Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition which is usually characterized by small bumps on the back of the arms. It often occurs in people who have rough dry skin.
Usually, the small bumps will not be painful or itchy, so it is not an uncomfortable condition.
What causes keratosis pilaris?
As the name suggests, keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, the skin’s natural protectant. This buildup leads to a blockage of the hair follicles, forming the tiny bumps that are a tell-tale sign of the condition.
The exact cause is unknown at this time, but it often runs in families. Keratosis pilaris is not a dangerous condition nor is it contagious. It is much more common in children than it is in adults.
It sometimes occurs along with other diseases and skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, although it can present on its own with no underlying issues.
What are the treatment options for these bumps?
Diagnosis is usually quite simple, but you might want to visit your dermatologist if you’re not quite sure that keratosis pilaris is what you have.
It usually resolves on its own, but there are various treatment options which can be quite effective.
The best treatment is alpha hydroxyacid cream. This cream is fairly expensive but will go a long way if used sparingly.
The cream should be applied to the involved areas once or twice a day, depending on the concentration. Check the directions to see what is recommended.
Keratosis pilaris can be controlled with alpha hydroxyacid cream, but there is no cure for this condition.
Chances are even if you are able to get it under control with creams, it will return at some point. It may take a few years before the condition no longer recurs. In the mean time, take care of your skin…moisturize, bathe in warm water, avoid harsh soaps and wear loose-fitting clothes.