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What is it?

Keratosis Pilaris is a very common alteration of the skin, where the skin looks like "sandpaper" and "bumps" on the back of the arms, legs, chest and buttocks appear. It is more common in patients who have very dry skin, or who have atopic dermatitis (eczema).

This skin condition can occur at any time of life, but it is more common during childhood and adolescence, usually improving in adulthood. It is caused by the accumulation of keratin (outer skin protein) in the hair follicles forming "grain" or bumps on the skin (pink color, sometimes with a white center). It can be confused with acne.


Small bumps like "sandpaper" or "goose bumps" on the back of the arms, thighs or face. Some lesions have a slight pink tinge around. They are not painful or itchy.


Your dermatologist can make a diagnosis by exploring the skin lesions. It sometimes requires a painless micro biopsy to rule simulators.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris

It is a benign condition that affects the skin cosmetically. There is no definitive treatment but can be treated and improved with creams containing keratolytic components such as urea, lactic acid, ammonium lactate and salicylic acid. These components can be combined to not only moisturize, but also promote exfoliation of affected area. In more severe cases, your dermatologist may prescribe topical treatment with retinoids, which will prevent follicular obstruction. We offer custom made formulas depending on the areas to be treated, patient age and possible underlying dermatological disease (atopy, psoriasis etc.).


In general, Keratosis Pilaris tends to improve with age (from 16 years on), and during summer season, but in some cases it may persist, with periods of exacerbations and remissions.

Doctor Pablo Umbert

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