What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a relatively common skin condition characterised by reddish rough bumps typically found on the outer arms, thighs, hands and buttocks. Often referred to as chicken skin there is said to be no known cure for this condition, although treatments such as ointments and moisturisers can improve the appearance of the skin.

It is estimated that an average of forty percent of the world’s population will be affected by keratosis pilaris and that the condition is more common in women than men. The various forms of keratosis pilaris include that which produces red, inflamed bumps aka keratosis pilaris rubra, keratosis pilaris alba, which causes bumpy skin but no irritation and keratosis pilaris rubra faceii which consists of a reddish looking rash on the face.

The cause behind keratosis pilaris is said to be an excessive production of keratin in the body. Keratin is a natural protein found in the skin. The effects of an imbalance in keratin cause the cream coloured substance to surrounds and entrap the hair follicles in the skin’s pores. As a result hard like plugs or tiny hard bumps are produced on the skins surface.

Although keratosis pilaris does not usually cause any discomfort such as pain or itchiness, it can harm cosmetic appearance, particularly for women. The condition is present all year round but the noticeable presence of tiny red bumps tends to be more apparent in the colder season when moisture levels in the air are much lower.