Keratosis pilaris is a disorder of the skin, where red or white patches or bumps appear the skin becomes rough, and patches are spread over knees, arms, thighs and buttocks. They usually disappear by middle age and does not cause any serious complication.
What causes Keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris results from the accumulation of a protein that is naturally present in the skin called keratin. Keratin is a protective substance that prevails entry of harmful bacteria into the skin. In this condition, keratin is excessively produced and blocks the opening of the hair follicle by forming scaly plugs. The hair grows inside the hair follicle and gets coiled as it is not letting out by the abundant keratin, an ingoing process that happens called Hyperkeratinisation. What causes keratosis pilaris is not exactly known, though it is associated with few genetic diseases and other dry skin conditions.
The symptoms of keratosis pilaris are not pronounced except for scaly, dry, rough, wallpaper like patches. They are common in teenage and young adults. The condition exacerbates in months of colder weather, where the skin becomes drier and loses its moisture content. Although they are spread over cheeks, arms, thighs and buttocks, the patches on the cheeks get scarred rarely. They are cream colored usually, and may turn reddish around the lesion if inflammation happens.
Treatment of keratosis pilaris is targeted towards treating symptoms, not the underlying cause as the underlying cause is not known most of the times. Keratolytic agents are used as topical creams and ointments most of the times. Various combination of keratolytic agents like lactic acid, urea, vitamin D, retinoid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid are used. Although immediate response is not noticed, long term use of such treatment showed results. Topical steroids are also used when the signs of inflammation such as redness is noticed around the bump.
Laser therapy, taken in sessions is also provided to be effective in few patients.
Keratosis pilaris natural treatment and home remedies:
Some Self-help measures can stop aggravating the condition, though immediate cure is not possible by home remedies.
The following measures can be helpful:
1. Avoid dryness: Avoid dryness of skin. After bath, gently clean your body and face with a soft towel instead of vigorously rubbing. It helps to retain the moisture content in the skin.
2. Do not scrub: Do not scrub as it can irritate the skin and can aggravate the lesions.
3. Use adequate Moisturizers: Use moisturizers often that contain petroleum jelly and glycerine to avoid dryness.
4. Avoid Junk foods: Junk foods are always a cause of many health problems. Try avoiding junk food, and you may be surprised that sometimes, it works better than applying medicated creams.
5. Take care of your digestion: Digestion problems can cause the non-absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, which can affect the skin in causing various skin problems. Try a dose of Probiotics and natural supplements.
6. Is your Vitamin intake adequate: Vitamin C can heal your skin to a greater extent if taken daily. Vitamin A can also be taken in the form of the liver which is more effective form, and also can prevent toxicity which can happen when taken in the form of capsules.