Keratosis Pilaris (KP)

Keratosis Pilaris Summary
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder in which small white or red bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. The cause of KP is unknown. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, and the condition may resolve on its own. Gentle exfoliation, professional manual extraction, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, along with topical products, are the best treatments for this condition.
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Keratosis pilaris (KP) facts

  • Keratosis pilaris is a very common, benign skin disorder.
  • Keratosis pilaris affects 50% of adolescents and 40% of adults.
  • Keratosis pilaris causes numerous small, rough, tan or red little bumps around hair follicles on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks.
  • Keratosis pilaris creates the appearance of gooseflesh, goose bumps, or chicken skin.
  • Keratosis pilaris is seen in patients with other dry skin conditions and atopic dermatitis.
  • Keratosis pilaris is not curable, but it may become less noticeable with time.
  • Keratosis pilaris tends to be inherited through families (genetic association).
  • Keratosis pilaris may spontaneously clear without treatment.
  • Keratosis pilaris generally requires ongoing maintenance therapy.
  • Treat keratosis pilaris with daily lubrication, gentle exfoliation, and glycolic or lactic acids.
  • Consider helpful options for keratosis pilaris like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and facials.

What is keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a very common skin disorder affecting many people of all ages. Keratosis pilaris is a benign condition that presents as numerous small, rough, red, or tan bumps primarily around hair follicles on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, and sometimes cheeks. Keratosis pilaris creates a "goose bumps," "gooseflesh," or "chicken skin" appearance on the skin. A majority of people with keratosis pilaris may be unaware that the skin condition has a designated medical term or that it is treatable. In general, keratosis pilaris is often cosmetically displeasing but medically completely harmless. Keratosis pilaris is common in otherwise healthy people.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2013

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