| ||Exfoliants or Softening Agents: $15-$150+|| |
The common skin condition keratosis pilaris occurs when a protein called keratin forms a plug in hair follicles causing white or red rough patches and bumps to emerge. It is most often seen on the arms, thighs and buttocks, but can also appear on the face.
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- Patients concerned about their skin's appearance would typically start by consulting a dermatologist. For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for visiting a dermatologist will typically consist of a doctor visit copay of $5 -$30 or more, or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. For patients without health insurance, an office visit typically costs $50-$200 or more.
- Since no one measure will eliminate keratosis pilaris, treatment typically involves using medicated creams to soften skin.
- Common remedies include topical exfoliants that contain peeling or softening agents such as salicylic acid, urea, glycolic, or lactic acid; topical corticosteroids; and topical retinoids. These may be prescription strength or over the counter, and can cost $15 - $150 or more. Costs will vary depending on whether the patient buys a name brand or its generic equivalent. For example, Drugstore.com charges about $50 for a tube of generic tretinoin cream and almost $150 for the brand-name equivalent. The lactic acid cream Fluorouracil AmLactin Moisturizing Lotion costs $15 at Drugstore.com, while a set of two 4 oz tubes of the glycolic acid urea blend Dermadoctor KP Double Duty costs $67 at sephora.com.
What should be included:|
- Keratosis pilaris is typically painless, has no long-term health implications and often resolves on its own. There's no cure for keratosis pilaris, but according to the Mayo Clinic , prescription medications and self-care measures can improve the look of affected skin.
- According to the Mayo Clinic , a dermatologist can often make a diagnosis by examining skin and looking for the condition's tell tale signs, such as scaly plugs.
- Using a humidifier may help to add moisture to the air and improve the look of skin. The cost of a table top or room humidifier depends on factors such as output, size, and additional features and can cost from $25 - $100 or more. For example, the Essick Air 2.7 Gallon Tabletop Humidifier , which has a fairly simple design and two-speed motor, costs $36. The Sunpentown Portable Air Cooler with Ionizer , which can be used as a fan or air cooler as well as a humidifier, costs $95.
Shopping for keratosis pilaris treatment:
- Discount outlets such as Costco and Walmart often sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs at significant savings. Walmart, for example, has a prescription drug program that includes certain generic drugs at commonly prescribed dosages.
- Many hospitals offer discounts of 30% of more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. At St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, for example, patients without health insurance may qualify for a 45% discount. They'll also be offered an additional 10% discount if payment is made within 10 days of receiving a bill.
- The American Academy of Dermatology has a search tool for patients.
- The Mayo Clinic offers questions about keratosis pilaris for patients to ask their dermatologists.
| Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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