All you Got to Know About Chicken Skin!

Chicken skin is a harmless skin condition which is reported mainly in children of age groups 0 to 2 years. It is reported that after 2 years, the conditions usually subside. This condition usually arises in the area of elbows and knees where the skin has become rough over due course of time. These are tiny little bumps which appear on the skin invariably placed. This condition can slowly progress towards the face as well.

These occur as goosebumps on the skin of a chicken without feathers, hence the name chicken skin. These are tiny in shape with a grayish lower plug and a reddish upper part. People usually confuse them with pimples or exaggerated acne.

These bumps are actually dead skin cells which have accumulated over time. These skin cells are usually plugged into tiny grooves on the skin. This condition is usually accompanied with a classical condition of dryness and itch.

What is The Cause of Chicken Skin?

Chicken skin is basically a congenital disorder. It is caused due to the mutation of a specific gene present in our DNA structure. This special gene is necessary to develop a certain protein called as profillagrin. Profillagrin helps in the formation of another protein known as keratin. Keratin is an important protein, which is used to provide the skin with a tough and dead skin layer. 

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As the gene coding for the protein for profillagrin is mutated, excess keratin is produced. This leads to the death of excessive skin cells.
These skin cells start accumulating in the hair follicles of the skin gradually. After filling up the follicle, they start accumulating on the upper layer of the skin. This layer is now visible as the noticeable black bump on the skin.

The age during which classical cases of chicken skin are reported are usually children or old people. The condition slowly fades away when the affected individual reaches into the adult stage.

Also, be rest assured, this disease is not contagious! Feel free to swim with a patient having chicken skin!

Who Are at Risk of Developing Chicken Skin?

  • Patients having a history of fish scale skin (ichthyosis vulgaris). It is a condition which involves the drying up of skin and appearance of fish scale like grooves on the entire body.
  • Patients suffering from allergic diseases, hypersensitivity diseases and especially pollen allergy.
  • Patients of hay fever.
  • Being related by blood to persons being diagnosed with the condition of keratosis pilaris since birth. As this disease is completely congenital, the gene mutation can pass across relatives and descend into your DNA sequence.
  • People suffering from obesity. Excess body weight is a suitable trigger for the flaring up of this disease
  • Young people who are in their pubertal stage. Pubertal hormone changes can cause a hormonal imbalance.
  • People suffering from conditions like eczema and dry skin.
  • Patients suffering from asthma and bronchitis,
  • Women are a bit more likely to develop this than men.
If you see small bumps appearing on your or your child’s skin over time, do not panic! They are as harmless as a soft pinch!

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.