KERATOSIS PILARIS

The name for common scaly bumps that most often occur on the backs of the arms is ‘keratosis pilaris’. Keratosis pilaris typically occurs on the backs of the arms in people with an ‘atopic background’, which means those with atopic dermatitis (eczema), allergies (including hay fever), and asthma, or those with a family history of these conditions. Keratosis pilaris may occur on other areas of the body such as the legs and trunk. If one looks closely at these bumps, they occur at the location of the hair follicles. Tiny protrusions of keratin stick out from the opening of the hair follicle. Keratin is the protein that makes up the scaly surface-layer of skin. Many people try to remove these little keratinous plugs as if they are whiteheads, but they are not easily removed. Sometimes the bumps of keratosis pilaris can become irritated, red, and inflamed.

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