Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition that is mottled like chicken skin and feels rough. This condition usually goes away on its own with age.

Keratosis Pilaris or also known as chicken skin disease is not a dangerous disease. However, this condition can interfere with appearance. Therefore, sufferers are advised to consult a doctor.

Keratosis Pilaris can affect all age groups, but most sufferers of this condition are children and adolescents.

Causes and Risk Factors of Keratosis Pilaris

Spots on keratosis pilaris appear when skin pores become clogged with keratin buildup. Keratin itself is a solid protein that protects the skin from harmful substances and infections.

It is not yet known what causes the accumulation of keratin, but it is suspected that this has something to do with genetic disorders.

The following are factors that can increase the risk of developing keratosis pilaris:

  • Female gender
  • Have a family with keratosis pilaris
  • Have skin conditions that tend to be dry, such as those with ichthyosis and atopic eczema

Keratosis Pilaris Symptoms

Keratosis Pilaris is characterized by spots on the skin. These spots appear on the surface of the skin where hair generally grows, such as on the arms, thighs, cheeks, buttocks, face and scalp.

Other features of keratosis pilaris are:

  • Red or brown spots
  • The surface of the skin feels dry and rough
  • Appearance of the skin resembling chicken skin

Spots on keratosis pilaris will usually be more obvious or multiply when the skin is dry, for example due to cold air. In some cases, pregnancy can also make keratosis pilaris multiply.

Diagnosis of Keratosis Pilaris

To determine the diagnosis of keratosis pilaris, the doctor will conduct a question and answer session regarding the complaints experienced and the patient's allergic history, history of skin disease, and whether the patient's family also has similar symptoms.

After that, the doctor will carry out a physical examination to see the condition that the patient is complaining about and the condition of his skin as a whole. Usually, the diagnosis of keratosis pilaris is sufficient with a physical examination.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris

There is no specific treatment that can cure keratosis pilaris. This is because in most cases keratosis pilaris will go away on its own. Even so, there are several ways you can do to help reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris, namely:

Self care

Keratosis Pilaris, which is relatively mild, can be treated independently. Here are the ways:

  • Use a skin moisturizer that suits your skin type
  • Use an air humidifier to control room humidity, especially when the weather is dry
  • Avoid taking too long a bath, because it can remove the natural oils in the skin
  • Take a warm shower
  • Do light skin exfoliation regularly, for example using a natural stone or loofah, about 2-3 times a week
  • Using soap with high levels of essential oils or moisturizers
  • Wear loose clothing and clothing that is soft on the skin

If the appearance of keratosis pilaris is disturbing, you should consult a doctor. The method of treatment that the doctor will perform depends on the condition of the patient's skin when examined. The following is an explanation:


If there are signs of inflammation, the doctor will focus on treating the inflammation first. The trick is to give corticosteroid cream to be rubbed on the skin. However, if the inflammation in the patient's skin is severe, the doctor can give isotretinoin pills .

If no signs of inflammation are found, the doctor can provide the following topical (topical) drug options:

  • Topical exfoliants
    These cream-shaped drugs usually contain acids such as AHA , lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea. This cream works to moisturize dry skin and get rid of dead skin cells. However, this drug is not recommended for pediatric patients.
  • Topical retinoids
    Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A which can speed up the cell turnover process and prevent hair follicle clogging. However, this drug is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers.


For maximum results, doctors can combine the use of topical medicines with exfoliation therapy, which is therapy to remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. These actions take the form of:

  • Laser therapy
  • Microdermabrasion
  • IPL Therapy ( Intense Pulse Light )
  • Chemical al peeling

Prevention of Keratosis Pilaris

There is no specific way to prevent keratosis pilaris from appearing, because this condition is genetically inherited. However, sufferers of keratosis pilaris can prevent this condition from worsening by always keeping their skin moisturised and clean.

Back to blog