What is it? Keratosis pilaris, sometimes called “KP or chicken skin” is a common skin condition that causes patches of rough-feeling bumps to appear on the skin. These tiny little bumps look like goosebumps or tiny pimples, but they are not. Keratosis pilaris is caused by a build-up of keratin, a hair protein in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles. These tiny bumps or pimples are actually dead skin cells clogging hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris is most likely to appear on your upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks and can be triggered during pregnancy as well. It isn’t contagious and these bumps don’t usually cause any discomfort or itching.
HOW TO TREAT KERATOSIS PILARIS
The approach to treating keratosis pilaris can be very similar to treating acne. The best treatment is a combination of exfoliation and skin nourishment. You never want to over process your skin, use harsh ingredients or be rough with your skin. Keratosis Pilaris may not be popping up on your face but it’s still on your skin and you always want to be cautious and careful.
Cutting out gluten, dairy and white sugar can help heal and clear your skin as well.
A combination of chemical and physical exfoliation will really help treat your keratosis pilaris. While you don’t want to aggressively scrub your skin with a salt or sugar or rough scrub, using a polish combined with salicylic and lactic acid will help buff away the dead skin, and the acids will work to help dissolve the debris in your follicles, clearing out the pores.
Sonya’s Pick: Omega Polish and Activator Duo
A light serum applied to clean skin post exfoliation will really help give you next level results. Why save the serums for your face only? The skin on your arms and other areas of your body is worthy of being clear as well. Choose ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, salicylic acid, as well as healing and anti inflammatory ingredients like brown algae and marigold flower.
Retinol is also a powerful and uber effective chemical exfoliator that is highly beneficial in the treatment of keratosis pilaris. Regular use of retinol not only minimizes the appearance of acne, fine lines and hyper-pigmentation but also smooths keratosis pilaris. You can expect smoother, softer, more refined skin in virtually no time.
Make sure to use thick cream or very viscous body oils (not dry oil) rather than lotions because these more effectively seal hydration into the skin. The best time to moisturize is right after a shower when skin is warm and damp and will absorb the moisture.
Sonya’s Pick: Hoya Body Oil
We understand the urge to try and pop or pick at the tiny little pimples, but PLEASE don’t. It will not help at all clear your skin. Squeezing or picking at KP causes worse effects like irritation, redness and the potential for scarring as well.
While these tips will help treat and clear keratosis pilaris there are severe cases that do not respond as well or quickly as others. If your skin is not getting better fast enough you may want to consider professional treatments such as diamond peels and chemical peels.
Be patient. Let the products do the work. And say goodbye to bumpy skin!