What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition, which appears as tiny bumps on the skin – often described as permanent goosebumps or mistaken for pimples. These rough-feeling bumps are actually plugs of dead skin cells.

What does keratosis pilaris look like?

This common skin condition causes tiny bumps that can:

  • Feel rough and dry like sandpaper
  • Resemble goosebumps
  • Become more noticeable in winter or a dry climate
  • Itch
  • Appear in different colors, including the same color as your skin, white, red, pinkish-purple (on fair skin), and brownish-black (on dark skin)

Some individuals will only have a few noticeable bumps, and others will have multiple. These bumps can appear anywhere on your skin except the palms and soles. They are most common on the upper arms, thigh, and cheeks.

What causes keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is not contagious. We get keratosis pilaris when dead skin cells clog our pores. A pore is also called a hair follicle. Every hair on our body grows out of a hair follicle, so we have thousands of hair follicles. When dead skin cells clog many hair follicles, you feel the rough, dry patches of keratosis pilaris.

How do you treat keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is harmless and does not require treatment. If it causes itchiness and dryness, applying a moisturizer will soothe these symptoms. To help diminish the bumpy appearance, dermatologists recommend exfoliating to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

Do you have a skin, hair, or nail concern?

The board-certified dermatologists at Forefront Dermatology are here to answer and address and your concerns surrounding your skin, hair, and nail health. Find a location nearest you to schedule an appointment.