Those rough patches and small acne-like bumps usually found on the arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks may not hurt, but they can be difficult to treat. Keratosis pilaris is an inherited skin condition that arises from a buildup of a hard protein (keratin) that gets trapped around hair follicles. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin. The condition often worsens during winter when low humidity dries out skin. While keratosis pilaris improves with age and may go away on its own, temporary relief can be achieved with applications of moisturizer and manual exfoliation, followed by use of alpha-hydroxy-acid lotions.
Keratosis pilaris is a common but harmless skin condition. Except for some itching, keratosis pilaris doesn’t hurt and doesn’t get worse. Many children and teens get it, and it usually disappears as they get older. Certain types of keratosis pilaris involving severe redness and inflammation can be successfully treated with laser therapy.
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