The Full Wiki

Keratosis pilaris: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keratosis pilaris
Classification and external resources

Keratosis pilaris rubra on a right upper arm.
ICD-9 757.39
OMIM 604093
DiseasesDB 32387
eMedicine derm/211

Keratosis pilaris (KP, also follicular keratosis) is a very common genetic follicular condition that is manifested by the appearance of rough bumps on the skin. It most often appears on the back and outer sides of the upper arms (though the lower arms can also be affected), and can also occur on the thighs, hands, and tops of legs, flanks, buttocks, or any body part except glabrous skin (like the palms or soles of feet).[1] Less commonly, lesions appear on the face, which may be mistaken for acne.[2]

Contents

Classification

Worldwide, KP affects an estimated 40% of the adult population and approximately 50%-80% of all adolescents. It is more common in men than in women.[3]

There are several different types of keratosis pilaris, including keratosis pilaris rubra (red, inflamed bumps which can be on arms, head, legs), keratosis pilaris alba (rough, bumpy skin with no irritation), keratosis pilaris rubra faceii (reddish rash on the cheeks), and related disorders.

While KP resembles goose bumps, it is characterized by the appearance of small rough bumps on the skin. As a result, many people with keratosis pilaris do not know they have it, and it is often confused with acne.[4]

Symptoms and signs

Keratosis pilaris occurs when the human body produces excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin. The excess keratin, which is cream colored, surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in the pore. This causes the formation of hard plugs (process known as hyperkeratinization). Bearing only cosmetic consequence, the condition most often appears as a proliferation of tiny hard bumps that are seldom sore or itchy. Though people with keratosis pilaris experience this condition year-round, it is during the colder months, when moisture levels in the air are lower, that the problem can become exacerbated and the goose bumps are apt to look and feel more pronounced in color and texture.

Many KP bumps contain an ingrown hair that has coiled. This is a result of the keratinized skin's "capping off" the hair follicle, preventing the hair from exiting. The hair grows encapsulated inside the follicle.

Treatment

While there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, there are palliative treatments available. The efficacy of these treatment methods is directly related to the individual's commitment and consistency of use.

Creams containing the acid form of vitamin A, Tretinoin, have been shown to help. Most commonly sold under the trade name Retin-A, it is a topical retinoid medically approved in the treatment of acne. This medicine works by causing the outer layer of the skin to grow more rapidly, decreasing the amount of the keratin in the skin. As a result, the surface layer of the skin becomes thinner and pores are less likely to become blocked, reducing the occurrence of symptoms related to acne. While keratosis pilaris is not acne, some believe this action may be of benefit to those with KP as well.

Another retinoid that has the potential to help with keratosis pilaris is Adapalene. Benefits include increased stability when applied in conjunction with other topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide. Adapalene is a moderator of cellular differentiation, keratinization, and inflammatory processes, having both exfoliating and anti-inflammatory effects.

An alternative is the prescription medication Triamcinolone. Most commonly sold under the trade name Aristocort, Triamcinolone is a synthetic corticosteroid, compounded as a cream, which has been medically approved as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of eczema. As the action responsible for alleviating eczema symptoms is, as with retinoid creams, the reduction amount of keratin in pores, the effect of Triamcinolone on KP is expected to be similar.

As with Triamcinolone, Tretinoin or any other treatment, once therapy is discontinued, the condition reverts to its original state. However, skin treated with Tretinoin may take several weeks or more to revert to its pre-treatment condition, but may, at the same time, take several weeks or more to show optimal results, with the condition commonly worsening initially, as underlying keratin is brought to the surface of the skin. Tretinoin is considerably more expensive and dispensed in smaller quantities than Triamcinolone and other treatments. Although it may be the most effective treatment for keratosis pilaris, it is not considered the first line of treatment.[citation needed]

The condition is often dismissed outright by practitioners as being presently untreatable,[citation needed] giving mere moisturizing suggestions or reassurance that the condition will improve or cease with age, typically after 30. Ignorance, accompanied with the price, availability, quantity dispensed, time taken for optimal results to be achieved, more serious side-effects, adverse reactions, and worsening of the condition in the initial treatment phase - coupled with the cheaper, safer, and easier availability of other treatments - has hindered Tretinoin from showing its potential in the treatment of this condition.[citation needed]

Exfoliation, intensive moisturizing cremes, lac-hydrin, creams, and lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids and urea may be used to temporarily improve the appearance and texture of affected skin.

Beta hydroxy acids may help improve the appearance and texture of the afflicted skin. Milk baths may provide some cosmetic improvement due to their containing lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid in milk.Sunlight may be helpful in moderation. Tanning beds actually help. Coconut oil may also be helpful if applied to afflicted areas while in the shower. Scratching and picking at KP bumps causes them to redden, and, in many cases, will cause bleeding.

See also

Shaving hair may also be helpful.

References

  1. ^ Alai, Nili. "Keratosis Pilaris (KP)". MedicineNet. http://www.medicinenet.com/keratosis_pilaris/article.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  2. ^ Berman, Kevin. "Keratosis pilaris". MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001462.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  3. ^ Alai, Nili; Arash Michael Saemi,Raul Del Rosario. "Keratosis Pilaris". eMedicine. http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic211.htm. Retrieved 2008-19-20. 
  4. ^ Smith, Karen (Nov. 2008). "Keratosis Pilaris, KP, Chicken Skin". Keratosis Pilaris Help. http://www.helpforkp.com/. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message