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Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common harmless skin condition. It has the appearance of rough goosebumps and occurs when extra keratin (skin) accumulates in the hair follicles.  It commonly starts in childhood and those affected observe their symptoms often improve in the summer months and worsen during the winter.

The term “keratosis’ refers to the tough outer layer of the skin, and “pilaris” is taken from the latin “Pilus” which means hair.

It usually affects the upper and outer parts of thighs and arms with some redness around the affected areas and is thought to be hereditary in up to 70% of adolescents, though this pattern may vary from family to family. Keratosis pilaris is not an infectious or contagious condition.

Topical preparations can improve symptoms and long-term treatment is often required. Salicylic, glycolic and lactic acid formulations are recommended as well as emollients (moisturisers) and skin exfoliating treatments.

Recommended treatments are discussed following a detailed consultation.