Skin Care Q&A: Keratosis Pilaris & Rosacea

keratosis-pilarisKeratosis Pilaris is a relatively common skin affliction that typically runs in families.  The condition is often worse in winter and dryer months and better in summer more humid months.  It is a harmless condition where the keratin forms pumps in hair follicles.  It commonly occurs on the upper arms and thighs; however, it can be present anywhere on the body including the face, back, lower legs, and buttocks.

What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?

The buildup of the protein keratin causes outbreaks of Keratosis Pilaris.  Keratin is a powerful protein that helps protect skin from infections and harmful contaminants.  However, it can form a plug within the hair follicle that causes red or white bumps.  Researchers do not fully understand why keratin plugs occur in some individuals more than others; however, individuals with dry skin tend to have more outbreaks than others.

How Can I Treat Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris can be difficult to treat effectively.  However, there are a variety of things that you can try at home, prior to consulting with a dermatologist.

  1. Exfoliate the area up to 3 times per week with a body scrub.
  2. Moisturize the area twice per day.
  3. Use over-the-counter products that contain lactic acid or Urea to treat the affected arias.

What Can A Dermatologist Can Do To Help Keratosis Pilaris?

A dermatologist can prescribe a variety of medications if your Keratosis Pilaris does not respond to at home treatments.  These include:

  1. Laser therapy treatments.
  2. Prescription strength topical Retinoids.
  3. Prescription strength topical exfoliants.

How Can I Prevent Keratosis Pilaris?

Preventing this common skin affliction requires regular hydration and moisturizing of the skin.  In addition, it is essential that individuals that are prone to it avoid using harsh soaps and cleansers.  If you live in an area of low humidity, use a humidifier regularly to help keep skin moist and supple.

What Is Rosacea?

rosaceaRosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness, small bumps, and pustules on the face.  It is important that rosacea is treated properly, as left to its own devices, it can become must worse.

What Causes Rosacea?

Researchers believe that rosacea is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  In addition, sunlight, stress, hot baths, alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages may aggravate rosacea. By increasing blood flow to the skin.  In addition, some over-the-counter and prescription medications can make it worse.  These include corticosteroids, blood pressure medications, and other drugs that dilate blood vessels.  Women going through menopause are more prone to developing rosacea, especially if they have a genetic predisposition to it.

Are There Any New Treatments For Rosacea?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for rosacea.  However, there are effective treatments that can reduce the appearance and symptoms.  Prescription strength topical medications including gels and lotions when used in conjunction with oral medications may be the best avenue for severe cases.  Antibiotic topical medications and oral antibiotics are used to fight the inflammation associated with rosacea.  In addition, the drug Isotretinoin (known as Accutane), is used in severe cases when accompanied by cystic acne.  The use of Isotretinoin needs to be closely supervised as serious, potentially deadly side effects may occur.

Are There Any Effective Home Remedies For Rosacea?

Yes.  Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that may be aided with the use of anti-inflammatory natural ingredients including green tea, oatmeal, yogurt, chamomile, and tea tree oil.  For the chamomile and green tea, make tea and allow to cool to room temperature.  Smooth over the face gently with cotton pads.  Apply yogurt with a cotton pad can reduce redness and inflammation.  Mix oatmeal into yogurt and apply to affected areas and let sit for 30 minutes for added benefit.  Tea tree oil is a strong essential oil that must be diluted with a host oil such as almond or jojoba.  The natural anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties help rosacea in some individuals.

Are There Products I Should Avoid If I Have Rosacea?

Yes.  Researchers believe that sodium lauryl sulfate can cause irritation an inflammation leading to rosacea.  Check ingredient lists carefully as this is a common ingredient in hair products, facial cleansers, and even toothpaste.

 

Sources & Further Reading

About Jenn - Clearly You Staff

Jenn is a certified nail polish addict, vinyl record lover, health & beauty industry analyst and writer. Trend spotter. You can reach Jenn here.

Speak Your Mind