keratosis pilaris baby

Keratosis Pilaris Baby Facts For Worried Parents

There are few things more concerning than when your newborn has some  type of medical issue. Being a parent is a tough job in itself but when your little one has something wrong with her health, anxiety can skyrocket.

If you’ve ever noticed small, skin bumps on your baby, chances are that she has keratosis pilaris. In newborns, skin bumps tend to appear on the face near the eyebrows and is also known as keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei (KPAF).

Fortunately keratosis pilaris is not only harmless, but very common.

In fact, over 50% of adolescents experience it  at some point.

Although no cure currently exists to completely eliminate KP in your baby, there are several effective treatments that can be used to manage moderate to severe outbreaks.

Causes Of Keratosis Pilaris Baby

Keratosis pilaris, commonly referred to as chicken skin or simply KP, causes the body to produce excess keratin, which is a naturally occurring protein found in skin, hair, and nails.

When there’s too much keratin being produced, it clogs skin pores and traps hair follicles. As hair follicles become trapped, small, hardened skin bumps can appear.

KP is believed to be passed on through hereditary so if you or your biological partner possess the genetic trait responsible for KP, your baby probably also has KP.

In some cases, keratosis pilaris also caused by an allergy towards gluten, ingredient in bread

Vitamin A deficiency and environmental factors such as cold, dry weather are also thought to trigger KP outbreaks.

Although its more common in children, KP can also affect teens and even adults. In many cases, your baby will outgrow KP although outbreaks can occur later in life.

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Diagnosing KP In Your Baby

keratosis pilaris baby - diagnosisMost doctors can diagnose KP simply by visually examining the affected area of skin and most of the time, no additional tests are needed.

These are some of the more common symptoms your baby’s doctor will look for:

  • Are there small, red, hardened skin bumps that appear on the face or top of your baby’s arms?
  • Does your baby have unusually dry or rough skin?
  • Is there any excessive red tone in your baby’s checks?

It’s especially important to have a health care professional diagnose your baby instead of relying on internet research as KP could be a secondary issue caused by a more serious condition.

Treating Keratosis Pilaris For Your Newborn

KP is harmless but some parents may want to treat their baby’s KP, especially if it’s visible on or near the face. Treating infants and newborns carries special risks because babies immune systems aren’t as strong as older kids.keratosis pilaris lotion for baby

Always consult a healthcare professional to determine the risks associated with managing KP outbreaks on a newborn or baby.

Some common treatment methods are listed below.

#1: Lotions

Special keratolytic lotions are often used to manage keratosis pilaris outbreaks in babies and adults. These lotions contain acids that break down excess keratin and then moisturize the skin over affected areas.

Babies have naturally sensitive skin so always use lotions specifically designed for babies and when in doubt, check with a health care professional. We listed a few best keratosis pilaris lotion on our store.

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#2: Natural Remedies

Although natural remedies don’t mean they’re risk free, often times, they don’t contain chemicals which can sometimes cause adverse reactions when used on a baby’s sensitive skin.

Coconut oil is among the top homeopathic remedy used to treat keratosis pilaris in babies and adolescents.

Like synthetic lotions, coconut oil is simply applied to your baby’s skin and helps moisturize dry, sensitive skin.

For more details on treating keratosis pilaris using natural remedies, you can read it here.

#3: Prescriptions

Prescription treatments should be avoided unless your baby’s doctor recommends them. Most of the time, prescription drugs are only given if KP is a secondary issue caused by a more serious skin disorder or internal imbalance.

Due to the risks of complications and side effects, this treatment method should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.


If your baby has keratosis pilaris, there’s no need to worry as KP is a harmless skin disorder.

Generally KP starts on a baby’s face and can spread to other parts of the body.  Although no cure exists for chicken skin, you can use special lotions to moisturize your baby’s sensitive skin.

Most babies will simply outgrow their KP within a few years and if not, there are plenty of treatment methods ranging from lotions to prescription drugs that can be used to manage outbreaks.

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