Keratosis pilaris results from the buildup of keratin — a hard protein that protects your skin from harmful substances and infection. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin.
Why keratin builds up is unknown. But it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions, such atopic dermatitis. Keratosis pilaris also occurs in otherwise healthy people. Dry skin tends to worsen this condition.
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- Keratosis pilaris. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/keratosis_pilaris.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2012.
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- Castela E, et al. Papular, profuse, and precocious keratosis pilaris. Pediatric Dermatology. 2012;29:285.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology.6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Nov. 11, 2012.
- Gonzalez JA, et al. Keratosis pilaris rubra and keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei treated with pulsed dye laser: Report of 10 cases. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2011;25:710.
- Dermatologists' top 10 tips for relieving dry skin. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/winter_skin.html. Accessed Nov.12, 2012.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 26, 2012.
- Tretinoin. Micromedex Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedex.com. Accessed Nov. 27, 2012.
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