Nicknamed “chicken skin”, Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition affecting many people of all ages. In appearance, Keratosis Pilaris are small, rough, red, or tan bumps primarily around hair follicles on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, and sometimes cheeks. KP creates a “goose bumps,” “gooseflesh,” or “chicken skin” appearance on the skin.
Anyone can have keratosis pilaris. Although it is commonly a skin condition of children and adolescents, it is can also seen in adults and usually more common with females than males. Age of onset is often within the first 10 years of life and may worsen during puberty. However, keratosis pilaris may begin to improve with age and after puberty may disappear completely. A large percentage of people with KP will find to have other people in their family with the same condition.
Many people with KP will notice an improvement in the summer months and seasonal flares in colder winter months. Although the condition may be esthetically displeasing it is medically completely harmless. – However, you will be happy to know there is a thing or two you can do about it.
What causes keratosis pilaris? Keratosis pilaris results from the buildup of keratin — a hard protein that protects your skin from harmful substances and infection. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin.
Why keratin builds up is unknown. But it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions, such atopic dermatitis. Keratosis pilaris also occurs in otherwise healthy people. Dry skin tends to worsen this condition.
Keratosis pilaris treatments
- Coconut oil. One of the cheapest and effective products to rid oneself of KP. (apply 2-3xs daily)
- Topical exfoliants. Medicated creams containing alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea moisturize and soften dry skin while helping to loosen and remove dead skin cells. Depending on their strength, certain creams are available over-the-counter.
- Topical retinoids. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover and preventing the plugging of the hair follicle. Retinoids may be an effective treatment, but they can cause bothersome skin irritations, such as severe dryness, redness and peeling.
- Laser therapy. Certain types of keratosis pilaris involving severe redness and inflammation have been successfully treated with laser therapy. Laser treatment involves passing intense bursts of light into targeted areas of skin. This type of treatment may require repeat sessions over the course of a few months, depending on your response.
- Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive by Monat. For those of you that have purchased Rejuveniqe through me, I highly recommend using this proprietary blend to treat your KP. My 5 year old daughter suffers from KP, the other day I applied a small amount of Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive to her cheeks and the results were quick and amazing!
*Treatment for keratosis pilaris is ongoing – if discontinued, skin begins reforming around hair follicles. Maintenance is the best way to maintain smooth skin.
*Avoid too much hot water (taking extremely hot baths dry out the skin)
*Go out in the sun – Spend a little time outdoors to get a hormonal boost the sun provides while aiding your skin in clearing out dead cells.
*Humidifier – Adding moisture to the air will help you skin stay soft.