Keratosis Pilaris

A common skin condition, Keratosis Pilaris causes small hard bumps that may make your skin feel rough. These bumps are often light in color and usually appear on your upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. They can also appear on your face/cheeks, but that is less common.


Keratosis Pilaris is not contagious. We get it when dead skin cells clog our pores. It is caused by a build-up of Keratin, the protein that protects skin from infections. A pore is also called a hair follicle. Every hair on our body grows out of a hair follicle, we have thousands. When dead skin cells clog many hair follicles, you feel the rough dry patches of Keratosis Pilaris.


This condition is harmless, so you don’t have to treat it. Most people do want to treat it if they don’t like the appearance and texture. A creamy moisturizer can sooth the itch and dryness. Most moisturizing creams used to treat Keratosis Polaris contain one or the following ingredients: Urea, Lactic Acid For best results, apply your moisturizer after every shower/bath while your skin is still damp.

To diminish the bumps to and improve your skin texture, exfoliating is recommended. One way to exfoliate it to use a loofah or an at home microdermabrasion kit. Your esthetician or dermatologist may also recommend products that will remove dead skin cells.

Often these products contain one of the following ingredients:

  1. Alpha hydroxyl acid
  2. Glycolic acid
  3. Lactic acid
  4. Salicylic acid
  5. r\Retinoid acid
  6. Urea

When treating Keratosis Polaris, it helps to keep the following in mind:

  1. Clearing takes time, it could take 4-6 weeks- if it is not clearing see your dermatologist.
  2. Treatment can not cure keratosis pilaris. You will need to continue to treat skin to keep bumps under control.
  3. For many people Keratosis Pilaris goes away with time, even when not treated.
  4. This tends to happen gradually over time, however there is no way to know exactly who and when this will happen.

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