Conditions Similar to Keratosis Pilaris

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Folliculitis occurs when some hair follicles are damaged, and then the damaged areas are invaded by fungi, bacteria, or virus – leading to inflammation and infection.  The following are common things that may lead to follicle damage:

  1. The use of tight clothing, adhesive tape, or plastic dressing
  2. Wearing rubber gloves that can lead to too much heat or sweat on the skin.
  3. Surgical wounds, scrapes, or other things that can cause skin injuries.
  4. Having skin problems, such as acne or dermatitis.

The risk to have folliculitis can be higher if you have the following risk factors:

  1. Autoimmune diseases, such as HIV /AIDs that can disturb the strength of your body immune system so thus you are easier to get infection.
  2. Lifestyle factors such as using a hot tub with poor maintenance, poor shaving, bad clothing (especially some that can trap more heat and sweat), and overweight.
  3. Taking certain medicines (like steroid creams).
  4. Skin damage in the past.

The problem can occur anywhere. But typically, it will not occur on the lips, soles, mucous membranes, and palms.


*Pictures credit to Mayo Foundation

And there are two possibilities of how the problem progresses.

  1. Mild folliculitis (superficial condition), a condition of when the inflammation or infection only affects the upper part of the hair follicles!
  2. Deep folliculitis. It occurs when the inflammation goes deeper into the skin. The entire hair follicle is affected.


It is a skin condition characterized by tiny white bumps, typically found on the nose, cheeks, or chin. It occurs when small skin flakes are trapped in tiny pockets near the skin surface.

How common is it? It is pretty common and can affect individuals of all ages, but it is commonly found in newborns. For instance, half of babies born in the U.K develop it.

There is poor information to prevent it. But the good news, like keratosis pilaris, it is also harmless. Even it usually will go away on its own within a few weeks (especially in infants). But in adults and older children, the bumps may persist.



*Image credit to Patient UK

In general, the treatment is usually unnecessary. But if the problem lasts longer than you expect, you may need to see a dermatologist to make sure that the problem is not related to another health condition.

Other conditions similar to keratosis pilaris

These include:

  1. Darier disease (keratosis follicularis), a rare genetic skin problem. It is characterized by skin lesions with rough & thickened plaques (papules /bumps). The affected skin may have yellow /brown crust, and may also become greasy.
  2. Perforating folliculitis, a condition that comes with multiple follicular papules. Typically it occurs on the extremities & buttocks.
  3. Kyrle’s disease.
  4. Lichen spinulosus.
  5. Lichen nitidus.
Citations /references:



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