Pediatric Keratosis Pilaris Treatment & Management

Updated: May 10, 2022
  • Author: Derek H Chu, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medical Care

Education, reassurance, and gentle skin care are the cornerstones of therapy for keratosis pilaris. [16] This is particularly true for young children.

The noninflamed horny papules can improve with age and increasing time. They are generally resistant to most forms of short-term therapy.

Tepid showers instead of hot baths, along with the use of mild soaps and a home humidifier, are generally encouraged.

An emollient cream may help to alleviate the rough texture of the skin in mild cases. A topical keratolytic agent such as lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea preparations may be beneficial in more extensive cases.

Lesions with significant inflammation may improve with the use of midpotency topical steroid preparations. Inflammation is usually reduced markedly by 7 days, at which point the steroid should be discontinued.

Topical retinoid therapy (adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene) has been used with varying degrees of success. [17]

Topical immunomodulators, such as topical tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, have been used to treat keratosis pilaris. [18]

Long-pulsed laser treatments, particularly with the pulsed dye laser, have been shown to significantly improve keratosis pilaris. [19, 20, 21]