Keratosis pilaris is a disease in which small bumps appear along the outer pores of the arms and legs. Because of the dead skin cells embedded in the hair follicles, the skin resembles that of a chicken that has been pulled out, so it is also called chicken meat. Keratosis pilaris is characterized by excessive keratin formation and is known as a hereditary skin disease that is inherited predominantly in the chromosomes. It is said that due to the keratin plug embedded in the hair follicle, the area around the pore appears red or brown, causing various cosmetic problems. It is also known to occur frequently in people with dry skin or atopic dermatitis. It occurs a lot in dry winter, and it is reported that the incidence rate is higher in women than in men.
It is known that more than 50% of the causes of keratosis pilaris are genetic factors, and it is known that various environmental factors appear. It is known that keratin, which is a protein that protects the skin, is produced excessively to form a keratin plug, and the keratin plug blocks the hair pore and makes bumpy bumps. It is also known that frequent showering or bathing or the habit of pushing hard are also habits that aggravate the occurrence and symptoms. In addition, it is known that when the humidity in the air is relatively low by raising the room temperature, itching occurs in the abdomen or thighs, which are weak areas of the skin, and when the skin is scratched severely, the pores become prominent. Now, let’s take a look at the main symptoms, treatment and management of keratosis pilaris, one by one.
Main symptoms of keratosis pilaris
The main symptom that occurs when keratosis pilaris occurs is that small brown or gray bumps about 1mm in size grow along the pores on the outside of the arms, legs, shoulders, thighs, etc. for each pore. If you scratch the hard-formed bumps with your fingernails, they fall off, and semi-solid hairs come out together. In severe cases, these bumps formed on the arms and legs are formed not only on the arms and legs, but also under the elbows or buttocks.
This type of keratosis pilaris usually first appears around 2 years of age, and the number of bumps increases until about 20 years of age, and then improves as an adult. Although it does not cause any health problems, if the symptoms worsen due to delay in treatment, psychological atrophy and stress may occur for apparent reasons. Also, scratching or squeezing in unsanitary conditions can lead to pigmentation or folliculitis. Because keratosis pilaris does not have a fundamental prevention habit and no concept of a cure, it is very important to continue managing and treating the symptoms so that the symptoms do not get worse.
Treatment and management of keratosis pilaris
1. Diagnosis and treatment
It is known that keratosis pilaris can be diagnosed by observation of the skin, and since the symptoms are similar to those of the stratum corneum of hair follicles, it can be confirmed through a skin biopsy. For skin biopsy, a part of the lesion tissue is removed after local anesthesia and a pathological biopsy is performed. And if you are diagnosed with keratosis pilaris through multiple tests, various treatments will be applied. It is known that applying vitamin A ointment or keratolytic agent that softens dead skin cells and moisturizes the skin helps a lot in relieving symptoms. In addition, it cleans pores clogged by dead skin cells, peels to remove accumulated inflammation, peels to remove dead skin cells embedded in pores, and laser treatment is performed.
2. Minimize skin irritation in shower or bath
To prevent worsening of keratosis pilaris symptoms, it is important to minimize skin irritation when taking a shower or bath. In particular, it is recommended to refrain from pushing dirt with a towel or using a scrub to remove bumps, as it can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse. In addition, the habit of taking a shower or bathing too much can also cause worsening of symptoms, so it is recommended to reduce the number of times. Also, it is recommended to apply a sufficient amount of moisturizer or moisturizing cream after showering, and it has been known that applying an emollient that softens dead skin cells helps a lot to soften dead skin cells.
3. Maintain a constant indoor humidity
It is known that a dry environment can make symptoms worse, so maintaining proper humidity in a space where you spend a lot of time is also a very important management habit. In addition to maintaining indoor humidity, drinking plenty of water is also said to help relieve symptoms.
In addition, wearing tight-fitting clothing such as skinny jeans not only does not ventilate well, but also causes irritation of the skin, which causes dead skin cells to form more easily. Therefore, it is recommended to wear loose, loose-fitting clothing that is well ventilated.