Keratosis Pilaris Alba

October 5, 2011

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Keratosis pilaris is a condition of the skin that forms small clusters of rough bumps. This is usually due to accumulation of dead skin on the surface. Keratosis is a localized condition and mostly appears on the outer part of the upper arm. It is also known to occur on the hands, thighs, buttocks legs and flanks. The condition does not occur on glabrous skin which includes the palms and soles of feet. Keratosis is a general name for this skin condition but it has several variants.

In this article, the type that will be covered is keratosis pilaris alba which has no irritation but bumps do appear on the skin. These bumps are white most of the times. The appearance of this kind of keratosis is not severe and people seek medical attention for cosmetic reasons. It is usually confused with dermatitis or acne and one should have a dermatologist examine them to be sure and recommend a treatment where necessary.

The symptoms of this disorder include formation of white patches on the skin, usually the size of sand grains. They are mostly localized to a particular body part especially the upper arms and on close examination, one may notice that they occur mostly around hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris alba may go unnoticed because the white patches are neither painful nor itchy but they may feel a bit rough. Keratosis pilaris alba is most prevalent among young people especially adolescents but usually disappears as they grow older. It is also known to sometimes persist through out a person’s entire life.

There is no cure yet for this type of keratosis and the most common remedies involve cosmetic treatments which only change the appearance. Some treatments involve application of lotions enriched with alpha-hydroxyl acids. Exfoliation is another treatment which may either be mechanical or chemical. In mechanical exfoliation, the keratosis is simply scraped off with an object and chemical exfoliation involves use of enzymes. Moisturizing lotions are also used since the keratosis consists of dry bumps.

There is no way to prevent keratosis pilaris alba since it is a genetic condition. It may also be as a result of a vitamin A deficiency. Keratosis is not a transmittable condition and can sometimes go completely unnoticed. Because of the fact that this type of keratosis does not cause any discomfort, it may be completely ignored and may go away on its own. In case it has an effect on a person’s confidence, there are treatments that may help reduce the psychological impacts.

 

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