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Chicken skin disease, medically called as keratosis pilaris is common but harmless skin disorder with characteristic appearance of small rough, white or red, acne like bumps on the skin. These bumps are usually symptomless; doesn’t hurt or itch. Chicken skin or keratosis pilaris is generally worse during winter months and tends to decrease or clear up during summer.

Keratosis pilaris tends to run in families. It usually appears during childhood and increase during adolescence. Almost 50% of the cases occur in first decade of the life, followed by around 35% during second decade. Chicken skin disease occurs due to excess keratin production resulting in the formation of hard plug inside your hair follicle, this process is called hyperkeratinization.

Keratosis pilaris is most commonly seen in the posterior upper arms, followed by thighs, but less frequently it may also appear on the face, trunk, forearms, buttocks, and legs. Involvement of face may sometimes be mistaken for acne. The lesions are usually small rough and may just look like “goose bumps”. Your doctor will immediately diagnose the condition, no any tests are required.

There are several conditions that may be associated with keratosis pilaris, some of which are ichthyosis vulgaris, ichthyosis follicularis, mucoepidermal dysplasia, atrichia with papular lesions, cardiofacio-cutaneous syndrome, ectodermal dysplasia with corkscrew hairs, and IUD syndrome.

keratosis pilaris
keratosis pilaris
keratosis pilaris
keratosis pilaris
keratosis pilaris
keratosis pilaris


Chicken Skin Treatment

Treatment is often difficult, no any single treatment are effective in treating your keratosis pilaris. However, KP usually improves with age, so no aggressive treatment may be required. Moisturizing lotions may be used to soothe the skin and look better, but it doesn’t help reducing the lesion. Topical retinoids may help in some patients. Your doctor may initially prescribe you topical steroid, followed by any of the prescription creams like, salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, urea cream, topical tretinoin or tazarotene and topical calcipotriene.

Your keratosis pilaris may improve with regular use of any of the above combination medications but it may again come back after you stop the medication. But there is no need to worry beside cosmetic purpose, as this condition is harmless and often improves as you age.

1 Comment

    June 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Keratosis pilaris also associated with atopic dermatitis. It has several variants some of them causes atrophic scar on face and body. Oral isotretinoin (Roaccutane)can be used in generalized/ extensive form of KP.

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