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Are Those Red Bumps on Your Skin Keratosis Pilaris?
New Year’s Eve is here … you put on that cute cocktail dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion … and Oh!No! “chicken skin” on your arms! If you are suffering from dry, rough, red bumps on your skin you may have a condition called Keratosis Pilaris.
Keratosis Pilaris (“KP”) is actually a very common skin condition, affecting between 10-30% of the world’s population. KP is not contagious and does not result in any significant health issues for most people. While most doctors will tell you that Keratosis Pilaris is considered just a minor skin condition, anyone living with KP will tell you that it is both uncomfortable and embarrassing.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
The symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris include dry, rough, red skin characterized by hard, red bumps that are similar to goosebumps on the skin. It can also develop in other areas of the body. The cause of Keratosis Pilaris is unknown. It is not contagious and does not happen in other people who have the same family history.
Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition characterized by the appearance of small, rough bumps on the skin. Keratosis Pilaris is most commonly found on the on the back of arms and sometimes the thighs. But those frustrating red bumps may also appear anywhere on the body including the legs, buttocks, back of neck, and even the face.
What causes the Red Bumps of Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis Pilaris affects people of all ages from children to the elderly. It is still not 100% certain what causes Keratosis Pilaris, but it appears to be an inherited disorder that affects about 40% of adolescents and adults with fair skin.
The red bumps of Keratosis Pilaris are thought to be caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein found in the skin, around hair follicles which creates hard plugs that block hair growth. These patches are often mistaken for acne or eczema – but KP does not have any connection with either of these two diseases.
How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris
The first line of defense for treating keratosis pilaris is usually medical grade topical creams and other skin care products designed to help exfoliate the skin and reduce the accumulation of keratin in the hair follicles.
ZO Exfoliating Cleanser, available in our ZO Skin Health Store contains jojoba ester round, biodegradable beads that gently exfoliate away dead skin cells that can clog pores – and Salicylic Acid that penetrates deep into pores to clear out accumulated keratin.
However, for many Keratosis Pilaris sufferers, topical products are not enough.
Chemical Peels for Keratosis Pilaris
Chemical peels are an effective treatment for milder keratosis pilaris. Drug store and OTC chemical peels usually do not have a lasting effect on reducing the red bumps of KP. However, some medical grade peels like the ZO Enzymatic Peel available in our ZO Skin Health Store may give temporary relief.
The in-office Chemical Peels available at AMAE Med Spa in Birmingham, MI are stronger and more effective – and are customized for each patient with salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) peel, and other ingredients that specifically target the follicle-clogging keratin.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for Keratosis Pilaris
IPL Photofacials available at AMAE Med Spa in Birmingham, MI can also be used to treat the red bumps of Keratosis Pilaris. IPL works by using intense light pulses to destroy the abnormal skin cells, which in turn reduces the redness and bumps that are associated with KP.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) for keratosis pilaris is an effective treatment option for those who have mild cases of KP and are looking for a longer-term solution to this condition than peels offer.
Laser Treatments for Keratosis Pilaris
However, for permanent results, laser treatments are the gold standard for effective treatment for KP. Laser treatments use targeted energy burst to actually destroy the cells that produce the follicle-blocking keratin – and no more keratin means no more blocked follicles and no more red bumps! This treatment is often done in a series of sessions over time until the affected area has been cleared up.
Laser hair removal is not typically used just to treat keratosis pilaris, but many patients report a dramatic improvement in the appearance of red bumps after laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses thermal energy to destroy the hair follicles and prevent future hair growth. Because it causes the destroyed hair follicle to shrink or close up over time, the keratin can’t get locked into them anymore and the red bumps disappear.
Keratosis Pilaris Treatments – Birmingham, MI
Birmingham board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali offers the absolute best, state-of-the-art technologies for treating Keratosis Pilaris. In addition to Chemical Peels and Nordlys Ellipse IPL “Photofacials”, we also offer advanced laser treatments for Keratosis Pilaris.
Each treatment begins with a professional skin consultation. Treatments are selected and optimized to meet the specific needs of each client with the most innovative and comprehensive products and technologies.
Schedule a Keratosis Pilaris consultation and treatment – and then relax in our Birmingham Med Spa, and finally say “good-bye” to those annoying red bumps so you can enjoy clear, smooth skin.