The skin is basically your body’s protective outer coating. It shields the internal organs from outside elements like germs and water, keeps you warm during the cold and prevents infection and dehydration.
It’s also considered the largest organ of the human body, as it covers a total area of approximately 20 square feet with a thickness that varies from 0.5 to 4 millimeters.1
Since the skin is constantly exposed to a variety of harmful elements, it’s not surprising why it’s extremely susceptible to irritations and infections. Almost everyone is bound to encounter a form of skin condition at some point in their lives, and one of the most common skin problems that people have is keratosis pilaris.
Keratosis Pilaris Overview: A Few Facts That You Should Know
Keratosis pilaris occurs when keratin builds up and clogs the hair follicles on the skin. It’s important to note that keratin is a type of protein that holds the skin together and protects it against infections and harmful elements. Researchers are still unsure of what triggers keratin to accumulate and obstruct the opening of the hair follicles. However, they do know that climate, gender, genes and pre-existing skin diseases may play a role in the development of this skin condition.
Keratosis pilaris is also characterized by patches of tiny bumps that feel dry and rough, which is why it’s commonly referred to as “chicken skin.” It usually occurs on the back of the upper arms, buttocks and front of the thighs. However, some cases of keratosis pilaris may also affect the forearms, upper back, eyebrows, face and scalp. Rare variants of this skin condition may even affect the entire body.2
Moreover, this skin condition is classified according to the symptoms that it causes and the part of the body where it occurs. Some of the common types of keratosis pilaris include:3
- Keratosis pilaris rubra
- Keratosis pilaris alba
- Keratosis pilaris rubra faceii
Since the telltale signs of keratosis pilaris can be easily evaluated through visual inspection, laboratory tests are not usually required for its diagnosis. This skin condition is also harmless, which is why some patients do not undergo treatment. However, the spots and bumps that it causes may become unsightly.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure of keratosis pilaris yet.4 If you’re concerned about the appearance of your skin, you should consult a physician to determine the best way to reduce the scaly bumps.
Expanding Your Knowledge of Keratosis Pilaris May Help You Achieve Clearer Skin
Skin conditions like keratosis pilaris can become psychologically distressing over time, due to their significant effect on your appearance. Even though keratosis pilaris is a prevalent disorder, you’d still want to cure it to keep your skin clear and glowing. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of permanent treatment for keratosis pilaris, though, since there are ways to alleviate its telltale symptoms.
One of the best way to do this is by learning all that you can about this skin condition. These pages can provide you with comprehensive information about keratosis pilaris. Read on to find out more about its possible causes, common symptoms and the recommended diet and treatment methods to control this skin condition.