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Keratosis pilaris / Keratosis follicularis

Keratosis follicularis, also called keratosis pilaris, is a developmental disturbance in the keratinisation of the hair follicle. Skin changes develop in early childhood or puberty and appear as pointy, skin-colored nodules at the site of hairs, typically on the extensor surfaces of the upper arms and lateral sides of the thighs.

Therapy is not required. Should it be desired, however, for cosmetic or psychologic reasons, keratolytic treatment, e.g. with urea and/or salycilic acid containing ointments should be considered.

UV-exposure also leads to amelioration of this skin condition.

Laser therapy isn't the therapy of choice, however, excimer laser application can be beneficial. This therapy employs high doses of UV-B radiation which are applied to the desired areas. Multiple treatments are required to improve this condition. The disposition itself, however, remains, giving rise to recurrences.

A special form and disease entity of its own is the Morbus Darier, also called dyskeratosis follicularis. This severe disturbance in keratinisation typically occurs on the face and on the trunk of affected individuals. Individual cases may respond well to treatment by pulsed-dye laser or CO2-laser (Dr. Manfred Schmoll, personal communication).