
•Laser treatment: the doctor may resort to the use of lasers or light treatments to treat the case of keratosis Pilaris, as they contribute to reducing the swelling and redness of keratosis Pilaris, and some types of lasers may contribute to reducing the skin pigmentation and any brown spots that may appear after the disappearance of keratosis Pilaris.
Are there any tips to help lessen the appearance of Keratosis Pilaris?
In addition to the previous treatments, which it is preferable to consult a doctor about, the condition of keratosis Pilaris can be controlled with some simple tips, and among the most prominent of these tips are the following:
•Not to scratch or peel keratosis Pilaris
.•Washing the body with mild non-scented soap using warm water instead.
•Avoid using any treatments that contain chemicals that may damage the skin barrier and increase the severity of its dryness.
•Wear loose clothes that do not pressure or cause friction at the site where the bumps appear
.•Use a moisturizer and cream that contains glycerin or lanolin.
-“Keratosis Pilaris.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Jan. 2021.
-“Keratosis Pilaris: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention.” WebMD, WebMD.
-Bottaro, Angelica. “What Is Keratin?” Verywell Health, 21 Jan. 2021, www.verywellhealth.com/keratin-5083786.
-Perkins, Sara. “Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin).” Www.healthline.com, 2020, www.healthline.com/health/keratosis-pilaris#causes\.
-Watson , Kathryn. “What Is Keratin?” Www.healthline.com, 17 Sept. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/keratin