If you know anything about keratosis pilaris, you know that it is not a dangerous condition. The Mayo Clinic describes the signs and symptoms as: small, acne-like bumps, or painless, skin-colored pumps that can, at times, be red and inflamed. The Mayo Clinic does not consider KP to be a serious medical condition and deems treatment as “not necessary.”
So what’s the point in treating KP?
For many teenagers, treating KP isn’t about a health condition, it’s about improving self confidence. Keratosis Pilaris affects 80% of our youth to some degree, and while it is far from life-threatening, studies show that cosmetic conditions have a huge effect on people 一 and youth in particular. Ted Grossbart, Ph.D., states:
“People with skin problems are at high risk of developing psychological problems… Kids with skin disorders suffer, too. Two out of five of these children have some psychosocial impairment.”
Keratosis Pilaris is not a major disfiguring disorder, but to the teen dealing with KP, it may as well be. Afterall, Dr. Grossbart points out that “Americans spend more on their appearance than on social welfare, health, and education combined.” It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that childhood, and especially adolescence, can be rough. Teens are already dealing with awkward growth spurts and social changes 一 when you add in a skin condition that puts a damper on their self-confidence, growing up is that much harder. Teenagers may get teased by their peers for their “chicken skin,” leading to issues with their self-esteem. Low self-confidence may prevent your son from going to that pool party this summer or your daughter from trying on homecoming dresses with her girlfriends.