Keratosis Pilaris

Kerat1
Kerat2

What is it?
This is an extremely common condition which is inherited and possibly caused by a gene mutation. The gene abnormality leads to keratinisation of the hair follicles which then become filled with horny plugs. This is harmless and gives way to chicken like skin where skin becomes rough and bumpy. There is no need to see your GP unless the symptoms are bothering you.

What are the symptoms?
The changes begin in childhood and tend to be less obvious in adulthood. In the most common type the greyish horny follicular plugs sometimes with red areolae are confined to the outer aspects of the thighs and arms where the skin feels rough. Less often the plugs affect the sides of the face. Loss of eyebrows may then occur. There is an association with ichthyosis vulgaris.

Complications
If presented on the cheeks it may lead to ugly pitted scarring. Rarely the follicles in the eyebrows may be damaged with a subsequent loss of hair there.

What is the treatment process?
Treatment is not usually needed although creams containing salicyclic acid or urea may smooth the skin temporarily.

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