Keratosis pilaris is a common, harmless skin condition which appears as rough patches or small bumps usually found on the upper arms, cheeks and thighs. Some mistake these bumps for small pimples or goosebumps. These bumps are formed due to a build up a keratin- a hard protein which protects the skin from harmful substances and infection. It is unknown why keratin builds up, but it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions such as eczema. Dry skin tends to worsen this condition which is why many people notice these bumps more often during cold or dry seasons.
You generally won’t need to see a physician for this condition as keratosis pilaris does not usually hurt or itch. If these lesions do itch or the dryness or appearance bother you, a dermatologist can diagnose the condition simply by looking at the affected skin. No further testing or biopsy is necessary.
The dryness and appearance of small bumps can be improved with prescription medications from your dermatologist including
Keratosis Pilaris is considered a variant of normal skin and cannot be cured or prevented. This condition gradually clears up on its own and generally disappears by the age of 30. Medicated creams and moisturizers can diminish the appearance of keratosis pilaris but once these creams are discontinued, the condition returns. Even with treatment, this condition tends to persist for years.