Keratosis pilaris (KP) describes bumpy,dry skin. It can occur at any age or location, but it is particularly common on the upper arms in teenagers or on the cheeks of infants.
The rash of keratosis pilaris seldom itches, is never painful, and is similar in texture to coarse sandpaper. KP is more common in people with dry skin, such as people with atopic dermatitis (eczema). It tends to arise or worsen during winter months when the air is dry.
Keratosis pilaris is caused by hair follicles becoming plugged by dry skin cells.
Treatment is focused on moisturizing the skin and gently removing the outermost layers of excessive skin (exfoliation).
Topical retinoids may be recommended in some cases, although not for children or pregnant women.
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Last updated: 12/13/2021