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Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition in youth that is characterized by a blanket of bumps (papules) on the skin. These bumps are not a dangerous skin disorder, and concern is generally due to the cosmetic appearance. The bumps are due to the buildup of dead skin cells around the hair follicles. KP may resemble “chicken skin” or “goose bumps”. The bumps are not painful. In some cases, they can be itchy. KP is quite common in children and adolescents. The main concern for those with KP is the abnormal appearance of the skin. KP most commonly occurs on the upper arms, but can also be seen on the thighs or buttocks.
The good news is that KP usually disappears or improves by the time adulthood is reached. In the meantime, there are ways to treat KP and improve the appearance of your skin. The first goal is to avoid triggering anything that irritates the skin. Steer clear of scratching, using harsh scrubs or exfoliants, or wearing tight fitting clothing. The next goal is to improve and banish any existing KP bumps. This can be done by helping the skin shed dead cells. Dr. Rokhsar can suggest certain skin products for this condition that smooth skin texture and clear up the “bumpy” appearance.