Keratosis Pilaris: Widespread, But Harmless, It Affects Half The Population

Affecting more than half the world’s adult population, keratosis pilaris is a widespread skin disorder whose cause is unknown, but which looks like a permanent case of goosebumps.

Keratosis pilaris is one of the most widespread forms of keratosis as 40 to 50 percent of the adult population suffers from the skin disorder. It also affects from 50 to 80 percent of adolescents.

Marked by small, rough bumps that appear on the back and upper arms, although they can also appear on the thighs and buttocks, keratosis pilaris is completely harmless. It is actually a chronic follicular disease that seems to get worse in the winter when the humidity is low and, like other forms of keratosis, it also seems to affect pregnant mothers-to-be.

Experts have noted that it is easy to mistake keratosis pilaris with goosebumps and it is understandable that this could be considered a wintertime disorder since that is when you suffer from goosebumps most often. It might also have to do with the low humidity, as well.

Keratosis pilaris is tough to treat and can seem to a sufferer to be impossible to treat, but dermatologists have found that using AHA (glycolic acid), lactic acid or Vitamin A, you can reverse the process.  This problem can also be treated with dermabrasion techniques.

The problem with this is that once you seem to have a handle on this problem it is very easy to stop the treatments and as soon as you do that you are back where you started with small bumps of keratin just under the skin on your back and upper arms. Since it is also a follicular disease, if you ease up on the treatments you are likely to find them  reforming around hair follicles.

Interestingly, keratosis pilaris bumps are made of the same protein that forms your fingernails, skin and hair, keratin. This would also explain why this is also called a follicular disease since it is your hair grows out of follicles.

Keratosis Further ReadingFurther Reading:

Keratosis Treatments

Keratosis WebsitesWebsite Reading:

Keratosis Treatment – Actinic Keratosis – Seborrheic Keratosis – Ag3derm