Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition, where the skin on the back and outer sides of the upper arms are rough and bumpy. It can also appear almost anywhere else on the body, especially on the thighs and tops of legs. It does not generally occur on palms or soles of feet.
Keratosis pilaris is also called chicken skin because it resembles goose bumps. Many people are unaware they have this condition, confusing it with acne, especially when it appears on the face.
There are several types of keratosis pilaris:
Keratosis pilaris rubra red, inflamed bumps
Keratosis pilaris alba rough, bumpy skin with no irritation
Keratosis pilaris rubra faceii reddish rash on the cheeks
The condition can become more of an irritated rash. Scratching it can make is spread.
It affects an estimated 40% of the adult population, and up to 80% of adolescents.
Keratosis pilaris is causes by an excess of keratin (a skin pigment) in the body. The excess keratin a cream coloured substance, collects in the hair follicles, blocking them and forming hard plugs. You can feel this as hard bumps.
Dry conditions make it worse, which is why it is often worse in the winter.
No medically accepted cause is known, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be related to diet and allergies in some cases.