Keratosis Pilaris affects almost 40% of the adult population. It consists of fine scaly bumps that protrude out of the hair follicle. Some people liken it to chicken skin or goosebumps. KP has no known cause but tends to run in families. It most commonly affects the upper posterior arms. The thighs may also be affected. More rarely, the face may be involved, with fine plugs in the hair follicles. A blotchy redness may be present in such cases. Treatment for KP includes urea or lactic acid creams. Topical steroids may be used if the KP is very red. The cornerstone of KP treatment is adequate moisturizing. Laser treatment may also be used for red KP lesions.
KP in ethnic skin:
In ethnic skin, KP can appear either red or brown. The bumpy texture may appear like a “rash” and be more apparent than in white skin. The key in ethnic skin is to prevent dryness of the skin as this will exacerbate the KP. A note of caution: in ethnic skin, permanent scarring may occur from deep picking or overly aggressive treatment of KP.