What Is Keratosis Pilaris Alba?

July 13, 2011

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Keratosis is a skin disorder that is caused by the growth of keratin on the skin. Keratosis is a wide word for this kind of skin disorder and therefore has many variants that are more specific. There is keratosis pilaris, seborrheic keratosis and actinic keratosis. Keratosis pilaris also has many variants and I will focus on keratosis pilaris alba.

Keratosis pilaris alba is a kind of keratosis where the skin gets bumpy and rough but with no irritation. The bumps that appear when you have keratosis pilaris alba are mostly white in color. This skin condition is not severe and it causes no reason for alarm. However, you can seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. This kind of keratosis is mostly confused with acne or dermatitis and it is good to have your dermatologist professionally differentiate them for you. The dermatologist can conduct a biopsy to be extremely sure about this skin condition although it can be diagnosed without testing by the use of a physical examination.

There are several symptoms for this skin disorder. You could have white patches the size of sand grain on several body parts, these patches are mainly around the hair follicles and are firm and of course white, the patches cause no irritation as they are neither painful nor sore and they are also somehow coarse. Ensure that you visit your dermatologist incase you notice these signs and symptoms on your body.

This kind of keratosis has no cure but has some effective treatment that works by changing their appearance. Keratosis pilaris alba can go with time as you age but you can also have them permanently throughout your life. Common treatments for keratosis of this type are medicated lotions that are rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, chemical or mechanical exfoliation (chemical exfoliation is by use of enzymes while mechanical exfoliation is physical) and moisturizing creams as these blemishes are mostly dry and chapped.

Keratosis pilaris alba should not worry you as it is never sore or irritating. It is however unavoidable as it is inherited. Suppose you have a family history of this kind of keratosis, you are very likely to have it. You can also acquire this kind of keratosis if you have a deficiency of vitamin A in your body. People with dry skin can also acquire keratosis pilaris alba. It is not a severe skin condition neither is it contagious therefore don’t panic.

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