What is the pathophysiology of pediatric keratosis pilaris?

Updated: May 27, 2021
  • Author: Derek H Chu, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Keratosis pilaris is theorized to result from defective keratinization of the follicular epithelium, resulting in the lack of proper desquamation of keratinocytes and the formation of a keratotic plug at the follicular orifice. Alternatively, some experts suggest that keratosis pilaris may not be a primary disorder of keratinization, but rather a disorder of the hair shaft. Circular hair shafts rupture the follicular epithelium, leading to inflammation and abnormal follicular keratinization. [4] More recently, atrophy or absence of sebaceous glands has been identified as an early feature in keratosis pilaris pathogenesis. [5]

Autosomal dominant inheritance has been described.

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