Keratosis pilaris: What really helps with keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris: What really helps with keratosis pilaris? +2023

keratosis pilaris Red dots on arm? That’s what it’s all about!

Keratosis pilaris: red dots, young woman

© Kostiantyn / Shutterstock

keratosis pilaris, white or red dots, on the upper arms is not particularly beautiful, but unfortunately a widespread keratinization disorder. We explain what kind of pimples are and what you can do against keratosis pilaris.

What is keratosis pilaris?

Most of us will certainly be familiar with the genetic skin change, keratosis pilarsis, also known as keratosis pilarsis: these small, white or red pimples on the upper arms, legs, buttocks or even on the face. They look like goosebumps and feel rough like a grater, hence the name. In the affected areas, the skin appears almost hairless. The pimples don’t itch, don’t hurt and in most cases just go away. So what’s up with the pimples?

In principle, everything is quite harmless: the so-called keratosis pilaris, also known as keratosis pilaris, occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with keratin deposits. Instead of growing inconspicuously, sebum accumulates around even the smallest hairs. The reason: The sebaceous glands on the hair follicle become clogged. However, the hairs also often grow in, so that not only does the skin cells harden, but the skin cells also become inflamed.
Factors such as stress and dry air can also make keratosis pilaris rougher.

Frequently, keratosis pilaris occurs for the first time in children and adolescents from the age of 10 years. Girls and young women in puberty are particularly affected by keratosis pilaris. As a rule, the skin disorder recedes on its own with increasing age. While some sufferers notice the keratosis pilaris immediately and find them annoying, others hardly notice it.

What are the reasons behind this?

The exact cause of the cornification disorder has not yet been finally clarified. However, it often occurs in connection with dry skin or in people suffering from skin diseases such as neurodermatitis.
However, it has been researched that keratosis pilaris is due to an overproduction of keratin. This is a protein that gives the body tissue stability and is also a component of the outer skin layer (horny layer) and is also found in nails and hair. If keratosis pilaris appear, the keratin clumps together into small nodules. The result: The hair follicles can become clogged.

There is a 30 to 50 percent chance that other family members will occasionally suffer from keratosis pilaris.

How do you treat keratosis pilaris?

Fortunately, keratosis pilaris is not contagious, but it is very likely hereditary and not curable, because there is no generally effective treatment. That’s why there is still no patent remedy against the unsightly pimples. In most cases, however, the cornification disorder recedes over the years.

If there are signs of inflammation such as red and warm skin, itching and scratching, treatment against keratosis pilaris is required. Thorough care several times a day is the be-all and end-all. Special moisturizers, moisturizing ointmentsSkin scrubs, scrubs, and oils containing salicylic acid, lactate, urea, or vitamins can flush excess keratin from the skin, potentially relieving symptoms. However, be careful when using salicylic acid during pregnancy. Urea binds moisture in the skin, effectively counteracts cornification and soothes the skin. In any case, avoid using lotions, creams and the like with fragrances and dyes.

Mild soap and moisturizing lotions can also have a positive effect on keratosis pilaris. However, the summer months can also help to improve rough skin due to higher humidity and exposure to the sun. However, the keratinization disorder will not disappear completely immediately. If there are no noticeable symptoms of keratosis pilaris, no treatment is necessary.

If, in adulthood, you develop additional symptoms in addition to keratosis pilaris or if there is no cure in sight, you should see a dermatologist and have yourself examined to make sure that no other illness is present.

The following tips can also help against keratosis pilaris

Be sure to try several treatments for keratosis pilaris, as everyone’s body is different and reacts differently.

  • Sea salt scrub: Peelings gently remove dead skin cells and care for the skin at the same time. Especially with keratosis pilaris, however, it should not be used too often and only sparingly so that the skin is not unnecessarily irritated.
  • sauna: Those affected report that regular sauna sessions help against keratosis pilaris. Sweating and detoxification of the body improves the complexion. In addition, in some saunas it is customary to do a peeling with, for example, salt, since the skin is well softened.
  • solarium: In summer, the keratosis pilaris is usually improved by sun exposure, which of course is missing for those affected, especially in the cold months. Solarium visits can help. However, this should only be enjoyed with caution, after all, the artificial sun promotes premature skin aging and the risk of developing cancer is increased.
  • Nourishment: A balanced diet with lots of vitamins and nutrients as well as drinking enough water (at least two liters a day and preferably water) is essential for radiantly beautiful skin and thus also for keratosis pilaris.

We have great DIY scrub recipes to make yourself. It also helps to always apply lotion, because especially dry skin – especially in winter! – promotes keratosis pilaris. We have other home remedies that can help against pimples on the upper arm.

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