What causes keratosis pilaris?

If you have KP, you might be wondering “What is causing these blasted red bumps to appear on my skin and irritate me?!”. While those annoying breakouts that are both unsightly as well as irritating (and sometimes even painful) are bothering you, by simply asking “What causes keratosis pilaris?”, you’re really asking two different and unique questions, namely:

Why do I have keratosis pilaris?
What causes my keratosis pilaris outbreaks / symptoms?

Ok, so why are you getting that red, goose bump like skin, and what causes your outbreaks and makes them get worse? Let’s start with:

Why do I have keratosis pilaris?
KP is an inherited condition. It’s genetic, and just like any other genetic condition, it can be and is inherited from your ancestors. Commonly, your parents will have had (or still suffer from) KP, so you’ve probably heard them complaining about it. If not, it can still be passed on by your grandparents, or it has been known to even skip a generation or two and you may have it, regardless of your parents or their grandparents. While this is indeed possible, it is also somewhat more rare.

what causes keratosis pilaris


What causes my keratosis pilaris outbreaks / symptoms?

KP outbreaks are almost always completely random, and you never really know for sure when there going to happen or how severe they will be. There are however a few things that are known to both temp outbreaks to happen and / or make your current outbreaks worse.

One is dry skin, and as many people mistake keratosis pilaris for acne

Cold weather is another common trigger of KP outbreaks. If it's cold out by all means dress for it. And if you're chilly in your home, turn that heat up! Although it's not yet been proven, sweat is something many people with KP attribute their outbreaks to. If you notice a lot of sweat on an area of your skin where you get out breaks, by all means wash the area and consider using some unscented high quality antiperspirant.

Recently, an all natural treatment for keratosis pilaris has been getting a lot of national media attention. Many people are attributing their being KP free to this new system, which uses commonly available ingredients that can be bought at any grocery store. You can learn more about it here.