Pediatric keratosis pilaris (KP)

Pediatric keratosis pilaris (ker·​a·​to·​sis - pi·​la·​ris) or KP is a chronic condition causing small rough patches of skin.

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What is pediatric keratosis pilaris (KP)?

Child leg with keratosis pilarisKeratosis pilaris is a common disorder that affects many people. It usually occurs as small, scaly, flesh or red-colored bumps on the arms, legs, buttocks, and, rarely, the cheeks.

Occasionally, it can occur elsewhere on the body.

This disorder is caused by the plugging of small hair follicles. Often, there is an inherited tendency for this problem.

How is pediatric keratosis pilaris (KP) treated?

This is a difficult problem to treat. At best, treatment will control and improve the condition. If it clears with treatment, it often tends to recur after you have stopped treatment.

  • Dry skin tends to worsen this condition. Bathe with mild soap, such as Dove or Cetaphil® Cleanser.
  • Use a moisturizing cream for dry areas after bathing. After your bath or shower, shake off excess water from the skin and apply the moisturizing cream to damp skin. This helps to seal in the moisture. Your doctor will recommend a cream that is best suited for you.
  • If Retin-A has been prescribed for treatment, use it sparingly on dry skin because it may increase the dryness.

Helpful lotions used to treat keratosis pilaris are:

  • AmLactin® 12% Lotion
  • Carmol 40
  • Lac-Hydrin® 12% Lotion (prescription only)