Skin conditions have become very common in today’s society. They are caused by different reasons one of which is the sun. The sun does play a major role in our lives including being the number one cause for most skin conditions today. However, some skin conditions can be avoided altogether by simply changing our lifestyles.
One of these many conditions is keratosis. This is a skin condition that comes about as a result of the excess production of keratin. Keratin is a protein responsible for the growth of the hair, skin and nails. When it is produced in excess, it causes the skin to harden. Keratosis has many types and one of them is keratosis pilaris.
This form of keratosis is a very common one. Statistics show that it affects up to 40% of the adult population and 75% of teens. The severity of the condition depends on the person but most times it is very harmless. Because of the appearance it gives the skin, it is commonly referred to as “chicken skin”. This is because the skin develops small goose bumps or lumpy spots that look like those of a chicken. With some people, this condition may often go undetected for quite a while. This condition can be found on the back and the outer upper arms. For some people it may even develop everywhere else except the palms and soles of the feet. This skin condition is often misdiagnosed as acne.
“Chicken skin” is very harmless but can affect those with body image issues. Because of its unsightly appearance, understandably most people would want to get rid of it. This unsightly look of the bumps can worsen during winter and make them more pronounced. This is because the cold weather makes them dry. Women who are pregnant or have given birth recently also have raised chances of developing this condition.
Keratosis pilaris has other types. One of them is pilaris alba which is characterized by rough spots but there’s no irritation. Then there’s also pilaris rubra which is seen when inflammations on the skin look like lesions.
Keratosis pilaris does not have formal treatment because it is a genetic condition. The available medication is only there to subdue the condition but not cure it completely. Long term use of the medication may cause complications like hardened skin due to the keratin formation as a result of the medication. Thus patients are encouraged to use the treatment only for a short while.