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Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a common and harmless skin condition characterized by the development of numerous small, rough bumps on the skin.

The condition can occur anywhere from infancy to adulthood but is most prevalent during teenage years, affecting 50-80% of adolescents.  Keratosis pilaris is not connected to any serious ill health and for most sufferers, the condition subsides in adulthood.  It occurs more commonly in the following groups:

  • Females
  • People of Celtic Origin
  • People who have eczema and/or dry skin.
  • Those who are overweight.

Signs and Symptoms

Keratosis pilaris causes small bumps about the size of a grain of sand.  These feel rough and look like permanent goosebumps.  The bumps may be red or brown and often a coiled hair is noticeable within the bump.

The outer aspect of the upper arms is the most commonly affected are but it can also affect the thighs, face and buttocks, and less frequently, the forearms and upper back.

Keratosis pilaris is thought to be a disorder of the keratin cells (the sticky cells that line the hair follicle).  Instead of shedding, these cells build up around the hair follicle.

The condition is more sever in winter and during periods of low humidity.


There is no cure but if can be effectively controlled. Clients will notice improvement by following a regular skin care program.  Best results are achieved with a  combination of therapies, including:

  • Moisturizing Creams to soften the skin – creams that contain AHA’s are effective.
  • Creams containing Retinoids
  • Intense Pulsed Laser to treat the redness

Laser Hair Removal to treat underlying “coiled” hair.

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