How to manage keratosis pilaris

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Keratosis pilaris is a skin disorder that affects people of all ages. Keratosis pilaris develops as rough, small, red or tan bumps around the hair follicles on the legs, upper arms, buttocks and sometimes on the cheeks.

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Keratosis pilaris is usually common in children and adolescents but can also affect adults and females typically affected than males. This condition can also be inherited. Keratosis pilaris are commonly seen in twins, people suffering from atopic dermatitis and have extremely dry skin.

Causes of keratosis pilaris

  • Keratosis pilaris can be inherited. If some family members are suffering from ichthyosis vulgaris, dry skin, rhinitis, seasonal inhalant allergies, eczema, asthma and atopic dermatitis.
    Keratosis pilaris
    Scattered and patchy rashes with tiny red or tan bumps
  • Overproduction of keratin in the skin called hyperkeratinization. The bumps of keratosis pilaris develops from excessive accumulation of keratin which are very small and dry skin particles at the opening of the follicles of hair. The skin becomes thickened and follicles of hair are plugged. Some superficial vessels of blood become dilated which makes the skin appear red or flushed.


  • Scattered and patchy rashes with tiny red or tan bumps
  • The area has a fine, sand-like texture.
  • Some of these bumps might be somewhat red or has a light-reddish halo which indicates inflammation.
  • Sometimes, there is a small coiled hair trapped below the rough bump and the area becomes rough and the cheeks appear pink, red, flushed and with tiny pinpoint bumps.


  • Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion on the area regularly to soften the bumps.
  • Use milk of goat or oatmeal. Oatmeal is an exfoliant and softens the skin when it is used as soap. The fats and lactic acid found in goat’s milk can soften the scratchy bumps.
  • Apply a prescribed moisturizer that contains lactic acid since they break up the clogged follicles of hair.
  • Coconut oil is also good for the condition. Apply coconut oil when taking a bath at least for a few minutes. Another option is applying coconut oil on the area before going to bed at night.
  • Take oatmeal baths to help smoothen and provide hydration to itchy skin at least once every week for the best results. Grind 1/3 cup oatmeal until it becomes fine. In a bathtub filled with warm water, mix finely grounded oatmeal thoroughly. Soak the body in the solution to lessen the itching caused by keratosis pilaris.
  • Install a humidifier inside the house to add moisture to the atmosphere and helps make the skin soft.
  • If suffering from keratosis pilaris, avoid staying in cool and dry places to prevent drying out of the skin.
  • Avoid taking hot showers or baths to avoid scalding the skin and causing it to dry out. It is recommended to take cool or warm baths and showers to minimize the effects of heat on the skin.

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