Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a very common condition that affects the pores by blocking them with dry skin. Typically, KP occurs on the upper arms, sides of the cheeks (in pre-adolescents) and thighs, but it may occur anywhere on the skin except for the palms and soles.
It appears as small skin colored or red bumps that contain a hard dry central core and are rough to the touch. They don't usually itch, but many people are bothered by their appearance. People with KP also have an increased tendency to have eczema.
KP is believed to be genetic in nature, and it may also be associated with dry skin or eczema. Generally KP exists in childhood and young adulthood, although it may persist into the later years in some individuals.
The best treatments for keratosis pilaris involve topical applications that moisturize and exfoliate the skin. Often strong versions of these ingredients and combinations of different creams are needed for success. In some cases, topical steroids may be temporarily employed to reduce inflammation that may be associated with KP. Unfortunately, KP can be a stubborn condition; it almost always comes back unless strict adherence to treatments is followed.
Fortunately, KP is always a benign skin condition that has no effect on general skin health.