Keratosis Pilaris Symptoms, Causes and More

By carolynne
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Keratosis Pilaris.' Nidirect, 12 Nov. 2019,
  • 2. Admin. 'Gluten Causes Keratosis Pilaris(A.k.a. ‘Chicken Skin’): Fact or Myth?' Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California, 18 Feb. 2017,
  • 3. 'Keratosis Pilaris.' Nidirect, 12 Nov. 2019,
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition that affects children, adolescents and adults. It's a harmless rash-like condition affecting 40 percent of the U.S. population and is characterized by rough pimply bumps that appear in patches. Keratosis pilaris can be uncomfortable and unattractive, so many people seek medical advice for cosmetic reasons.

Otherwise known as chicken skin, keratosis pilaris is linked to inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, eczema and hay fever. Most people don't require medical attention and can manage the condition with appropriate self-care at home. This condition can disappear over time, especially when young children and adolescents reach adulthood.

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris normally appears on the back of the arms, upper thighs, cheeks and buttocks. The condition is characterized by small sandpaper-like bumps resembling whiteheads or pimples. The bumps resemble goose bumps and frequently appear in patches surrounded by redness and irritated skin.1‘Keratosis Pilaris.’ Nidirect, 12 Nov. 2019,

Keratosis pilaris can be mistaken for acne, but the condition is quite different. The tiny bumps are dead skin cells clogging hair follicles and generally don't hurt. Occasionally the bumps might itch, but that's normally from the dry skin, rather than keratosis pilaris itself. The symptoms of keratosis pilaris tend to worsen during the dry winter season when there's low humidity.

Keratosis Pilaris

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