Keratosis pilaris is a condition where small bumps appear on the skin, especially on the areas like the upper arms, legs, thighs, and the buttocks. Such bumps are caused by an overproduction of keratin, which is the fibrous scleroprotein found on the outer layer of the skin.
Sometimes, this condition can affect the face, especially the cheek. This is known as keratosis pilaris rubra faceii, or KPRF. This skin condition can be mistaken for acne at times. It usually causes bumps to appear in patches, for which the entire cheek can look red and inflamed. Apart from KPRF, there are two other common types of keratosis pilaris, which are known as keratosis pilaris rubra and keratosis pilaris alba.
Causes and Symptoms
It is usually considered a genetic follicular condition characterized by the overproduction of keratin. An excess production of keratin clogs the hair follicles, and causes the appearance of small bumps on the skin. The bumps are usually painless, and can be red or skin-colored. Usually, the affected skin become dry and chapped, and can itch at times.
Keratosis Pilaris Treatment
No cure is available for this condition, though it can be managed to a great extent with regular skin care and certain prescription medications. Medications that are usually used for this condition include topical retinoids, ammonium lactate cream, and moisturizers containing urea and topical corticosteroids. Such topical creams and lotions can help soften the dry and rough skin patches caused by this condition.
You can also exfoliate the skin with lotions containing urea and glycolic or salicylic acid. Such lotions can help remove the dead skin cells, and soften the affected area. However, do not scrub the face vigorously in order to get rid of dead skin cells, as this can aggravate the condition. The affected skin needs to be treated gently.
Keratosis Pilaris Home Remedy
This condition can be managed by exfoliating and moisturizing the skin regularly. Lotions that contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids can be beneficial for this skin condition. Even moisturizers containing urea and propylene glycol can soften the rough skin patches.
People with this skin condition should take every possible measures to ensure that their skin does not dry out, especially during the winter days. They should avoid harsh soaps or cleansers. A humidifier can help prevent excessive dryness of the skin.
Lactic acid is an effective natural remedy for this skin condition. Yogurt contains lactic acid and so, you apply it on the affected area. Otherwise, you can use the creams or lotions that contain lactic acid. You can also mix sugar and sour cream to make your natural exfoliator, that can help remove dead skin cells from the affected area.
Even coconut oil can prove quite beneficial for this skin problem. Just rub some coconut oil on the affected area before taking shower, and then rinse off the excess oil. Another home remedy is raw apple cider vinegar. Apply cider vinegar can be applied on the affected area with the help of a cotton ball.
Your diet can play an important role in controlling this skin condition. The ideal diet for this skin problem is the one that contains foods rich in vitamin A, E, and essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Daily exposure to sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes can also help manage this condition. However, it is better to take the help of a dermatologist if a large number of bumps appear on the skin.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.