Diagnosis of keratosis pilaris may be tricky since there is no laboratory test or skin test available for diagnosis of the problem. The diagnosis is done by examining the skin and reviewing the medical history of the patient. The doctor asks questions to the patients about the signs and symptoms for diagnosis of the problem.
Treatments and drugs
There is no treatment available in the medical field that can alone improve keratosis pilaris. Most of the treatments including the self-care measures you take focus on the softening of the keratin deposits present on the skin. Medicated creams are often used for treatment of this medical condition. The following medicines are mostly used for the treatment-
In this case, medicated creams are used for treatment. The creams contain alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid and urea. They moisturize and soften the skin which is dry. That helps in loosening and removal of the dead skin cells. Some of these creams are available as over-the-counter medicines and for some you will need a prescription. The doctor will prescribe the medicine for you. The acids present in the creams can result in redness, skin irritation and stinging. That is why these medicines are not recommended for young children.
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They prevent the plugging of the hair follicles and increases cell turnover. They are effective, but they also cause skin irritations which may be severe in some cases. Such skin irritations include severe dryness, peeling and redness. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) are the most common topical retinoids. The doctor may not prescribe retinoids for pregnant or nursing women.
In case of severe redness and inflammation due to keratosis pilaris, laser therapy is used for treatment of the problem. This therapy includes passing intense pleasure in the specific areas of skin suffering from the problem. Repeat sessions may be necessary in this treatment. Such sessions are spread over a few months. The number of sessions depends on the response to the treatment.
Regularly using a medicine may improve the look of the skin, but if you stop using it the condition may return. And in some cases even with medical treatment, keratosis pilaris may stay for years.
Lifestyle and home remedies
There are different self-help measures you can take to improve the appearance of the skin. However, they cannot cure keratosis pilaris. These are beneficial to help you feel better and avoid the irritations-
Do not indulge in vigorous scrubbing. Do not remove the plugs. It may aggravate the problem.
Gently dry of the skin. After washing of bathing, you should blot gently pat your skin dry using a towel. It will let some moisture remain on the skin.
Use of moisturizing lotion or lubricating cream. When your skin is still moist after birthing, you should apply a moisturizer containing lanolin, glycerin, petroleum jelly or any other element that will soothe your dry skin and keep the moisture for some time.
Use of Urea or lactic acid. You can use over-the-counter medicine containing urea or lactic acid every day. They remove the extra keratin from the skin surface which will help you to get rid of any possibility of severe keratosis pilaris.
Using a humidifier. You need a portable home humidifier to add some moisture to the air. You can also use one attached to your furnace. A little bit more moisture in your house will keep your skin moisturized and reduce the irritation.
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