News

Keratosis pilaris

What is keratosis pilaris?

 

Keratosis pilaris is a very common and completely harmless skin condition. In the population as a whole, keratosis pilaris may affect as many as one person in three. Its name gives some idea of what it is; ‘keratosis’ means that there is too much keratin, which makes up the tough horny outer layer of the skin, while ‘pilaris’ comes from the Latin for hair (pilus). In keratosis pilaris, many small (1 to 2 mm across) horny plugs can be seen blocking the hair follicles on the upper and outer parts of the arms and thighs. This can look like goose bumps, but feels slightly rough.

 

.

What causes keratosis pilaris?

 

Keratosis pilaris is an inherited skin condition, running strongly in many families, sometimes with a dry skin condition (such as ichthyosis). The way it is inherited varies from family to family, but it often fits into an ‘autosomal dominant’ pattern; this means that there will be a 1 in 2 chance that each child of an affected parent will inherit the condition. Keratosis pilaris appears when extra keratin accumulates in the hair follicles. This is usually in childhood, and most obvious during adolescence, often clearly in adulthood. For reasons not fully understood the condition seems to be better in the summer than in the winter. Keratosis pilaris is harmless, and is not infectious.

 

Is keratosis pilaris hereditary?

 

Yes, see above.

 

What are the symptoms of keratosis pilaris?

 

Some people find their keratosis pilaris looks unattractive. The skin feels rough or spiky, as though it has permanent goose bumps. Occasionally keratosis pilaris is itchy.

 

What does keratosis pilaris look like?

The groups of small spiky bumps are most common on the backs of the upper arms and on the fronts of the thighs. Sometimes keratosis pilaris also affects the back and chest and, in less common forms, the face and eyebrows as well. Some redness may appear around the small spiky bumps.

 

How will keratosis pilaris be diagnosed?

 

There are no specific tests for keratosis pilaris; however, your doctor will recognise it easily. A biopsy is seldom needed.

 

Can keratosis pilaris be cured?

 

No, but often it does clear up during adult life.

 

To find out about available treatments please visit this page onthe website of the British Association of Dermatologists

 

Help us fund vital research into skin disease and skin cancer by taking part in our Big Birthday Bake  

Why donate to us?

There are eight million people living with a skin disease in the UK. Some are manageable, others are severe enough to kill. We are here to help change that.

We raise money to fund research for cures for skin disease and skin cancer, but research doesn't fund itself.

We are the UK's only charity dedicated to skin research, and all of our donations and fundraising events are crucial to enabling us to continue our work.

We have supported almost 300 research projects and awarded nearly £10 million in funding across all skin diseases including eczema, psoriasis and many more.

Help us find a cure today.


  

RUNNING EVENTS

London Marathon

April 2017

Super Hero Run

May 2017

Leeds Half Marathon

May 2017

Other Running Events

 

CYCLING EVENTS 

Edinburgh Night Ride

June 2017

Ride London 100 

July 2017

 
September 2017
 
 
 
 

TREKS 

Jurassic Coast Weekend

May 2017

TrekFest:The Beacons

June 2017 

Everest Base Camp

November 2017 

 
 
 

OBSTACLE 

RACES   

Spartan Race

Various Dates 

 
June, July, September 
 
 
August & September
 
 
 

SKYDIVING 

 
Throughout the Year 
 

Bungee Jumps 

 
Throughout the Year