Keratosis Pilaris

It is also known as 'Chicken skin', 'lichen pilaris' or 'follicular keratosis'. Keratosis pilaris is a type of skin condition in which skin protein called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles. It is autosomal genetic disease characterized by appearance of rough, slightly red, bumps on the skin. It most often appears on the back and outer sides of the arm (though the forearm can also be affected), and can also occur on the thighs, hands, and tops of legs, sides, buttocks, or any body part except glabrous skin (like the palms or soles of feet). It is generally seen in patients with dry skin. The condition often worsens during winters.


The patches of affected skin will be in the form of tiny spiky bumps, it may be skin-coloured, red or brown. This spotting will give the appearance of 'chicken skin' or permanent goose pimples, and the skin feels rough, like sandpaper. In some people, the skin will itch and there may be slight redness around the bumps. The condition is not contagious.


The exact cause is still not known. But it has been observed that it runs in some families.

It is generally diagnosed by examining the skin.


Treatment is still not known but symptoms can be managed:

  •  Use non-soap cleansers instead of soap, as soap may dry the skin and make the condition worse.
  • Moisturize skin when it's dry. Moisturizers and emollients only help by reducing skin dryness. Emollients that contain urea and lactic acid are usually the most effective.
  •  Gently rub the skin with an exfoliating foam pad or pumice stone, to exfoliate the rough skin.
  •  Take tepid showers rather than hot baths

This is an indicative information. For treatment purpose you should consult your physician.


  • LAST UPDATED ON : Sep 16, 2015


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