Woman rubs wrist with lotion.

Farewell to pimples – how to finally get rid of keratosis pilaris

In the case of kera­to­sis pila­ris, the name says it all: tho­se affec­ted suf­fer from small pimp­les and rough skin. The upper arms, thighs and less fre­quent­ly the buttocks are most com­mon­ly affec­ted. Kera­to­sis pila­ris is any­thing but rare: It is esti­ma­ted that up to 50% of all peo­p­le suf­fer from it — some more, some less.

With the right care and sui­ta­ble medi­cal agents, kera­to­sis pila­ris can be easi­ly trea­ted. Here you will find out ever­y­thing you need to know!

Keratosis pilaris: What is it actually?

The kera­to­sis pila­ris is refer­red to in medi­cal jar­gon as kera­to­sis pila­ris. It is a very com­mon kera­ti­niza­ti­on dis­or­der of the skin. Kera­to­sis Pila­ris is neither con­ta­gious nor dan­ge­rous, but many suf­fe­rers find it visual­ly dis­tur­bing. The skin chan­ge occurs at any age and in any gen­der, but espe­ci­al­ly during puber­ty. The cour­se is very varia­ble. Impro­ve­ment in sum­mer and dete­rio­ra­ti­on in win­ter are quite typi­cal. Some­ti­mes kera­to­sis pila­ris is also asso­cia­ted with other skin dise­a­ses, such as neu­ro­der­ma­ti­tis (ato­pic der­ma­ti­tis).

How is keratosis pilaris formed?

Kera­tin kera­to­sis deve­lo­ps when the body pro­du­ces too much kera­tin. This is whe­re the name Kera­to­sis Pila­ris comes from. Kera­tin is a pro­te­in that is found in everyone’s skin, but also in hair and nails. It pro­vi­des sta­bi­li­ty and pro­tec­tion and the­r­e­fo­re ful­fills important func­tions for healt­hy skin. Howe­ver, when the­re is too much kera­tin, it accu­mu­la­tes in hair fol­lic­les and pores. This is how the small pimp­les in kera­to­sis pila­ris deve­lop. Howe­ver, it is unclear why the exces­si­ve pro­duc­tion of kera­tin occurs in the first place. Doc­tors suspect that gene­tic pre­dis­po­si­ti­on plays a role.

Additional knowledge for skin experts:

Even if pimp­les are always men­tio­ned in con­nec­tion with kera­to­sis pila­ris, they are actual­ly not pimp­les at all. Pimp­les are inflamm­a­ti­ons of the hair fol­lic­les, most­ly cau­sed by bac­te­ria. With nasty pus pimp­les — the ones that always appear in the midd­le of the face at the worst pos­si­ble time — this is cle­ar­ly visi­ble. In the case of kera­to­sis pila­ris, on the other hand, the hair fol­lic­le is not infla­med but clog­ged with kera­tin. It is the­r­e­fo­re cal­led papu­les, small nodu­les on the skin. 

Treatment: You can do this against keratosis pilaris

Hands off — No squeezing or scratching

We know it’s temp­ting. Nevert­hel­ess, you should defi­ni­te­ly not press your skin. You irri­ta­te and inju­re your skin. In addi­ti­on, the­re is a lot of dirt and bac­te­ria on the fin­gers and under the fin­ger­nails that can get into the skin. This in turn can lead to inflamm­a­ti­on. Signs of inflamm­a­ti­on include pain and redness.

Care, care, care – keratosis pilaris love moisture

The kera­to­sis pila­ris do not know too much mois­tu­re. The right care pro­ducts help to keep the skin sup­p­le and smooth. Due to the thi­c­ke­ned hor­ny lay­er, howe­ver, mois­tu­re can­not be absor­bed as well. The­r­e­fo­re, kera­to­sis pila­ris requi­res inten­si­ve (more) care with mois­tu­ri­zing and mois­tu­ri­zing creams. It is also worth taking a look at the ingre­di­ents: Urea (urea), oils (e.g. almond oil), shea but­ter or hyalu­ro­nic acid pro­vi­de mois­tu­re. Per­fu­mes, fra­gran­ces and sul­fa­tes should be avo­ided becau­se they dry out and irri­ta­te the skin. The same appli­es to skin cle­an­sing: we recom­mend using soap-free show­er products.

Tip: stay focused!

Kera­to­sis pila­ris does not dis­ap­pear over­night. Regu­lar and con­ti­nuous care is the be-all and end-all.

Peels – Mechanical vs. Chemical

Exfo­li­a­ti­on is used to gent­ly remo­ve dead skin cells. But pee­ling is not just pee­ling. The­re are mecha­ni­cal and che­mi­cal peels. Mecha­ni­cal peels con­tain e.g. small grains, pearls, salt or sugar that gent­ly “scrub” the skin. Che­mi­cal peels, on the other hand, con­tain cer­tain ingre­di­ents that “dis­sol­ve” the skin cells. The most com­mon are body lotions with urea in various con­cen­tra­ti­ons. Other ingre­di­ents in che­mi­cal peels are acids such as gly­co­lic acid or sali­cy­lic acid. You can find both mecha­ni­cal and che­mi­cal pee­lings over the coun­ter in drugs­to­res and phar­maci­es. The­re is no clear recom­men­da­ti­on for the tre­at­ment of kera­to­sis pila­ris. Every skin responds dif­fer­ent­ly to dif­fe­rent pro­ducts and ingre­di­ents. It is important that you do not over­do it and keep an eye on your skin. This way you can find out what is best for your skin.

You don’t know which care pro­ducts are sui­ta­ble for you? At der­ma­no­stic you will recei­ve an indi­vi­du­al care plan with recom­men­da­ti­ons for your skin.

Medicinal Treatment – Various active ingredients to choose from

With stub­born kera­to­sis pila­ris, dai­ly skin care and regu­lar pee­lings are not always enough. Then it makes sen­se to sup­ple­ment medi­cal tre­at­ment. The skin care should be con­tin­ued in any case, it is always the basis. The­re are various acti­ve ingre­di­ents for medi­cal tre­at­ment, such as reti­no­ids or azelaic acid. The­se are available in creams and are sim­ply appli­ed to the affec­ted are­as of the skin. In the mean­ti­me, the­re are also laser tre­at­ments that can be car­ri­ed out against kera­to­sis pilaris.

Red Flags: when to worry?

All clear: The­re is actual­ly no reason to worry, becau­se in most cases kera­to­sis pila­ris do not requi­re medi­cal tre­at­ment. Howe­ver, other skin dise­a­ses can also hide behind the actual­ly harm­less pimp­les. If the small pimp­les are fil­led with pus, for exam­p­le, it can also be acne or an inflamm­a­ti­on of the hair fol­lic­le (fol­li­cu­li­tis). In the case of sever­ely itchy pimp­les, an all­er­gic skin reac­tion can also be the cau­se. If the pimp­les are dis­tri­bu­ted all over the body, con­ta­gious dise­a­ses such as chi­cken­pox (vari­cel­la) must also be con­side­red in children.

Are you unsu­re whe­ther you suf­fer from kera­to­sis pila­ris? Our skin spe­cia­lists at der­ma­no­stic will be hap­py to help you. Within 24 hours you will recei­ve a dia­gno­sis and the­ra­py recom­men­da­ti­on with a pri­va­te prescription.

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