Keratosis pilaris is caused by your skin’s keratin protein creating a scaly, hard plug in a hair follicle. You’re more likely to experience its bumpy dry patches if you have very dry skin, eczema or ichthyosis vulgaris.
The back of upper arms, buttocks and thighs are frequently the sites for keratin caused plug ups. Generally, patches worsen in cold weather, and improve during warmer months.
Symptoms of keratosis pilaris include:
- small, acne like bumps
- dry, rough patches of skin
- bumps can be red & inflamed
And sometimes your bumps may cause itchy skin.
Keratosis pilaris isn’t a serious health condition. But it can be maddening because curing your rough patchy skin can be difficult.
Options for appearance treatment of your keratosis pilaris include medicated and moisturizing creams that soften skin bumpiness. For severe cases, treatment may involve a prescription medication containing:
- ammonium lactate ~ reduces roughness, softens keratin plugs, doesn’t lessen redness
- urea ~ moisturizes & softens dry, rough skin, helps loosen & remove dead skin cells, side effects of redness, stinging, skin irritation
- topical corticosteroids ~ decreases cell turnover by suppressing immune system, temporary relief treatment because of side effects
- topical retinoids ~ vitamin A derivative promotes cell turnover & prevents follicle plugging, can cause severe dryness, redness, peeling
Regular treatment with these medications may improve appearance, but a stop in use may cause a bumpy skin come back.
Recommended OTC skin care treatment for soothing and benefiting keratosis pilaris appearance contain:
- vitamin D
- lactic acid
- glycolic acid
- salicylic acid
Noticeable improvement with these keratosis pilaris forms of treatment may take months and bumps are likely to return. Rule of thump: read label precautions and test on small spot of skin first.
A couple of lifestyle and home remedy type treatments that can help improve rough patch appearance involve:
- use a humidifier
- wash skin gently, no scrubbing
- pat dry to preserve moisture on skin
- avoid deodorant & antibacterial detergents
- limit bath time & use warm, not hot, water
- use mild skin soap containing added oils & fats
- apply moisturizing lotion while skin is still moist
There’s no way to prevent keratosis pilaris, but you can keep bumpy dry skin patches moist, therefore healthy looking and feeling.