Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is keratosis pilaris contagious?"
My BF has keratosis pilaris. Is it contagious?
Absolutely not! Keratosis pilaris is a benign skin condition in which keratin, one of the skin's proteins, is produced in excess and collect in and plugs pores. The condition is most often noticeable on the upper arms, but can occur on other areas of the body as well. Keratosis pilaris is actually a genetic condition, inherited within a family. As such, it is not an infection and it is not contagious in any way. If your boyfriend is bothered by his keratosis pilaris, he should go see his primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Although, as I said, the condition is totally benign, it can be cosmetically unattractive. Treatments of for keratosis pilaris are quite similar to treatments for acne, as both conditions involve plugging of the skin's pores. Often good skin hygiene and exfoliation is enough. In more severe cases, added a comedonolytic acne preparation (something containing a chemical like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) can be helpful, as they help to strip debris off the top of the skin. Your boyfriend's doctor can help him decide what medical treatments, if any, are needed to help improve the look of this condition and keep it under better control!