Your skin is so tied to your appearance that every blemish may be cause for alarm. Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that causes unattractive goose bumps and patches of dry skin. While there’s no cure, your Brooklyn dermatologist at Century Medical and Dental Center can help you control the symptoms through a variety of medicated creams. If you fear you have keratosis pilaris, call today for an appointment to have your skin assessed.
Often considered a variant of normal skin, keratosis pilaris appears as tiny bumps and dry, rough patches on the skin of your buttocks, thighs, upper arms or cheeks. These bumps usually don’t itch or hurt. The goal of your Century Medical and Dental Center Brooklyn dermatologist is to help you improve the appearance of your skin for greater confidence.
The good news about this medical condition is that it’s not dangerous. While it’s most common in young children, this skin condition may occur at any age. Also, keratosis pilaris often disappears by the time you reach the age of 30.
Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris occurs when a build-up of the hard protein keratin plugs the hair follicle pores in a specific area on your skin. The rough, dry, bumpy skin may result from genetic diseases or in conjunction with other skin conditions. In general, you may notice keratosis pilaris from its signs that include:
- Tiny bumps with goose-like flesh that appears on your thighs, buttocks, cheeks or upper arms
- Rough skin in the area of the bumps that remains dry and flaky, no matter how much moisturizer you apply
- Seasonal changes that make your symptoms worse, especially in the winter, a time of low humidity
Treating Keratosis Pilaris
Many individuals don’t seek medical treatment for keratosis pilaris. Since it’s not itchy or painful, most use home remedies to treat the skin condition. Eventually, the condition resolves on its own or they find a concoction that seems to work.
If you’re concerned about your skin or your child’s skin, your Brooklyn dermatologist has treatment options to help manage the symptoms and reduce the appearance. These treatments include:
- Exfoliating creams. Made from retinoids or vitamin A compounds, these medicated creams help prevent plugged follicles. Your doctor may recommend another treatment if you’re pregnant or nursing. These creams only work as long as you use them. Stop and the condition returns.
- Creams with some form of acidic compound. Creams with salicylic, hydroxy or lactic acid help remove dead skin cells, which can clear up some of your symptoms. You can find some over-the-counter products like this. These creams may cause stinging, redness or irritation, especially on children’s skin. Ask your dermatologist about the amount and frequency for effective use and to minimize side effects.
At-Home Remedies That Work
Your dermatologist in Brooklyn may recommend some home and lifestyle changes that can influence your skin’s health. Suggestions include:
- Be very gentle all around the irritated patches of skin. Avoid rough clothing and harsh soaps. Don’t scrub vigorously. Gently cleanse the skin and pat dry with a soft towel or allow to air dry.
- Minimize your time in hot water. Instead, consider warm baths or showers, which help keep beneficial oils on your skin. Keeping bathing time to a minimum — 10 minutes or less — also helps prevent your skin from drying out.
- Moisturize carefully with the specific lotions your doctor recommends. These lotions help trap beneficial moisture and soothe dry skin. Keep the lotion handy and reapply it often.
- Try over-the-counter medicated creams. These creams contain smaller concentrations of the medicine you need. Your doctor may suggest that the stronger ingredients in the prescription ointments may do more harm than good. Beneficial acids in these products remove dead skin cells, soften rough patches and moisturize dryness. Apply these creams before your regular moisturizer.
- Wear loose clothing that doesn’t rub or bind. Friction aggravates the rough and dry nature of keratosis pilaris.
- Use a humidifier if you live in a dry area or during cold weather. Humidifiers add moisture to the surrounding air inside your home. Moister air not only helps reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris, but it also keeps your nasal passages and airways moist and working properly.
Rely on Your Doctor, But Be Vigilant
There’s no cure for keratosis pilaris. Your dermatologist can help you control your symptoms, but the skin condition may be with you until it clears up and disappears for good around the age of 30. The primary goal for your Brooklyn dermatologist is to alleviate any uncomfortable symptoms — remember the affected skin doesn’t itch or hurt — and help improve the condition and appearance of your skin.
Your doctor asks about your family history, allergies, medical concerns, asthma possibilities or drug interactions to make sure everything that may be aggravating your symptoms is addressed. It’s all part of being in a practice that offers multi-disciplinary treatments. Contact Century Medical and Dental Center to talk to clinicians.