Friday, February 10, 2012

Keratosis pilaris -- a common rash

     One of the most common every day rashes we get questions about is keratosis pilaris. It often runs in families, starts at an early age, and lasts for years. Keratosis pilaris is fine, dry bumps on the side of the face, back of the arms, and side of the legs. It sometimes is easier to feel than to see the bumps. It can start at a very early age (in the first year of life) and cannot be cured. The rash is almost never itchy. The rash is more common in families who have a history of allergies, asthma, and eczema. It generally looks less noticeable and the bumps are softer if we regularly moisterize the skin with "keratolytics" (to break up the thick keratin layer of the skin at these areas). The two major brands of these moisterizers are Lac Hydrin and Carmol, both of which are available over the counter. Other moisterizers like Eucerin and Aveeno work also, but less so. Try using these once or twice a day on a regular basis. Feel free to ask us about this rash when you are in the office.

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