Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that is characterized by small, rough bumps on the skin. These bumps are usually found on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks, but can also appear on the face, scalp, and other parts of the body.

Keratosis pilaris occurs when there is a buildup of keratin, a protein found in skin cells, in the hair follicles. This buildup causes the follicles to become blocked, resulting in characteristic rough bumps. The exact cause of keratosis pilaris is unknown, but it is thought to be related to genetics and dry skin. The condition tends to run in families and is more common in people with dry skin.

The symptoms of keratosis pilaris include small, rough bumps that are usually skin-colored or slightly red. The bumps may be surrounded by dry, scaly skin, and may be itchy or irritated. The condition is generally harmless and does not usually cause any other symptoms.


Treatment for keratosis pilaris is focused on managing symptoms and improving the appearance of the skin. This may include using moisturizing creams or lotions to keep the skin hydrated, as well as exfoliating products to help remove the buildup of keratin. Topical medications, such as salicylic acid or retinoids, may also be recommended to help reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of the skin.

In most cases, keratosis pilaris does not require medical treatment and can be managed with over-the-counter products and lifestyle modifications. However, if the bumps are particularly bothersome or cosmetically concerning, a dermatologist may recommend more aggressive treatments, such as chemical peels, laser therapy, or microdermabrasion.

Overall, while keratosis pilaris can be frustrating and uncomfortable, it is a harmless condition that can be effectively managed with the right treatment and self-care techniques.

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition characterized by small, rough bumps on the skin, typically on the arms, thighs, buttocks, and sometimes on the face. The bumps are caused by the buildup of keratin, a protein that protects the skin, which blocks the hair follicles and results in their rough texture.
No, keratosis pilaris is not contagious. It is a harmless and non-infectious skin condition that is usually hereditary. It is often seen in individuals with a family history of eczema, asthma, or allergies.
While there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, there are several measures you can take to manage the condition. Keeping the skin moisturized with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer can help reduce dryness and smooth the skin. Exfoliating gently with a mild scrub or using a gentle cleanser containing salicylic acid or urea can help to loosen and remove the dead skin cells. Avoiding excessive scrubbing or harsh exfoliation is important to prevent irritation.
Dietary changes may have a limited impact on keratosis pilaris, but some individuals have reported improvements by incorporating certain nutrients into their diet. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, may help reduce inflammation and improve the overall appearance of the skin. Additionally, staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can support overall skin health.
While keratosis pilaris cannot be completely eliminated, it often improves with age and may even disappear on its own over time. With consistent and proper care, including regular moisturizing and gentle exfoliation, you can help manage the condition and minimize its appearance. It's important to remember that individual experiences may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized advice and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.