Keratosis pilaris is a common mild disorder of keratinisation affecting hair follicles. It is often confused with atopic dermatitis, particularly when it is seen in young children.
A 7-year-old boy was referred to a dermatologist after treatment with 1% hydrocortisone ointment and moisturising creams did not settle his facial dermatitis. The main complaint was persistent, prominent redness on his cheeks that became worse with heat or when he was emotionally active. The dermatitis had started when he was 2 years old and had gradually worsened with time. There was minimal itch. The patient had a past history of mild flexural atopic dermatitis and a current history of mild hayfever. There was also a family history of mild atopy.