What is the role of surgery in the treatment of keratosis pilaris (KP)?

Updated: Aug 12, 2019
  • Author: Ally N Alai, MD, FAAD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Minor surgical procedures such as gentle acne extractions may be useful in resistant keratosis pilaris (KP). Extractions of keratotic papules and milia are performed using a small 30-gauge needle, larger 18-gauge needle, or a small diabetic lancet to pierce the overlying skin. A comedone extractor or two cotton-tipped applicators can be used to extract the keratin plugs or trapped coiled hairs. Best results may be achieved with combination therapy using topical emollients and physical treatments, such as manual extraction of white heads (termed acne surgery), microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.


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