Keratosis pilaris, sometimes called “chicken skin,” is a common skin condition that causes patches of rough-feeling bumps to appear on the skin. These tiny bumps or pimples are actually dead skin cells plugging hair follicles. They sometimes appear red or brown in color.
Keratosis pilaris is commonly found on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. It isn’t contagious, and these bumps don’t usually cause any discomfort or itching.
This benign skin condition is the result of a buildup of keratin, a hair protein, in the pores.
If you have keratosis pilaris, the keratin of your body hair gets clogged in the pores, blocking the opening of growing hair follicles. As a result, a small bump forms over where a hair should be. If you were to pick at the bump, you may notice a small body hair emerge.
The exact cause of keratin buildup is unknown, but doctors think it may be associated with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and genetic diseases.
The most notable symptom of keratosis pilaris is its appearance. The visible bumps appearing on the skin resemble that of goosebumps or the skin of a plucked chicken. For this reason, it’s commonly known as “chicken skin.” The bumps can appear anywhere on the skin where hair follicles exist, and therefore will never appear on the soles of your feet or palms of your hands. Keratosis pilaris is commonly found on the upper arms and thighs. In excess, it can extend to the forearms and lower legs.
Other symptoms associated with it include:
slight pinkness or redness around bumps
itchy, irritable skin
bumps that feel like sandpaper
bumps that can appear in different colors depending on skin tone (flesh-colored, white, red, pink, brown, or black)
- Chemical Peels
- Fractional Co2 Laser
- Topical Ointments