Guide To The Risk Factors For Keratosis Pilaris

October 14, 2023

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that causes small bumps and dry patches to form on the skin. Thankfully, the bumps and dry patches are typically harmless and do not cause other side effects. They are, however, irritating to deal with and compromise the appearance of a patient's skin. It is most common to spot keratosis pilaris on the arms, legs, and face. This condition occurs due to an excessive buildup of keratin in the skin. Keratin is an essential protein that protects the skin and hair follicles from infections when delivered in the right quantities.

Patients will often seek keratosis pilaris treatment. In many cases, they will apply moisturizing lotion for keratosis pilaris. Other options include using retinol or getting a glycolic acid peel for keratosis pilaris. Other chemical peels for keratosis pilaris are also options. Certain patients may try keratosis pilaris laser treatment. However, treatment for keratosis pilaris can change based on the patient's risk factors, which is why understanding them is vital.


Eczema causes painful and itchy rashes to develop on the skin. The rashes can also crack, swell, and fill with pus if they are left untreated for an extended period. Unfortunately, the precise cause of eczema is not currently known. However, many eczema patients will develop keratosis pilaris at some point in their life. Their skin is already compromised, which is why they are at a higher risk. Since keratosis pilaris does not cause adverse side effects, it can go unnoticed for weeks. Patients should treat painful and itchy skin rashes promptly. This should be enough to clean up other symptoms caused by the keratosis pilaris.

Continue reading to learn more about what conditions increase an individual's risk of keratosis pilaris now.

Hay Fever

Hay fever, which is also called allergic rhinitis, occurs when an individual's body has an allergic reaction to an allergen in the air. Typically, the allergen is pollen in the air. The most common symptoms of hay fever that patients experience include nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, sinus pressure, and a runny nose. Hay fever is also one of the primary risk factors for keratosis pilaris. The exact reason for this increased risk is not known. However, experts believe that it is most likely due to the patient's body trying to fight off the allergens that triggered hay fever. The body naturally starts to produce extra keratin to protect the skin during this time. Ultimately, this leads to the development of keratosis pilaris.

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Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the leading risk factors for many different skin conditions. One of these major conditions is keratosis pilaris. Dry skin increases a patient's risk of keratosis pilaris because their skin cannot protect itself when it does not have enough moisture. The chances of an individual's skin staying healthy get exponentially worse the longer they have dry skin. Failing to add moisture to the skin will ultimately lead to the red bumps and rough patches associated with keratosis pilaris. Since dryness and keratosis pilaris are often linked, patients can treat both of them simultaneously with the right treatment plan.

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Ichthyosis is a medical condition that prevents the skin from shedding its dead cells. This causes dry patches of dead skin to grow all over the patient's body. Patients often have skin that resembles fish scales when they are suffering from this condition. Of course, ichthyosis patients are at a significantly higher risk of developing keratosis pilaris than others. Since their body cannot extract dead skin cells, it also has a hard time extracting excess keratin from the hair pores. Thus, the keratin becomes trapped underneath the dry patches of dead skin. Once keratin is stuck in the hair follicles, patients will start to notice the red bumps and other symptoms associated with keratosis pilaris.

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Gender and Age

An individual's gender and age are perhaps the most significant deciding factors that determine if they will deal with keratosis pilaris. For instance, an individual's body naturally produces more keratin during childhood and adolescence. Thus, keratosis pilaris primarily affects kids and teenagers. Thankfully, it usually starts to clear up after reaching adulthood. Keratosis pilaris also typically disappears completely after individuals turn thirty years old. This is because the body seems to stop producing excess keratin at this point. Of course, skin conditions and other factors can change this. Additionally, pregnancy also forces the body to make too much keratin. Since men do not experience these hormonal changes, they do not often get keratosis pilaris, whereas women are at a higher risk.

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