Tag Archives: skin conditions

What Are Those Pesky “Chicken Bumps” On My Arms?

Commonly known as ‘Chicken bumps’, keratosis pilaris is a very prevalent skin condition that primarily affects adolescents and young adults. It is categorized by its gooseflesh appearance and multiple tiny pink or red bumps on certain areas of the body.

Is Keratosis Pilaris Harmful?

No. Medically speaking, KP is a benign condition that only affects the appearance of the skin. In some cases, KP may cause a confidence problem for people who dislike the appearance of the bumps, but otherwise aren’t problematic.

What Causes KP?

The exact cause is unknown; however, theories suggest overproduction of keratin (hyperkeratinisation) may be a primary culprit. There is likely a genetic component as well. The condition often disappears just as mysteriously as it shows up!

Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Symptoms of KP include: tens to hundreds of small reddish-pink bumps on certain parts of the body, skin that feels rough to the touch, pinkness of surrounding skin and sometimes a scaly appearance to the skin.

What Parts of the Body Does it Affect?

Technically, KP can affect any part of the skin but the vast majority of cases are found on the upper arms, thighs, face, back or buttocks.

Who Is Most Likely to Develop KP?

Anyone can develop keratosis pilaris, however it tends to affect children and adolescents more frequently and often disappears by the age of 30. More females seem to develop KP than males. It has also been seen more commonly in those with other skin conditions such as xerosis (dry skin) or atopic dermatitis.

Is It Preventable or Treatable?

KP is not preventable nor curable, but it often does not require much treatment and may randomly disappear on its own. Some people with moderate to severe keratosis pilaris may use special moisturizers to decrease the appearance or KP. There are also many home remedies out there that claim to help minimize keratosis pilaris.

That concludes our look at keratosis pilaris. Thanks for visiting DocChat!


Telemedicine for Acne Care and Maintenance

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, afflicting over 50 million people. Luckily there are many self-care and medical treatments available, as well as different continuing care options such as telemedicine that can help with acne maintenance. Some personal practices that can help acne include:

  1. The National Institute of Arthritis, Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMD) suggests using a mild cleanser and cleaning skin very gently several times a day, such as after a workout. Do not scrub as it can worsen acne.
  2. Be careful shaving
  3. Keep germy fingers off your face! Hands are a breeding ground for germs because of all the contaminated surfaces we touch between hand-washings over the course of a day, these germs can make acne worse by causing infections in already inflamed and irritated hair follicles.
  4. No matter how uncomfortable, do not pick, squeeze, scratch or pinch your pimples or you are likely to develop much worse scarring than someone who doesn’t pick their acne.
  5. Makeup and skincare products can also clog pores making acne worse. The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) suggests searching for products with acne-friendly labels that include “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic”, or “non-acnegenic” ingredients.
  6. If your hair is oily, shampoo it often with gentle, nonacnegenic shampoo
  7. Be careful with astringents and exfoliants as they can dry out the skin.

Treatment Options For Acne

There are many treatments on the market for acne care and maintenance, depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend a combination of treatments. Some of the more common acne treatments include:

  • Topical medications such as retinoids (derived from vitamin A), antibiotic creams to reduce germs and redness and Dapsone gel which is usually prescribed to be used with retinoids.
  • Hormone treatment such as combined contraceptives (birth control pills) have shown great promise in reducing acne in females.
  • Oral medications including antibiotics or Isotretinoin, a severe medication reserved for extreme cases of acne or for moderate cases that don’t respond well to other treatments.
  • Blue light therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic, has been used successfully to treat certain cases of acne. Patients can gain access to a handheld blue light device for convenience.
  • Extraction – dermatologists can extract troublesome whiteheads and blackheads using tools.

Unfortunately, the skin is slow to warm up to many treatments, so don’t give up on a course of treatment too quickly as it may take as long as 12 weeks to start taking effect (but usually starts working in 6 weeks). Try to at least give your treatment plan a month before making changes.

Telemedicine For Continued Acne Care

As we’ve mentioned previously, telemedicine can handle up to 78% of all medical issues and complaints, included on the list of these manageable conditions is acne (and other skin disorders). Here at DocChat, we have handled many cases of acne care and management, helping with advice, medication adjustments as well as helping deal with flare-ups. In our HD video consultations, DocChat physicians can examine the person’s skin along with progress photos the patient shares. We may have a jump on brick-and-mortar medicine for conditions like acne because you can access one of our highly knowledgeable DocChat physicians anytime, day or night, 265 days a year which comes in handy when you have a spontaneous flare-up and don’t want to go to the ER or wait weeks for an appointment with your primary care physician.

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