Keratosis Pilaris (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Nili N. Alai, MD, FAAD
Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Keratosis pilaris facts
- What is keratosis pilaris (KP)?
- Who gets keratosis pilaris?
- What is the prognosis of patients with keratosis pilaris?
- Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
- What does keratosis pilaris look like?
- What causes keratosis pilaris?
- How is keratosis pilaris diagnosed?
- Is keratosis pilaris curable?
- Is keratosis pilaris contagious?
- What are possible complications of keratosis pilaris?
- Does diet have anything to do with keratosis pilaris?
- Keratosis pilaris "do's"
- Keratosis pilaris "don'ts"
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
Who gets keratosis pilaris?
Anyone can get KP. Although it is commonly a skin condition of children and adolescents, it is also seen in many adults. KP is estimated to affect between 50% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. Females may be more frequently affected than males. Age of onset is often within the first 10 years of life and may worsen during puberty. However, KP may begin at any age. A large percentage of patients have other people in their family with the same condition. It has been commonly been seen in twins. KP is also seen in atopic dermatitis patients and patients with very dry skin.
What is the prognosis of patients with keratosis pilaris?
Overall, KP tends to be a chronic skin condition periodically becoming worse or better. KP is a benign, noncontagious, self-limited skin condition that tends to be mild. KP frequently improves with age in many patients. Many patients note improvement of their symptoms in the summer months and seasonal flares in colder winter months. More widespread, atypical cases of KP may be cosmetically distressing.
Will I eventually outgrow keratosis pilaris?
KP usually improves with increasing age. KP may even spontaneously clear completely after puberty. However, more frequently the condition is chronic with periodic exacerbations and improvements. Many adults still have the skin condition into their 40s and 50s.
Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
Although possible, it is fairly rare to have KP all over the body. The lesions in keratosis pilaris most characteristically involve the back of the upper arms. Other common locations include the thighs and buttocks and occasionally the face. It does not affect the eyes, mouth, palms, or soles.
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