Do You Have Keratosis Pilaris?
by Sam Pick
Ever been bugged by inexplicable patches of tiny but painless bumps on your arms, or maybe even your legs? You’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 40% of the adult population worldwide—and more than half of all adolescents—suffer from this unsightly (albeit harmless) condition called keratosis pilaris.
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a chronic and common skin condition where the body produces excess keratin — a natural protein found in the skin, hair and nails. The keratin surrounds and entraps hair follicles, causing the formation of hard plugs: a number of these tiny hard bumps on the surface of the skin. Commonly, it occurs in people who have dry skin, and during the colder months of the year — when moisture levels in the air are lower — the condition can become exacerbated and the bumps may look and feel more pronounced.
Although KP isn’t contagious, it does seem to be hereditary. Your doctor or nurse can usually diagnose the condition by looking at your skin and observing the common symptoms, which include:
Scrubbing at dry, bumpy skin is an effective way of smoothing the skin. However, it doesn’t entirely smooth KP away, nor will with rid you of the accompanying red dots. Employing a scrub, a series of microdermabrasions or even getting a chemical peel can certainly jumpstart your way to smoothness. Topical moisturizers and keratolytics containing urea, lactic acid or salicylic acid are widely used for treatment. However, the effectiveness of such treatments is limited, with improvement often taking months and the bumps generally subsiding only for a short time. So as a general rule of thumb, treatment needs to be continuous. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ashley Magovern, recommends the Glytone Keratosis Pilaris Kit to her patients for the most effective and long-lasting treatment. With a combination of a body wash and exfoliating lotion, this kit, when used persistently and consistently, can control KP, leading to a much smoother appearance, and hopefully making you feel more comfortable.
Article posted 11/26/2012.