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Keratosis pillars (KP) is a condition caused by the plugging of the hair follicles by skin cells as they die and flake off. (Read about "Skin") It shows up as small pimples, mostly on the upper arms and the thighs but also can appear on the back, face and buttocks. The texture may feel coarse like sandpaper. The bumps are usually flesh-colored, but they may be darker too. When the bumps appear on the face, they can be mistaken for acne. (Read about "Acne")
KP is very common, with young people affected most often. It is considered to be genetic, which means it can run in families. (Read about "Family Health History") It may also be more common in people with atopic dermatitis. (Read about "Eczema and Dermatitis") KP may get worse during the winter and times of low humidity when skin tends to become drier. There are no cures, although the condition can sometimes fade with age.
There are some methods to treat the condition if it gets too bad. Over-the-counter moisturizers can help the appearance of the skin. A dermatologist - a doctor who specializes in the skin - can also use mild peeling agents to help unplug the hair follicles and remove excess skin. Other topical creams prescribed by the doctor may help as well. Each person responds differently, so you should discuss all options with your doctor.
All Concept Communications material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.
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