What is Keratosis Pilaris?

The winter is a time for many skin issues to develop or worsen. Do you have small reddish bumps along your upper arms or thighs? You may have a skin condition called keratosis pilaris, which results from skin cells clogging hair follicles instead of shedding away.


Keratosis pilaris commonly appears as goosebump-like skin in a symmetrical fashion on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks. It often develops in children and may diminish by adulthood, although they can worsen in low humidity and during pregnancy. The bumps can be red or brown, but are usually not itchy or sore.

Diagnosis and treatment

A dermatologist can diagnose keratosis pilaris through a skin biopsy and a physical examination. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are several helpful tips for managing keratosis pilaris:

  • Reduce drying by using non-soap cleansers
  • Exfoliate the skin
  • Topical medicated creams
  • Removing hair follicles through laser treatment
  • Reducing redness temporarily through pulse dye laser treatment

The skin condition itself does not pose any major problems, but consulting with a board-certified dermatologist can be helpful for those who want to reduce the appearance of the spots. Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology has been treating patients for over 30 years in the Old Bridge, NJ area, and uses his specialties in dermatology, anatomic and clinical pathology to improve the skin, hair, and nail health of his patients. A welcoming and compassionate doctor and staff are ready to address whatever concerns you may have, whether it’s acne, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, age spots, warts, skin cancer, hair loss, or dermatitis. Please contact our office for an appointment by calling (732) 679-0222 today!