While seeing reddish bumps on someone’s arms may instil fear, there is no reason to be concerned. Keratosis pilaris is a genetic skin disorder and as such cannot be transmitted simply by coming into contact with someone who has it.
The Chances Of Getting Keratosis Pilaris
In some families, keratosis pilaris is very common, particularly if other dry skin conditions are already present. The trait is often passed down in an autosomal dominant pattern, similar to the way eye color is inherited. This means that a child has a 50% chance of developing the skin condition if one of the parents is affected and a 75% chance of inheriting the trait if both parents suffer from it. However, it is also not unheard of for keratosis pilaris to skip a couple of generations.
Some keratosis pilaris research suggests that the skin condition is linked to those with Irish heritage, particularly red-haired people, but this supposition is far from conclusive and further research needs to be done on the issue.
KP is also linked to Vitamin A deficiency, which often goes undiagnosed unless it is specifically tested.
Help! Is Keratosis Pilaris Contagious?
Based on how widespread keratosis pilaris is, it almost seems like it is contagious!
Estimates suggest that keratosis pilaris affects half of adolescents and up to 40% of adults (although women are more likely to develop the condition than men). Keratosis pilaris research also shows the condition presenting itself in people from different racial backgrounds.
Sufferers of less severe cases of KP often become used to having the condition, particularly if other associated symptoms such as itchiness are absent. Luckily, for most people the skin disorder improves or even disappears as one approaches the age of 30.
If you are not yet 30 and do not want to wait until it may resolve on its own or if you still suffer from KP past the age of 30, there are many treatment options available to you. One of the best places to start is by altering your diet since the food you eat can have noticeable effects on your skin.
So, in short, the answer is a definite “no” to the common ‘is keratosis pilaris contagious?’ question.