Keratosis pilaris is a very common condition in which there are numerous rough follicular spots, which may be skin coloured, red or brown. Most often they arise on the outer aspect of the upper arms. They may also occur on the thighs and cheeks, and less often on the forearms and upper back.
Keratosis pilaris is most obvious during the teenage years. It may also be present in babies and persist into adult life. However, it is uncommon in elderly people. Keratosis pilaris is particularly prevalent in those who are overweight, or have celtic backgrounds, atopic dermatitis or ichthyosis.
Keratosis pilaris tends to be more severe during the winter months or other times of low humidity when skin dries out. Although unsightly at times, it is completely harmless.
Variants of keratosis pilaris include:
- Keratosis pilaris rubra: reddened lesions
- Keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei: facial follicular atrophy (small scar-like depressions)
- Ulerythema ophryogenes: involvement of the outer eyebrows
- Atrophoderma vermiculata: severe worm-eaten appearance of the cheeks
- Keratosis follicularis spinulosa decalvans: a rare familial variant which results in bald areas on the scalp and eyebrows
-Lichen spinulosus (keratosis spinulosa): solitary or multiple patches of follicular papules topped with scaly spines on any part of the body
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