Keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei is a hereditary skin disorder affecting an estimated one out of every two babies born in the world.
Although this condition might be difficult to pronounce, it’s actually pretty easy to spot and thankfully, it’s a disorder that’s generally cosmetic in nature with few to no side effects or medical risks associated with it.
This skin disorder is believed to be hereditary in nature, meaning it’s passed on through genetics and isn’t a condition caused by poor hygiene or other environmental factors.
Keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei is actually a specific type of keratosis pilaris.
Keratosis pilaris, also known as KP or chicken skin, is a common skin disorders characterized by small, red bumps on the skin that can appear all over the body.
Keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei (KPAF) is a type of KP that specifically appears on infants and is usually confined to the face.
Keratosis Pilaris Atrophicans Faciei Causes
Like KP, keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei is a hereditary skin disorder that’s passed on by parents to their children. There are several types of keratosis pilaris and each version is caused when the body makes too much a keratin.
Keratin is a naturally occurring protein that’s found in the outer portion of human skin.
There are different strands of keratin, such as A-keratin and B-keratin, that make up the different types of skin including hair and nails in humans and hoofs, claws, and antlers in other animals.
When the body produces too much keratin, skin pores become clogged and as a result small, hard bumps begin to appear around the clogged pores.
The reason small bumps appear is due to hair follicles being “trapped” by the excess keratin. You can find out more about keratosis pilaris causes here.
Keratosis Pilaris Atrophicans Faciei Symptoms
KPAF is found on the faces of newborns and infants, usually appearing near or on the eyebrow.
Depending on the severity of this disorder, it can spread from the infant’s face to the other parts of the body, usually near the extremities such as the hands and feet.
Like keratosis pilaris, KPAF doesn’t require blood tests to diagnose. Usually, a doctor will simply examine the bumps on the patient’s skin and ask a few questions about the patient’s family history to determine if the issue is KPAF or some other skin condition.
KPAF Treatments & Remedies
Although keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei is harmless, it can cause concern from worried parents.
Later in life, those afflicted with this common skin disorder may be self-conscious and embarrassed at the small, red clusters of skin bumps.
Although no known cure currently exists for KPAF, outbreaks can be managed through a variety of over the counter lotions and home remedies.
Like other skin disorders, the severity of this condition will vary from individual to individual and certain environmental factors, such as cold weather, may cause the skin to become dry and exasperate the condition.
Based on current research, there are three treatment methods generally used to manage KPAF.
Lotions are by far the most accessible, affordable, and common form of treating infants with KPAF.
There are many types of specialty keratolytic lotions designed to treat warts, which can be used on skin bumps caused by KPAF.
Most of these lotions work by thinning the skin around the bump and also contain soothing nutrients, such as vitamin D and aloe vera, to moisturize the afflicted areas of the skin.
Steroidal cream is another treatment option although it’s generally not used on infants given the risk of complications.
Steroid creams work to reduce redness and irritation but can often cause unwanted side effects and like lotion, is only a temporary fix.
After the duration of steroid treatment, the bumps will often come back within a few weeks.
Lasers are a more modern treatment option and work by burning off the skin bumps caused by KPAF.
Because KPAF doesn’t have any medical risks associated with it, it’s not common for infants suffering from it to be treated this way.
Lasers are also the most expensive form of treatment and may not permanently remove skin bumps depending on individual reactions.
It clogs skin pores caused by excess production of keratin which results in small, red skin bumps that can spread from the face to other parts of the body.
Skin irritation caused by KPAF can be managed with lotions or alternative treatment options but currently there is no known cure.
If you’re concerned that your infant may have KPAF, talk to a medical professional who can make a diagnosis by asking a few questions about your family’s health history and examining your infant’s skin.