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Psoriasis and keratosis pilaris: What to know

Psoriasis and keratosis pilaris are both common skin conditions. People can develop both at the same time, although psoriasis and keratosis pilaris have different causes and treatments. We discuss both conditions here.

Psoriasis and keratosis pilaris are both common skin conditions. People can have both conditions at the same time.

The causes and treatments of psoriasis and keratosis pilaris are different. Psoriasis may require medical attention, while keratosis pilaris usually goes away on its own.

People may confuse the two conditions, as some forms of psoriasis can have similar symptoms to keratosis pilaris. In this article, we take a closer look at these two conditions.

What are psoriasis and keratosis pilaris?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which is when something goes wrong with the body’s immune system. Psoriasis occurs when the body produces skin cells faster than usual, causing thick, scaly patches of skin to appear.

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition. It occurs when there is a buildup of keratin in the skin. Keratin is the protein found in hair, skin, and nails.

The extra keratin builds up in the hair follicles, causing small bumps to form. The bumps are usually red, white, or skin-colored, and resemble goose bumps.

Doctors are unsure what causes the excess keratin to form. One study suggests that coiled hair shafts under the skin could be what causes keratosis pilaris.

Are psoriasis and keratosis pilaris linked?

People can have both psoriasis and keratosis pilaris, but researchers do not know whether the two skin conditions are linked.

Both psoriasis and keratosis pilaris tend to run in families. People who inherit certain genes are more likely to get psoriasis or keratosis pilaris. However, people can get either condition without having a family history.

Scientists have discovered that psoriasis usually appears after a person experiences a trigger, such as:

  • stress
  • skin injury, a scratch or sunburn
  • some medications, such as prednisone, hydroxychloroquine, and lithium
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
Read on: Psoriasis and keratosis pilaris: What to know

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

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