Treating Keratosis In The Young

January 22, 2012

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A benign ailment, Keratosis pilaris is quite rampant amongst young adults and children, appearing as whitish small bumps on their thighs and upper arms. Individual lesions may arise if a hair follicle gets plugged with keratin present on nails, hair and skin.

Risk Groups

Though more prevalent in females, effects of keratosis pilaris are generally independent of a person’s race, sex or age. In many cases, this condition will develop fully by the age of 10, with possibility of getting worse at puberty. All the same, it most often improves or altogether disappears by early adulthood. Up to 50-80% of teenagers and 40% adults are at risk of developing keratosis pilaris. There is quite a large populace bearing a history of this sickness. A huge percentage of people also suffer from ichthyosis vulgaris. This skin condition is characterized by very scaly and dry skin and most people with it are also symptomatic of keratosis pilaris.

Symptoms and Signs

In most cases, persons suffering from keratosis pilaris exhibit keratoses on thigh fronts, upper arm backs and buttocks. Children will especially have them on cheeks. These patients present with white to gray bumps located at hair follicle centers. At times, there is a red, thin ring surrounding the white bump, indicative of inflammation. Such bumps resemble each other closely and are spread evenly on skin surface. Though a rare happening, keratosis patients may experience mild itching.

Guidelines for Self-care

You can improve the look of your skin, even if keratosis pilaris has no known cure.  Do this by hydrating your skin to keep it moist with mild cleansers free of fragrance, while moisturizing it daily. Ointments and creams are better at moisturizing skin than lotions. Apply them immediately after bathing, as they tend to work best on moist skin.

Several over-the-counter products might prove to help in combating keratoses. These include urea-containing creams, cortisone cream, especially for itchy skin and alpha hydroxyl acid preparations, like lactic or glycolic acid.

It is critical not to attempt scrubbing away or picking at keratosis bumps with pumice stone, or other harsh oxfoliant. Such acts make the skin condition to worsen. Also avoid picking at them, or scratching, which actions may trigger off incidents of scaring, or bacterial infections.

Seeking Medical Care

There is no health complication associated with keratosis pilaris, thus rendering it a mild medical ailment. You nonetheless may opt for professional advice, if the remedies which you try at home prove unsatisfactory.

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