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Causes of keratosis pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris Overview

Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition which features with a lot of the tiny, rough, erythematous or tan bumps which are located near the hair follicles. This medical condition predominantly affects the upper arms, legs and buttocks. Other body parts can be affected as well. Keratosis pilaris can develop in people of all ages. The disease has typical appearance which is called goose bumps or gooseflesh. Keratosis pilaris is not infectious and serious disease and is easily treated. People most commonly worry about the very appearance of the affected skin rather than the symptoms of the disease.

Even though everybody can develop keratosis pilaris, the disease is most commonly reported in small children and teenagers. Women tend to be affected more comparing to men. Keratosis pilaris can start before the puberty and in these patients skin changes tend to worsen during the teenage years. This skin condition also runs in some families. Keratosis pilaris is even reported to affect twins. And finally, keratosis pilaris may accompany some other skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis or people who are suffering from very dry skin.

Symptoms and Signs of Keratosis Pilaris

The rash in keratosis pilaris consists of small, red or ten bumps which make scattered patches. One area of the affected skin can contain up to a 100 tiny little bumps. The bumps are rather rough. Still the affected skin may feature with a texture which resembles sandpaper. In some patients the bumps can be surrounded by light red halos. These changes are caused by the process of inflammation.

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

Unfortunately, the exact cause of keratosis pilaris has not been established yet. The disease can be explained by extensive production of the keratin. The process of extensive production of keratin is called hyperkeratinisation.

Some scientist believes that the disease is genetic and that it is passed from parents to children. This hypothesis has strong origins since in majority of patients the disease has already affected some of the family members.

Keratosis pilaris may also occur in some other skin conditions such as ichtyosis vulgaris, skin allergies, asthma, eczema, dry skin or atopic dermatitis.

Prognosis of Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a chronic illness. The skin changes occur and withdraw and these processes repeat over the time. Since the disease is not contagious and is benign the patients should not worry. Luckily, keratosis pilaris in certain number of patients improves with age.

The weather may influence the flares and the improvement of disease. For example some patients say that their symptoms withdraw during summer while others complain about the outbreak of the symptoms in winter months.

All in all, the problem of this illness is basically cosmetic and this is why people eventually come to see their doctors.

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