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.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.