Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition in children and adults, which appears as tiny white bumps on the skin. The bumps are often referred to as “chicken skin”. These rough-feeling bumps are actually plugs of dead skin cells around hair follicles in the skin, not to be mistaken for small pimples. The plugs appear most often on the upper arms, front of the thighs and the cheeks.

It’s important to know that dry skin can make these bumps more noticeable. In fact, many people say the bumps clear during the summer only to return in the winter. If you live in a dry climate or frequently swim in a pool, you may see these bumps year round.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

5 Things You Don’t Know About Dry Skin

5 Things You Don’t Know About Dry Skin

Dry skin is a pain.

Literally, dry skin is a painful reaction to your body’s lack of water. So why does your skin get unusually dry and how do you repair the damage that’s been done? How do you keep your skin healthy and prevent it from itching and feeling tight?

To maintain healthy skin, it’s important to understand the reason why your skin becomes uncomfortably dry. Once you learn the cause and recognize the symptoms of dry skin, you’ll better understand how to treat it and prevent any tightness, flaking or peeling in the future.

Here’s 5 things you may not know about caring for dry skin…

 

5 Facts You Don't Know about Dry Skin | KPKids.net

1. Why does your skin get so dry?

There are many factors that can cause your healthy skin to lose moisture and feel uncomfortably dry. Soaps and facial cleansers are one of the most common causes of dry skin. While it’s ironic that the soap or shower gel you use to cleanse your skin of excess oil and dirt can actually strip away the vital nutrients your skin needs, keeping your skin clean and clear is very important.

Preventing Dry Skin | KPKids.netAnother cause of dry skin can be the temperature of your shower or bath. It’s well-known that hot water can pull essential moisture from your skin. Just ask any mom who has just washed a sink-full of dishes how dry and prune-like her hands feel. Opt for shorter showers and warm, but not hot, baths to minimize the moisture loss of your already sensitive skin (especially true for those with keratosis pilaris). See what RELATED: The first step in preventing your healthy skin from becoming overly dry is to exfoliate your skin regularly. Begin with a gentle scrub once a week to remove dead skin cells. Our newest favorite scrub for sensitive skin and keratosis pilaris is this sugar scrub and once you try it, you’ll understand why we love it’s fine-grain silky texture.

Another fine-grain scrub favorite is Ultra-Fine Exfoliating Facial Scrub by La Roche-Posay. For a more substantial scrub to use on the back of your arms or your legs, try KP Duty Scrub from DERMAdoctor or UltraRich Body Scrub with Shea Butter by L’Occitane.

RELATED: sunburn, remember to set up the humidifier after you apply the aloe (we seriously love Mario Badescu’s Aloe Spray).

RELATED: The best times to moisturize your dry skin are immediately after bathing and before bedtime. These are both ideal times to lock in those essential natural skin oils and nutrients that your sensitive skin is craving to be replenished.

If you typically bathe at night, moisturize your skin after bathing and again after waking. Regardless of when you apply your ointment, cream or lotion, be sure to establish a solid routine to prevent dry skin from recurring.

RELATED: As your body’s largest organ, your skin needs water. Strive to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day (if not more). Buy a refillable water bottle (we love Swell water bottles because they keep your water cold for hours). Take your water bottle with you during the day to ensure that you always have drinking water available. You may be surprised how much more water you will drink if it’s easily within your reach.

Example: A 150 lb. person should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day.

When it comes to moisturizing products to apply to your dry skin, look for two ingredients: humectants and emollients. Humectants are ingredients that attract water and moisture into the skin. When you read product labels, you’ll find the most common humectants are hyaluronic acid, lecithin and propylene glycol. Our latest favorite is Water Drench Cream by Peter Thomas Roth and it’s a bestseller for good reason.

Emollients are the ingredients that hold and lock in that moisture to help the skin stay healthy. The most common emollients you’ll find are petrolatum (like Aquaphor), glycerin (like La Roche-Posay), dimethicone (like CeraVe) and lanolin (used by many breastfeeding moms).

RELATED: Recommended Products for Toddlers with KP: 2 – 4 years

 

5. When should you see a doctor or dermatologist?

Preventing Dry Skin | KPKids.netIt is important to know when your skin is more than just unusually dry or perhaps showing signs of another serious skin condition. The most common signs of extremely dry skin are tightening of the skin, loss of elasticity and flaking or peeling.

Any symptoms that include unexplained redness (other than possible RELATED: Facebook group, called KP Collective (you can join for free with 1-click).

See what we’re using in our home to treat our family’s keratosis pilaris here: SHOP OUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS FROM DERMADOCTOR

 

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What Your Answers to our Skin Care Questionnaire Have Taught Us about Keratosis Pilaris

What Your Answers to our Skin Care Questionnaire Have Taught Us about Keratosis Pilaris

The results are in! Your helpful responses have taught us volumes about what you, as a parent of a child with keratosis pilaris, are struggling with and how you’re treating this often-frustrating skin condition.

In January of 2017, we asked readers about their experience with their child’s keratosis pilaris, what clears it up, what makes it worse, and what they want to try in the future to improve their skin long-term. We left the survey open for a month, and have made some interesting observations about how you are currently treating your child’s KP and what’s working for you.

We were super excited to read through every response, so THANK YOU for taking the time to share your answers with us!

Here’s what your responses to these 10 simple questions have taught us…

What your Answers to our Skin Care Questionnaire have taught us about Keratosis Pilaris | KPKids.net

How KP Starts

Our first question was a simple one in asking the sex of your child. While the girls were the majority, it was only by a few points (55.9% female vs. 44.1% male). There hasn’t been any research to show that keratosis pilaris is more common in females vs. males, but this is an interesting find.

We also asked you at what age you first noticed your child’s keratosis pilaris, and 50% of you discovered it within the first year (that’s actually surprising!). As parents we often think of skin conditions developing more in their toddler years when they’re more active and into everything, but the first year of life can bring on a lot of environmental and nutritional changes.

 

RELATED: If I have it, will my child develop Keratosis Pilaris?

 

Where does Keratosis Pilaris come from?

It is widely know that keratosis pilaris (and many similar skin conditions) can have a hereditary cause, which means that if you have KP then your children are likely to develop it as well. Your responses to the next question were not surprising.

Over 45% of you have keratosis pilaris yourselves, while another 22.7% of you were unsure if you have it.

Food sensitivities and allergies are typically the first assumption parents make when their child develops KP. However, based on your responses, the food allergies are minimal to non-existent for your KP kids with over 85% of our readers telling us their kids have no food allergies at all. While this is an interesting statistic to read, some parents may find that their KP kid may still have nutritional deficiencies in their diet that can lead to keratosis pilaris flare-ups (namely vitamin A & vitamin D, ask your doctor).


RELATED: How a Humidifier can Help your Child’s Dry Skin

 

How do you Treat Keratosis Pilaris?

As any parent of a KP kid will tell you, keeping their child’s skin moisturized is only one step in effectively treating keratosis pilaris. So we asked parents what methods they were using to treat their kids’ KP. Beyond using moisturizing lotions and creams (74.4% of you, nice job), many of you are also using alpha-hydroxy lotions that contain salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid to slough off that top layer of dead skin (44.2% of you, way to go!). Using extra sunscreen (in a gentler formula) is always advised for kids with KP, so we’re super happy to hear that 30% of you have stepped up the sunscreen protection as well.

Soon your toddler turns into an active child, so we asked if their activity in sports has affected their skin. Most of you replied that your children don’t play sports yet (58% of you) or that there is no noticeable change in their skin from high-activity sports (23% of you).

What’s important to note here is that if you’ve only recently received a diagnosis of keratosis pilaris from your child’s pediatrician or dermatologist, then your child may still be age 3 and younger (see the second question above) and not involved in sports yet. When the sports activities do begin, keep the frequent sweating and showering routine in mind as your child grows and be sure to establish good skin care habits early.

 

RELATEDHow this $10 Lotion has Improved my Kids’ Keratosis Pilaris

 

So what’s working to improve your child’s keratosis pilaris?

What are you doing today that is WORKING? We asked parents to share with us what methods or products were working for them in treating their child’s KP and the responses varied greatly.

From establishing a solid routine of moisturizing every day to trying different AHA lotions, the trial-and-error of finding what works best for your child may seem never-ending. But rest assured that you are not alone and every child’s skin reacts differently. Keep trying to find the right combination of soaps, cleansers, lotions, scrubs and even laundry detergents that will make a noticeable difference, and adjust your routine seasonally as needed.

Products mentioned above include: Cocoa Butter Body Wash, Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo, Organic Coconut Oil, AmLactin AHA LotionKP Elements, CeraVe SA lotionJosie Maran Whipped Argon Oil Body Butter, Olive Oil Body Butter, Fish Oil Supplements, Epsom Bath Salts, SkinFix Renewing Cream, Roll-On Castor Oil.

Note: Always read labels and directions before using any product. Consult your doctor or dermatologist for specific advice about keratosis pilaris.

 

RELATED: Grab your FREE KP Tip Sheet 
to learn 10 things you can do in the next 24 hours to improve your child’s skin.

 

Can Keratosis Pilaris be seasonal?

Recently in our new Facebook group, we asked you and our readers where in the world you lived. Although we’re based in Texas, we were surprised to hear that some of our readers were from far outside the US, including Germany, UK and Australia. Regardless of where you live, the change in seasons can affect your child’s skin and their keratosis pilaris may flare up in extremely dry conditions like cold Winter weather.

Most parents told us that their child’s skin looks and feels worse in the Winter, and only somewhat worse in the Summer. It’s also interesting to hear from a few parents who say their child’s skin actually looks and feels better in the cooler, drier weather of Winter than the typically warmer, more humid weather of Summer. Our advice: keep experimenting.

 

Are you a member of our private Facebook group yet?
There’s hundreds of helpful parents sharing tips or treating keratosis pilaris in kids each week. It’s free to join with 1-click!

 

RELATED: 5 Things NOT to do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris

 

So your kid has KP. What should you do now?

You’ve narrowed it down, seen the dermatologist and gotten the diagnosis of keratosis pilaris. You’re concerned and worried about how their skin looks. So what should you do now? Let’s make a plan.

Start with gentler products, begin moisturizing regularly, use a humidifier, and consider factors like laundry detergent and fabric softeners, as well as dietary changes. See what products we’re currently using in our home here.

When we asked our readers what’s on their list of things to try to hopefully improve their child’s keratosis pilaris, here’s what they had to say…

Products mentioned above include: Shea Moisture Baby Lotion, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, AmLactin AHA Lotion, CeraVe SA lotion, gluten-free food & recipes, AHA lotions, Kerapil, Konjac sponges, Frankincense essential oil, SkinFix Renewing Cream, DermaDoctor KP Duty, Coconut Oil, Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream, sugar scrub, salt scrub, Mustela Stelatopia cream.

Note: Always read labels and directions before using any product. Consult your doctor or dermatologist for specific advice about keratosis pilaris.

 

RELATED: Recommended Products for Children with KP: 5 – 8 years

 

KPKids.net

 

We’ve learned a lot, so what’s next?

We sincerely appreciate each of our readers who took the time to answer the 10 questions we posed about caring for your child’s keratosis pilaris. We’ve learned volumes about what frustrates most parents in dealing with this skin condition… Finding a product or method that makes your kid’s skin look and feel better.

Finding that perfect product, gentle-enough scrub, gluten-free recipe book to try, or sunscreen for their sensitive skin can each be an ongoing challenge. Just remember, every child’s skin reacts differently and just as easily as their taste in food changes, so will their skin change as they grow.

You are not alone! Keep experimenting with a variety of products or cleansing/scrubbing methods to find some improvement in their skin texture and appearance. Soon we’ll say goodbye to that “chicken skin” because together, we’ll find something that works.

 

Thank you for all of your helpful responses!

Join our incredibly helpful KP Collective community on Facebook to connect with hundreds of other parents of KP kids to get tips, advice and recommendations.

Join the KP Collective with just 1-click (it’s free)!

Join the KP Collective, our free Facebook group for parents of children with keratosis pilaris!

 

If you’ve found this information about keratosis pilaris in children to be helpful, please forward this post to a friend who may also have a KP kid. Thank you!

 

 

Posted by kpkids in Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms, Keratosis Pilaris Treatment, Living with Keratosis Pilaris, Recommended Products to Treat Keratosis Pilaris, 1 comment
What causes Keratosis Pilaris in children?

What causes Keratosis Pilaris in children?

Keratosis pilaris (ker-uh-TOE-sis pih-LAIR-is) is a common, harmless skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks.  The bumps generally don’t hurt or itch, but can become unsightly or embarrassing to young children and teens.

But what causes keratosis pilaris in children?

What Causes Keratosis Pilaris in Children? | KPKids.net

Keratosis pilaris is a hereditary condition, which means your child likely inherited the condition from their mother or father.  If you have it, or had it as a child, there’s a greater chance that your child will develop it as well.

 

RELATED: If I have it, will my child develop Keratosis Pilaris?

 

What is keratosis pilaris?

KP is caused by the excess build-up of keratin and dead skin cells around individual hair follicles.  Keratosis Pilaris is a genetic condition and is NOT caused by parental neglect and bathing too infrequently.  Sometimes overly frequent bathing can actually make your child’s keratosis pilaris worse (see 5 Things to NOT do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris).

Keratosis pilaris is commonly seen in children and teens, but can begin as early as infancy.

Unfortunately, keratosis pilaris can not be cured or prevented.  But you can treat it with moisturizers and prescription creams to help improve the appearance of the skin. The skin condition usually disappears by age 30, but some adults deal with symptoms for many years.

RELATED:  Keratosis Pilaris Products in Our Home

How is KP diagnosed in childhood?

If you believe that you or your child may have the skin condition Keratosis Pilaris, be sure to visit your child’s Physician or Dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.

In most cases, your child’s doctor can diagnose KP simply by examining and touching the affected area of the skin. No testing is needed.

RELATED: The Top KP Products Purchased by Parents in 2017

 

To learn more about KP and caring for your child’s skin,
be sure to subscribe to our KPKids Community and join us in our private Facebook group. Together, we can find something that works.

 

10 Ways to Improve your Kid's Keratosis Pilaris Today | KPKids.net

 

Posted by kpkids in FAQ & Tips, Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms, 2 comments
If I have it, will my child develop Keratosis Pilaris?

If I have it, will my child develop Keratosis Pilaris?

Recent dermatological surveys tell us that over 40% of the population has some form of keratosis pilaris. Many adults with keratosis pilaris often wonder about the possibility of their children developing the same skin condition.

If I Have Keratosis Pilaris, Will my Kids Have KP too? | KPKids.net

While keratosis pilaris is commonly thought to be a genetic skin disorder, not all children will inherit this skin condition from their parents. Other factors may contribute to the genetic component, like seasonal allergies, food allergies and some dietary conditions.

However, your child is more likely to develop keratosis pilaris if they have any of the following:

  • Close blood relatives who have keratosis pilaris
  • Asthma
  • Dry skin
  • Eczema
  • Hay fever

If the bumps on your child’s skin bother them (or you), applying one of the following treatments can help reduce the itchiness and visibly reduce the appearance of the redness or white bumps.

  • Ammonium lactate cream or lotion (12%): Apply it as directed by your dermatologist. The most common brand is AmLactin.
  • A moisturizer: A cream or ointment works best. Apply it after bathing and gently massage it into the skin with keratosis pilaris 2 – 3 times a day. One of our favorites is Ceravé SA.

 

RELATED: 5 Things NOT to do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris

 

 

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

 

Posted by kpkids in Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms, Living with Keratosis Pilaris, 2 comments
What is Keratosis Pilaris (also known as “KP”)?

What is Keratosis Pilaris (also known as “KP”)?

What is this dermatological condition called Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition diagnosed in approximately 40% of the population.  So if you or your child have KP, you are certainly not alone!

It is characterized by tiny bumps on the skin, usually found on the outer areas of the upper arms, thighs, and cheeks (often referred to as “chicken skin”).

The bumps give a sandpaper-like texture to the skin in these areas.

It commonly presents itself as flesh-colored to slightly red, rough little bumps.

It may occasionally become itchy, but can be managed with proper treatment.

 

To learn more about KP and caring for your child’s skin, be sure to subscribe today!

 

Posted by kpkids in FAQ & Tips, Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms, 1 comment
How much do you know about KP?

How much do you know about KP?

Did you know that Keratosis Pilaris is caused by the excess build-up of dead skin cells around individual hair follicles?  It is commonly seen in children and teens, but can begin as early as infancy.

DERMAdoctor KP DutyKP is a genetic condition and, despite common misconceptions, is not caused by parental neglect and bathing too infrequently.

Nowadays, there are more and more products available to parents to treat your child’s keratosis pilaris and improve the look and feel of their skin.

DERMAdoctor is an extremely reputable company that has created a very effective line of products for treating keratosis pilaris, like KP Duty.

To learn more about DERMAdoctor‘s ever-growing line of skin products, view their list of products here.

 

 

To learn more about KP and caring for your child’s skin, be sure to subscribe today!
 

Posted by kpkids in FAQ & Tips, Keratosis Pilaris Causes & Symptoms, 1 comment