What causes pediatric keratosis pilaris?

Updated: May 27, 2021
  • Author: Derek H Chu, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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The etiology of keratosis pilaris is not completely known. Keratosis pilaris may be due to a disorder of corneocyte adhesion that prevents normal desquamation in the area around the hair follicle. It is often associated with xerosis, ichthyosis vulgaris, and atopy. Other conditions reportedly associated with keratosis pilaris include ichthyosis follicularis, ectodermal dysplasia, keratitis ichthyosis deafness (KID) syndrome, Down syndrome, Noonan syndrome, [6] and cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome.

Al-Maawali et al propose that the gene BTG1 is critical for the development of the distinctive keratosis pilaris observed in patients with interstitial deletion of 12q21-q22. [7]

Keratosis pilaris–like eruptions have been described in patients receiving targeted cancer therapies such as RAF inhibitors (ie, vemurafenib) and the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib. [8, 9, 10, 11]

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