Keratosis Pilaris Treatment in Belmont, MA
What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris, also referred to as follicular keratosis, is a common skin condition characterized by small, flesh-colored bumps around the hair follicle. Skin bumps caused by keratosis pilaris most often appear on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks and, in rarer cases, on the facial cheeks. While individuals with keratosis pilaris may find it to be cosmetically displeasing, the condition is medically harmless and does not result in any health complications.
Keratosis pilaris affects nearly 40 percent of adults and is also frequently observed in children and teens (although many cases occurring in adolescence dissipate with age). Treatment focuses on diminishing the appearance of the keratosis pilaris bumps and ranges from simple over-the-counter moisturizers to laser therapy.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare practitioner in Belmont who specializes in keratosis pilaris treatment, call (781) 933-4200 or contact Dr. Joseph Kaye online.
Keratosis Pilaris Causes
Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein found in the skin. Keratin protects the skin from factors such as infection, damage or stress. A buildup of keratin can clog pores in the opening of the hair follicle resulting in rough, dry bumps. It is unclear as to why some individuals experience the buildup of keratin in the pores of their skin. However, a genetic predisposition has been identified and is estimated to impact up to 70 percent of individuals affected by keratosis pilaris.
In addition to genetics, individuals are more likely to develop keratosis pilaris if they have asthma, dry skin, eczema, hay fever, or are overweight. Keratosis pilaris has also been found to be exacerbated with deficiencies in vitamins A and D, and a few cases of keratosis pilaris-like symptoms have been observed in melanoma patients undergoing vemurafenib therapy.
Keratosis Pilaris Symptoms
Bumps on the arms—often referred to as chicken skin—is the most common manifestation of keratosis pilaris and is often mistaken as pimples or a rash. Dry skin and weather conditions such winter and dry climates often exacerbate this skin condition. Some individuals with keratosis pilaris find that their skin clears up during the summer months, only to return in the winter.
Some individuals with keratosis pilaris may experience itching, although this keratosis pilaris symptom is often rare. Keratosis pilaris does not cause pain; however, severe cases of keratosis pilaris can cause the skin to feel like sandpaper due to the number of bumps found on the top layer of the skin.
Diagnosis of Keratosis Pilaris
Reaching a diagnosis of keratosis pilaris is dependent upon a physical examination of the skin. Chicken skin or a goose-bump appearance is the primary clinical observation. The color of the bumps vary in individual cases and may appear as either flesh-colored, slightly red or red accompanied by a red-like halo which is indicative of inflammation. Depending on the severity of keratosis pilaris, some individuals may have anywhere from 10-100 bumps that are scattered throughout the area. A fine, sandpaper like texture may also be observed.
Is There a Treatment for Keratosis Pilaris?
While there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, treatment for the itchiness, redness, dryness, and bumps associated with keratosis pilaris is available and can help you obtain clearer skin.
Keratosis Pilaris Skin Care
Daily moisturizing of the skin and the use of mild soap cleansers can help prevent excessive dryness. Exfoliation of the skin can be helpful for minimizing the bumps caused by coiled ingrown hairs that are clogged in the skin's pores. Therapeutic lotions that include chemical exfoliating agents such as lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and glycolic acid can help increase cell turnover, remove dead cells and unclog hair follicles. Topical steroid creams and creams containing salicylic acid, or the vitamin A derivative retinoic acid may also be applied to help minimize redness and inflammation.
Keratosis Pilaris Diet & Nutrition
Natural treatment options include consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for moisturizing the skin and reducing inflammation in the skin and throughout the body. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Supplementing with vitamin A can help increase cellular turnover allowing for younger skin to come up so that the bumps can smooth out.
Keratosis Pilaris Medical Treatments
Medical treatment options for moderate to severe cases of keratosis pilaris may include:
- Fading creams containing ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, or azelaic acid to address discoloration of the skin
- Treatment with topical immune modulators such as Elidel® or Protopic® to reduce skin redness and inflammation
- Laser hair removal to minimize the occurrence of ingrown hairs that contribute to bumps
- Photodynamic therapy used in combination with a photosensitizer
While patience and a consistent skin care regimen are necessary for those dealing with keratosis pilaris, treatment for the management of keratosis pilaris is available. In order to successfully address keratosis pilaris, a targeted protocol that is based on your skin health needs will be provided to address your concerns regarding redness, bumps, discoloration, ingrown hairs as well as dry, rough skin.
To meet with a healthcare provider in Belmont who specializes in keratosis pilaris treatment, call (781) 933-4200 or contact Dr. Joseph Kaye online.
Optimal Wellness MD
Address300 Trade Ctr
Woburn, MA 01801
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