Treating Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin condition affecting over 40% of the population at some point in life. It is more common in children and young adults and tends to improve with age. KP consists of numerous small rough bumps on the skin located mainly on the outer arms and thighs. Less commonly, it can be present on the face and trunk. In KP, there is impaired exfoliation of the skin's outer-most cells, particularly around hair follicles.

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What are the treatments for keratosis pilaris?

Although there is no cure for KP, it is improved with use of regular moisturizers. KP is particularly improved with the use of special moisturizers that contain chemical exfoliants (keratolytics) in them, such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and urea. Although this is counter-intuitive, attempts to mechanically exfoliate KP, for example, by scrubbing the skin with loofas or rags, tends to aggravate the condition and make it more apparent. The best time to apply moisturizers to the skin is immediately after bathing in order to trap in moisture.

Individual results may vary.

Medical Dermatology