High body mass index, dry scaly leg skin and atopic conditions are highly associated with keratosis pilaris

Dermatology. 2000;201(1):34-6. doi: 10.1159/000018425.


Background: In a previous study we have found that young patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus had a higher prevalence of keratosis pilaris (KP) than healthy controls, with a high correlation with body mass index (BMI) and ichthyosiform skin changes of the legs.

Objectives: To investigate whether BMI, dry scaly legs and atopic conditions could be associated with KP in a healthy population of adolescents.

Methods: A total of 202 Jewish adolescents chosen at random among students undergoing a routine medical examination at school participated in the study. The patients filled in a questionnaire for data on ethnic origin, the presence or history of allergic rhinitis, asthma or atopic dermatitis, the presence of thyroid disease, diabetes or dry skin. A similar questionnaire was sent to the family physician for verification. A general inspection of the skin was made for the presence of KP; the lower legs were also examined for dry scaly skin and ichthyosiform skin changes.

Results: KP was present in 33 examinees (16%). Factors significantly associated with were dry scaly skin (p < 0.001, odds ratio, OR = 31.3, with 95% confidence interval, CI, 6.4-153.7), BMI >25 (p < 0.001, OR = 4.9, with 95% CI 2.2-11.2) and atopy (p = 0.001, OR = 4.5, with 95% CI 1.8-11.1).

Conclusion: It therefore appears that KP is associated with multiple factors, including high BMI, leg skin dryness and atopic conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dermatitis, Atopic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jews
  • Keratosis
  • Leg Dermatoses
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Diseases*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires