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What is grater skin (keratosis pilaris)?
Most of us are sure to know the genetic skin change, grater skin, also known as keratosis pilarsis: those small, white or red pimples on the upper arms, legs, buttocks or even on the face. They look like goosebumps and feel rough like a grater, hence the name. The skin appears almost hairless in the affected areas. The pimples don't itch, don't hurt and in most cases just go away. So what's up with the pimples?
In principle, everything is completely harmless: The so-called grater skin, also called keratosis pilaris, occurs when the hair follicles clog with keratin deposits. Instead of growing inconspicuously, sebum is deposited around even the smallest hairs. The reason: the sebum glands on the hair follicle clog. However, the hairs also often grow in, so that not only the skin cells harden, but the skin cells also become inflamed.
Factors like stress and dry air can also make the grater skin rougher.
Grater skin is particularly common in children and adolescents from the age of 10. Keratosis pilaris mainly affects girls and young women in puberty. As a rule, the skin disorder resolves on its own with increasing age. While some sufferers notice the grater skin immediately and find it annoying, others hardly notice it.
What are the causes?
The exact cause of the cornification disorder has not yet been conclusively clarified. However, it often occurs in connection with dry skin or in people who suffer from skin diseases such as neurodermatitis.
However, research has shown that grated iron skin is due to an overproduction of keratin. This is a protein that gives the body tissue stability and is also part of the outer layer of skin (horny layer) and also occurs in nails and hair. If the grater skin appears, the keratin clumps together to form small nodules. The result: the hair follicles can clog.
The chance that other family members occasionally suffer from grater skin is 30 to 50 percent.
How do you treat grater skin?
Fortunately, grater skin is not contagious, but it is very likely hereditary and incurable, as there is no generally effective treatment. That's why there is still no patent remedy for the unsightly pimples. In most cases, however, the cornification disorder regresses over the years.
If there are signs of inflammation such as reddened and warm skin as well as itching and scratching, treatment against the grater skin is necessary. Thorough care several times a day is the be-all and end-all. Special moisturizing creams
, moisturizing ointments
, Peelings and oils that contain salicylic acid, lactate, urea or vitamins can flush the excess keratin out of the skin and thus alleviate the symptoms if necessary. Urea binds the moisture in the skin, effectively counteracts cornification and soothes the skin. In any case, do without lotions, creams and Co. with fragrances and dyes.
and moisturizing lotions
can also have a positive effect on grater skin. However, the summer months can also contribute to improving rough skin through higher humidity and solar radiation. However, the cornification disorder will not go away completely. If there are no noticeable symptoms of the grater skin, no treatment is necessary.
If there are additional symptoms in addition to the grater skin in adulthood or if no cure is in sight, you should go to a dermatologist and have yourself examined to make sure that there is no other disease.
The following tips can also help against grater skin
Be sure to try several treatments against grater skin, because every body is and reacts differently.
Sea salt peeling:
Peelings gently remove dead skin and care for the skin at the same time. However, especially with grater skin, it should not be used too often and only sparingly so that the skin is not unnecessarily irritated.
Those affected report that regular saunas help against grated skin. By sweating and detoxifying the body, the complexion improves. In some saunas it is also common to do a peeling with, for example, salt, as the skin is well softened.
In summer, the skin of the grater is usually improved by exposure to the sun, which is of course lacking for those affected, especially in the cold months. Visits to the solarium can help. However, this should only be enjoyed with caution, after all, the artificial sun promotes premature skin aging and the risk of developing cancer is increased.
A balanced diet with lots of vitamins and nutrients as well as sufficient drinks (at least two liters a day and preferably water) is essential for radiantly beautiful skin and therefore also for grated skin.
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