Keratosis pilaris is not contagious condition. But it can be very frustrating and not easy to treat. Although it is thought as a consequence of the keratin buildups that block the opening of hair follicle, but the exact cause is not fully understood yet. Another question, is it hereditary condition?
Actually, it is a common skin problem characterized by pointed, small acne-like bumps. These bumps are usually found on the thighs, arms (especially upper arms), or buttocks.
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The problem usually gets worse in the winter and improves in the summer. The good news, many times it improves over time. Typically it is harmless, too.
It can occur in anyone, even in healthy individuals. However, there are some factors that may put you at high risk of having it. These may include:
- Having a genetic condition. Some experts believe that the occurrence of keratosis pilaris may be associated with a genetic disease.
- It is more common in children and adolescents. Typically, it improves and goes away with age – see more this issue in this post!
- The existence of other skin problems. The disease is pretty common with other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, or dry skin.
How about with genetic trait? Does this skin condition run in families?
In this skin problem, keratin (an essential protein that can be found in the skin, hairs, or even nails) goes awry. There will be too much keratin build ups and accumulate in the hair follicles of the skin.
The excess accumulation of keratin can block hair follicles of the skin with plugs of hard, making the skin feel rough. The tiny plugs can widen the opening of hair follicles, causing a spotty appearance on the affected skin.
Experts believe that keratosis pilaris can be inherited. In other words, it can run in families. If one parent has it, there is a one in two chance that a child (any children they have) will develop the same problem.
But having a family history of this skin condition doesn’t mean you definitely will have the same problem. However, your risk of having it is greater than others.
It’s also not fully understood yet how far the role of genetic trait in causing the problem. It seems that other factors are involved to trigger the problem since not all people with a family history of the disease have the problem.
Another bad news, there is still no clearly way to prevent this skin condition. Nevertheless, the following approaches may be helpful enough to lower the risk by keeping the skin moist and healthy: