A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Keratosis Pilaris – a common skin disorder.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon discusses a common and annoying skin condition – Keratosis Pilaris.

Pilaris keratosis - annoying but harmless.

Pilaris keratosis – annoying but harmless.

Earlier this week I saw a young woman in my office requesting breast augmentation.  During the consultation, she also wanted me to take a good look at her upper arms and anterior thighs.   She had scattered teeny, tiny little red and while bumps.

Now there are many, many dermatologic conditions that I know very little about but her condition,  keratosis pilaris , is one I am very familiar with because I have it.The little bumps seen in keratosis pilaris are caused by plugged pores.  This condition seems to be hereditary (thanks, Mom) and usually shows up around puberty and tends to get better with age.  The most common areas affected are the upper arms, the thighs, the cheeks and the other cheeks.

Most cases of keratosis pilaris do not require medical attention because self care is often very effective.  There are many over the counter ointments that contain some type of acid, be it lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid or urea.   These mild acids break up the plugs of keratin that block the pores.  These ointments need to be used regularly to maintain their efficacy.  Sephora makes a cream specifically for this keratosis pilaris, KP Duty.  I’ve heard it works very well. And as a person ages, the keratosis pilaris usually just sort of disappears.  Just one of the many wonderful things that happens as we get older.  Really! So if you have keratosis pilaris, start with some self treatment and be glad you don’t have something worse!

Thanks for reading.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: General Health, Skin Care | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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