Keratosis pilaris is caused by a build-up of keratin, a protein in the skin that protects it from infection. Keratin plugs up hair follicles causing the rough, bumpy rash. Treatment options include prescriptions for:
- Medicated creams or lotions with 12 percent ammonium lactate that softens the affected skin.
- Moisturizers (urea) that help loosen and remove dead skin cells.
- Topical corticosteroids for short-term, temporary relief of symptoms.
- Topical retinoids that increase cell turnover, which reduces the plugging of hair follicles.
To help alleviate symptoms, be sure to keep the affected area moistened at all times and avoid harsh soaps.