What causes keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris, sometimes known as ‘chicken skin’ is a skin condition that affects many people all around the world. Although science has yet to find a complete cure, we do know what causes keratosis pilaris, and who is likely to suffer from it.
It’s estimated that keratosis pilaris affects between 40 and 50% of the adult population worldwide. However, it’s far more prevalent in adolescents, with a reported 50 to 80% of teenagers suffering from this unsightly condition.

Research has shown that it’s largely hereditary, and you’re more likely to be a sufferer if your mom or dad has, or had, the condition. It’s common in all races, although people of Celtic origin have a higher chance of being a sufferer, and females are more susceptible to the condition than males. While babies can be sufferers, it usually starts in early childhood, and gets worse in adolescence as the child enters puberty. Luckily a lot of people report that it does improve after puberty, sometimes even disappearing completely during adulthood, and although some people do continue to suffer throughout their 40’s and 50’s, it’s very uncommon in older people.

The causes of keratosis pilaris are all to do with the production of keratin, the creamy colored substance which is found in the outer layer of the skin. Mainly made of protein, keratin is a component of skin, nails and hair, however when the body produces too much keratin, it can cause the skin to thicken. The excess keratin has the effect of blocking the hair follicles with plugs of skin, and leads to raised bumps on the affected areas. Occasionally it will prevent the hairs from exiting the follicles, meaning that the hairs curl up inside the follicle and cause inflammation in the surrounding skin. When this happens the bumps can become red, inflamed and itchy.

These hard, spiky bumps often go hand in hand with other dry skin conditions, such as eczema and ichthyosis, and anyone who suffers from these will often find that it makes the rash caused by keratosis pilaris worse. On the positive side, while keratosis pilaris can be unsightly and often itchy, it is generally harmless, and there are many things you can do to improve the condition, such as using a regular program of exfoliation and moisturizing. If you are a sufferer, it may help to consult a health care professional as there are some treatments on the market which, while not specifically formulated for treating keratosis pilaris, have been found to be successful in alleviating the condition.

A Step-By-Step System to Eliminating Your Keratosis Pilaris For Good

Keratosis pilaris home remedy

If you’re suffering from keratosis pilaris, those unsightly red, raised bumps which seem to appear on the tops of your arms whenever your skin’s dry, you’ll probably want to know if there’s any home remedies for improving its appearance. While you can seek treatment from a doctor or your pharmacist, luckily there are several home remedies for keratosis pilaris, all of which cost very little, and which are very easy to administer.

As one of the most common skin conditions in the world, surprisingly dermatologists have failed to find a cure. Caused by an over production of keratin, a creamy, white protein based substance, it’s characterised by red , white or flesh coloured spiky bumps, usually on the upper arms or legs, although it can appear virtually anywhere on the body. Dry conditions, and skin conditions such as eczema, can make it worse. Although the condition usually improves on its own accord, especially with age, there are several things you can do at home to improve its appearance.

The best methods to try are those which help to reduce the dryness of the skin. If you use soap, change it for a non-soap cleanser, as the alkalines in the soap tend to dry out the skin even more. When washing, incorporate some form of exfoliation into your routine, either by rubbing the affected areas with a rough wash cloth, or using a pumice stone to exfoliate the skin. If you do use this method, always be very careful not to rub too hard and remove too much skin.

Once the skin is clean you should apply moisturizing creams, especially those which contain exfoliating ingredients such as lactic acid, urea or salicylic acid. These will not only moisturize the skin, but also help to loosen the keratin plugs. Some sufferers swear by the use of organic oils, such as coconut oil, as a home remedy for keratosis pilaris. Coconut oil, in particular, not only has moisturizing properties but also contains anti-bacterial ingredients to fight any bacteria which may be present on the skin.
Dermatologists may also prescribe creams which contain retinol, a substance derived from vitamin A, which is known to be extremely effective in removing the top layers of skin, and thus loosening the keratin plugs.

However, if you wish to stick to purely home remedies to treat your keratosis pilaris, then you need to establish a regular routine of exfoliation and moisturization. It might also be a good idea to apply a little fake tanning lotion too, as all skin seems to look better with a tan.

How to get rid of keratosis pilaris

Do you have red, bumpy lumps on your upper arms? Do you find that your legs come out in a rash when your skin is dry, or during the winter months?

If so, it’s possible that you’re suffering from the skin condition, keratosis pilaris. While these rashes look unsightly, and can sometimes get inflamed or itch, the good news is that it’s relatively harmless. The bad news is, that there’s no known cure. However before you resign yourself to a lifetime of long sleeved shirts and full length pants, be assured that there’s plenty of things you can try to reduce the appearance of the spots, so if you want to know how to get rid of keratosis pilaris, read on.

Keratosis pilaris affects more than half of the adolescents around the world. Yet there is no definitive cure. It occurs when your body starts to produce an excess of the protein keratin, a creamy , white substance found in the tough, outer layer of your skin. This collects in the hair follicles to form a little plug, blocking the exit for the hairs developing in the follicle. These little plugs not only create raised, spiky bumps, but also affect the hair’s ability to grown normally. Often the hair will grow in a curled shape within the follicle itself, becoming inflamed and causing the skin around it to become red and angry.

Luckily there are several things you can do to improve the appearance of the skin. Firstly you should use non-soap based cleansers on your skin rather than soap, as this tends to dry the skin out, and make the bumps more obvious. Secondly you should take the time to moisturise any bumpy areas on a regular basis to keep the skin soft and supple.

Creams containing ingredients such as salicylic acid, lactic acid or urea are often recommended, as these not only moisturise the skin, but contain natural exfoliants which will remove the top layers of skin, and loosen the keratin plugs. If you find that topical creams are not strong enough alone, use a rough wash cloth or pumice stone on the areas, but be careful not to rub too hard, especially if you’re using a pumice stone, as this can remove too much skin, and make the area very sensitive and sore.

If you find that your keratosis pilaris is causing you a lot of discomfort, a trip to your physician or a dermatologist may be the answer. They’ll be able to prescribe other treatments, such as retinol creams, chemical peels and dermabrasion which, while not specifically designed for treatment of this condition, have been known to improve it considerably.

Are the red bumps on your legs keratosis pilaris?

If you’ve got red bumps on your legs, and you’ve ruled out the usual suspects of heat rash or shaving rash, then it’s possible that you’re suffering from keratosis pilaris. While most sufferers experience rough, bumpy red skin on their upper arms, the legs – especially the upper thighs – are a common place to find this unsightly, but harmless skin condition. But how do you know for sure if the red bumps on your legs are keratosis pilaris? Of course, you could just visit your physician and let them make the diagnosis, but there are certain indicators which suggest that your condition is indeed, keratosis pilaris.
Firstly, if one or both of your parents suffer, or have suffered in the past, from similar bumps and lumps, then it’s likely to be keratosis pilaris. This is because the condition is hereditary, and your chance of developing the skin condition is as high as one in two, even if only one parent was a sufferer.
Secondly, if you’re female, you’re more likely to suffer from the skin condition than males. Pregnancy has also been known to make the condition worse too.
Teenagers also seem to suffer more during this stage of their life, especially around the time of puberty. Even if you developed the condition as a child, you’re likely to see it worsen during your adolescent years. The good news is that it’s likely to get better as you get older, although some people still experience outbreaks of spots into their forties, and even right into their fifties. However, it’s very uncommon to find older sufferers, and tends to disappear completely once past your fifties.
If you’re of Celtic descent, especially if you have fair skin and light or reddish hair, you’ll probably find that you’re extremely susceptible to the appearance of red spots on your arms and legs. These often tend to improve during the summer, but get worse during winter months, or in dry conditions. Because of this, keeping the skin well moisturized at all times can be very helpful in reducing the occurrence of the spots.
If you suffer from red bumps on your legs, it’s highly likely that you’re also experiencing some keratosis pilaris on your upper arms and buttocks too. Whilst there is no known cure for the condition, as the bumps are hardened keratin which block the hair follicles, exfoliation and moisturising the area have been known to help.

Are the red bumps on your arms Keratosis Pilaris

You may have read about the skin condition keratosis pilaris, a common, but harmless skin condition which affects many teenagers and young adults. Most sufferers experience rough, slightly raised red bumps over the skin of their upper arms, although it can affect other parts of the body too. While generally these are not painful, they may be itchy, and sufferers are often most concerned by their unsightly appearance.

If you’re suffering from red bumps on your upper arms, you too may be suffering from keratosis pilaris. So if you want to know if the red bumps on your upper arms are keratosis pilaris, read on.

As a hereditary condition, you’re likely to suffer from keratosis pilaris if your mom or dad have it too. It tends to run in families and, unfortunately, if one parent has it, you have a one in two chance of developing the condition. It normally makes its first appearance in childhood, and gets worse as you enter puberty.

It can, however, affect people of all ages, so if you’re no longer a teenager, but still suffering from red bumps on your upper arms, it’s likely to be keratosis pilaris. It’s also more common amongst females rather than males, and people who already suffer from the dry skin conditions of eczema and ichthyosis are also likely to suffer from keratosis pilaris. While it’s prevalent all over the world, being of Celtic descent means that you are more susceptible to the condition too.

So generally speaking, if you’re a teenage female of Celtic descent who has a parent who also had the condition, your red bumps are more than likely a product of keratosis pilaris.

The condition can also present itself on other areas of the body too. Although red bumps on the upper arms are the most common form of keratosis pilaris, it’s also found on the buttocks and fronts of the thighs. In some cases, sufferers can experience a rash on their forearms and upper back, and in some extreme instances, on the eyebrows, face and scalp, or even over the entire body. Three types of keratosis pilaris have been identified: keratosis pilaris rubra – red inflamed bumps; keratosis pilaris alba – rough bumpy skin with no inflammation, and keratosis pilaris rubra faceii – which is a reddish rash on the cheeks.

If you suspect you have keratosis pilaris, and it’s causing you undue anxiety or has become painful, it may be wise to visit your physician for advice.

What is keratosis pilaris (chicken skin)?

If you’re one of those people who suffer from unsightly raised bumps on the top of your arms, you’ll probably want to know what is keratosis pilaris and how it’s caused. First of all, be assured, that you’re not the only one with this condition. Surprisingly it’s more common than you think, with an estimated 40 – 50% of adults and 50 – 80% of adolescents reporting some form of the condition.
So what is keratosis pilaris? Keratosis pilaris is a very common but harmless condition where the skin becomes rough and bumpy. The appearance is similar to permanent goose pimples and is often referred to as chicken skin, as it resembles the skin of plucked chicken. Affected areas are usually covered in tiny, spiky bumps, about the size of a grain of sand, which can be flesh colored, white in color or red, and will feel rough to the touch, a little bit like sandpaper.
Known to run in families, the condition is hereditary, and the unfortunate news is that if one parent suffers from keratosis pilaris, you will have a 1 in 2 chance of developing the condition yourself.

Put simply, keratosis pilaris happens when your body produces too much keratin, the creamy white protein based substance found in the top layers of the skin. This keratin builds up over the hair follicles like a little plug, preventing the hairs from growing normally, and giving the skin in the area a bumpy, spotty appearance.
It can affect all areas of the body, although the most common place to be affected is the back and outer sides of the upper arms, with some sufferers finding that they suffer from lumps and bumps on their buttocks and the front of the thighs too. Occasionally sufferers will have patches of ‘chicken skin’ on their forearms and the upper back, with the most rare variant affecting the face, scalp, eyebrows and, for some unlucky people, the entire body.

The only parts of the body it can’t affect are the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as these are covered in glabrous skin – i.e. skin with no hair follicles.
Luckily, while keratosis pilaris can look extremely unsightly, it’s not contagious and can’t be spread from contact with a sufferer. However, for sufferers it can be itchy, and even painful if the skin becomes swollen and inflamed.

The good news is that it tends to improve in the summer months, and most sufferers report an improvement as they get older, with cases of keratosis pilaris being almost non-existent in older people.


The DANGER of Skin Creams (and what to use from your Kitchen instead)

Did you know that your skin is your #1 largest organ?

Not only that but the skin is the first in your line of defense against all the nasties out there.

Just the other day in class we were taking about the ways that our skin protect the body. It is called the non specific response to pathogens….think of the response you get when your skin is cut.

In fact it is true to say that if you do not care for your skin then you are weakening your immune system, which means your body will prioritize everything it can to help you fix your immune system, instead of trying to lose fat.

Sounds far fetched but true.

Yet when it comes to face wrinkles  so many people choose ‘Botox’ when there are natural, and cheaper alternatives out there from your kitchen.   

==> A “50 cent facelift” right in your kitchen (+ the DANGER of skin creams)

We recently learned first-hand from one of the most beautiful women we know, while reading her book.  The results are more impressive than the cost of her skin treatment, which is a whopping 50 cents…

==> Look 5 Years Younger In Minutes & Never Leave Home

Take care



Poor Girl ….Eczema is Irritating

This morning as I filled out the electronic register for a second year Health studies class that I had just met I was informed of someone’s absence because of a hospital visit for Eczema.

I was assured by the students that it was not that bad really as it was just all over her arms and legs but not all her body!… poor girl.

One of my past colleagues in Spain also suffered from Eczema and there were many days that she was just in pain all over her body and struggled with getting through the day. Now I do not know about you but that is quite a thing to carry around on a daily basis.

Having Eczema was also one of the reasons why this friend of mine was living in Spain as she believed that exposure to sunlight helped to alleviate the condition.

So what exactly is Eczema? Well if you do a search on Google, many website will pop up that will tell you that Eczema symptoms include dry skin that may become itchy, red and inflamed. It’s most commonly found in children, although adults can get it.

There are different types of Eczema. The most common is called atopic eczema… or atopic dermatitis.

There also seems to be a relationship between stress and flareups of Eczema.

When I relayed this observation to the class it was greeted with much amusement and I was assured that the student concerned was the most laid back girl in the class.

Well I think maybe I will be the judge of that!

Eczema is often caused by an allergy, which occurs when your immune system overreacts to something that is normally harmless.

It is these allergic reactions, that make your skin itchy.

Conditions, like asthma, hay fever, and food intolerance, are also caused by allergies.

As I mentioned about my colleague in Spain who was living there because of her Eczema… there is a belief that low vitamin D may be linked with eczema and other allergies. Ultraviolet light causes the body to make vitamin D and so areas with high sunlight produce more Vitamin D and so the occurrence of Eczema should be lower.

If this is clinically true then it makes sense that exposure to more UV light might lower the risk of these conditions, I know that my friend definitely had an improvement in her Eczema while living in Spain but at the moment there is not really enough evidence to be sure

To investigate this further, research Studies have been done on 7,643 children aged 4 to 5 and 8 to 9 in different regions of Australia,where the amount of daylight sun varied greatly, They looked at how common food allergies, eczema, and asthma were in these areas, to see if there is a link between sunlight and these conditions.

The results showed that eczema, peanut allergies, and egg allergies were more common in those who lived furthest south, where there was the least sun

In fact the rates of occurrence of cases was twice as likely with peanut allergies or eczema, and three times as likely to have an allergy to eggs, compared with those who lived far north in the areas with more sun.

What was interesting was the figures showed no difference between regions in how likely children were to have asthma,or the other food allergies the researchers studied, which included allergies to cow’s milk, soy, sesame, and wheat.

The researchers felt that this could be because these allergies develop in a different way to eczema and other food allergies.

Ok… so can we say this is conclusive results?

The data comes from a large number of children, which usually makes results more reliable. The researchers also studied children who lived in different areas, but within the same country with the same health system and similar social background.

However they used used questionnaires to ask the parents of the children about the conditions and allergies, and we can’t be sure how accurate the information was. It may have been more reliable to collect information from the children´s medical records,where one could have looked only at allergies that had been diagnosed by a doctor.

Also, how can we be sure that the children in the high sun regions had a lower risk of these conditions because of their sun exposure. There could have been other variables involved such as diet and family history and also other factors in the environment

So yes it does suggest that high sunlight is good for keeping Eczema at bay.

Of course we must also remember that more exposure to sum increases the risk of skin cancer…

there we go again… can’t win can we?

Eczema Free Forever

The following article lists some simple, informative tips that will help you have a better experience with Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a noncontagious, skin disease that has been diagnosed in 4.5 million adults in the United States. About 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it is believed to be an auto immune disorder that also has a genetic component. The majority of researchers agree that the immune system is somehow triggered, which speeds up the growth and life cycle of skin cells. Normally, a skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. However, a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form the lesions.


Psoriasis occurs when faulty signals in the immune system cause skin cells to grow too quickly. Usually every three to four days instead of the usual 30-day cycle. Extra skin cells build up on the skin’s surface. They then form “plaques,” which are red, flaky and scaly patches that are often itchy and uncomfortable. Psoriasis generally appears on the joints, limbs and scalp, but it can appear anywhere on the body.

Recently, a team from the University of Michigan looked for the gene — called PSORS1 — in more than 2,700 people from 678 families in which at least one family member had psoriasis. According to the researchers, PSORS1 is the first genetic determinant of psoriasis to be definitively identified in a large clinical trial. The finding may help in the development of new, more effective treatments for the disfiguring inflammatory skin disease.

For those people who have a suppressed immune system, the symptoms of psoriasis can be extremely severe.

Dietary change can help with psoriasis, avoid alcohol, gluten which is found in wheat, barley and rye, avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, avoid red meats, dairy products, eggs, cheese and sugar and if you are a smoker, then it is best to quit.

Topical applications to the affected areas with aloe vera gel, Dead Sea mineral salts or mud, Zambesia Botanica, mahonia ointment and gotu kola can all improve psoriasis. Good supplements to take are fish oil, flax seed oil and borage oil. These oils are very good in hydrating the skin cells.

A topical treatment that has received tremendous attention is Psoriaway which is available at http://www.fastpsoriasisrelief.com.

This is a topical cream combining natural moisturizers, coal tar, aloe Vera, blended in a unique formula to make this product extremely effective. It has been tested in the medical field, nursing homes and in the retail market with exciting and immediate results.

One important bit of knowledge is to stay away from alcohol and products that contain alcohol as it will dry the skin out even more.

At this time there is no cure for psoriasis but many effective treatments do exist.

Doctors are learning more about psoriasis by studying:

* Genes

* New treatments that help skin not react to the immune system

* Laser light treatment on thick patches.

People often need to try out different treatments before they find one that works for them.

The unpredictable nature of psoriasis makes treatment challenging for many people. A wide range of treatments are available. No single psoriasis treatment works for everyone, but something will work for most people. It is hard to predict what will work for a particular individual; however, it is important to be open-minded and willing to work with your doctor to find a treatment that will work for you.

Researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

Psoriasis Causes, Symptoms, Treatments – WebMD

Learn about psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin.

Psoriasis: Symptoms, Pictures, and More – MedicineNet

May 2, 2014 … Get information on psoriasis treatment, symptoms, causes, medication and types: vulgaris, guttate, inverse and pustular. Red dry flakes, skin …

Psoriasis – American Academy of Dermatology

What is psoriasis? Watch this video as dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD , explains why we get psoriasis and the benefits of treatment. To watch the …





Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease affecting the skin and joints.

When it affects the skin it commonly appears as red scaly elevated patches called plaques. Psoriasis plaques frequently occur on the elbows and knees, but can affect any area of skin including the scalp and genital area. Psoriasis can vary in severity, from minor localised patches to extensive or even complete skin coverage. Fingernails and toenails are often affected. This is called psoriatic nail dystrophy.Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints. This is known as psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint but is most common in the joints of the fingers and toes.


This can result in a sausage-shaped swelling of the fingers and toes known as dactylitis. Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hips, knees and spine. This is known as spondylitis.

Psoriasis affects both sexes equally, occurs at all ages and is prevalent in 2-3% of the Western populations.

Several factors are thought to aggravate psoriasis. These include stress and excessive alcohol consumption. Individuals with psoriasis may also suffer from depression and loss of self-esteem. As such, quality of life is an important factor in evaluating the severity of the disease. There are many treatments available but because of its chronic recurrent nature psoriasis is a challenge to treat.

Psoriasis is driven by the immune system, especially involving a type of white blood cell called a T cell.

Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. T cells help create scabs over wounds. In the case of psoriasis, T cells are put into action by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to rapid turnover of skin cells. Epidermal cells then build up on the surface of the skin, forming itchy patches or plaques.

Specialist dermatologists generally treat psoriasis in steps based on the severity of the disease, size of the areas involved, type of psoriasis, and the patient’s response to initial treatments. This is sometimes called the “1-2-3” approach. In step 1, medicines are applied to the skin (topical treatment). Step 2 uses ultraviolet light treatments (phototherapy). Step 3 involves taking medicines by mouth or injection that treat the whole immune system (called systemic therapy).

Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment, especially when topical corticosteroids are used. Also, a treatment that works very well in one person may have little effect in another.

Thus, doctors often use a trial-and-error approach to find a treatment that works, and they may switch treatments periodically (for example, every 12 to 24 months) if a treatment does not work or if adverse reactions occur.

In conclusion, Psoriasis is a chronic condition. There is currently no cure. People often experience flares and remissions throughout their life. Controlling the signs and symptoms typically requires lifelong therapy.

Disclaimer – The information presented here should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you or someone you know suffers from Psoriasis, please consult your physician for the latest treatment options.

Permission is granted to reprint this article as long as no changes are made, and the entire resource box is included.


Psoriasis Causes, Symptoms, Treatments – WebMD

Learn about psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin.

Psoriasis – American Academy of Dermatology

What is psoriasis? Watch this video as dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD , explains why we get psoriasis and the benefits of treatment. To watch the …

Psoriasis: Click for Treatment and Medications – eMedicineHealth

Oct 23, 2014 … Psoriasis is a common and chronic skin disorder that affects 1%-2% of people in the U.S. See pictures, and read about psoriasis symptoms, …




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