Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition, in which the skin on the back and on the outer sides of the upper arms is rough and uneven. It can also appear almost anywhere else on the body, especially on the thighs and upper legs. It generally does not occur on palms or soles of the feet.
It can be related to an allergy, including a gluten allergy.
It is also called chicken skin because it resembles goose bumps. Many people are unaware of having this condition, confusing it with acne, especially when it appears on the face.
There are several types of this skin condition:
Red keratosis pilaris rubra, inflamed protuberances.
Keratosis pilaris alba rough, uneven skin without irritation.
Keratosis pilaris rubra faceii reddish rash on the cheeks.
The condition can become more of an irritated rash. The scratch it can do is widespread.
It affects around 40% of the adult population and up to 80% of teenagers.
It is caused by an excess of keratin (a skin pigment) in the body. Excess keratin is a cream-colored substance, it collects in the hair follicles, blocking them and forming hard caps. You can feel it as hard bumps.
Dry conditions worsen it, which is why it is often worse in winter.
There is no known medically accepted cause, but anecdotal evidence suggests that in some cases it may be related to diet and allergies.
Some people find that gluten can be a trigger, caused by an allergy to gluten or celiacs. In this case, a gluten-free diet will solve this problem, along with many other symptoms.