How do doctors diagnose keratosis pilaris?
Doctors diagnose keratosis pilaris with a simple physical examination of the skin where the bumps are located. Some patients see a dermatologist (skin specialist), but many times it is diagnosed by a family doctor.
Medical testing is generally not required to diagnose this condition. Doctors may perform other tests if they aren’t sure if it is keratosis pilaris. They may test a tiny sample of your skin to rule out other possible causes for your discomfort.
The bumps’ location and characteristics can help you identify whether you have keratosis pilaris:
- Location: Keratosis pilaris bumps most often show up on the arms, especially the upper arms. They can also appear on the cheeks, legs (upper or lower) or buttocks.
- Characteristics: How any skin bumps look and feel can tell you a lot about what might be causing them. Keratosis pilaris bumps are:
- Painless: If you feel discomfort or pain when pressing on a skin bump, it’s likely not keratosis pilaris.
- Itchy or dry: These bumps, and the skin around them, may feel itchy or dry.
- Rough: Running your hands over these bumps may feel rough to the touch, like sandpaper.
- Discolored: Bumps may appear skin colored, red, white, brown, or even dark brown or black (depending on the natural color of your skin).