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Posted Jan 22 2009 6:31pm
Left : Normal skin; Right : Keratosis Pilaris

As you who follow my blog know it's about this time of the year when I'm confined indoors by the harsh Chicago winters that I come down with a malady I have dubbed the "epatoozies " which is what we Southerners use to label things when we don't know what it is. An angry red rash that resembles chicken skin appears on my neck, arms and face and no treatment that I've tried has worked to clear it up.

Last year my doctor prescribed the best medicine : Florida for the month of February. I kid you not the rash disappeared once I got out into the wonderful sunshine.

Now I can no longer call it the epatoozies because I've finally got a diagnosis : a common skin condition known as Keratosis Pilaris ( thus the label " chicken skin " ) which affects 1 in 3 people and 40-50 per cent of the world's population. So I'm not in this alone. Many have it and don't even know what it is. Thank god it's not serious ( some forms of Keratosis are precancerous ) but it's very annoying and unsightly. It's caused by an excess build up of keratin or protein in the skin and is worse in winter when confined indoors.

I'm currently treating it with a topical steriod cream prescribed by my doctor and a skin regime of exfoiliating the affected areas to get rid of the excess protein buildup. If it doesn't work I have no alternative but to wait for the Spring cure.

I've always disliked the skin on a chicken and I certainly don't like it on me.

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