Top 10 Keratosis Pilaris Treatments
Do you feel those annoying rough bumps on your skin that looks like tiny pimples? It is a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris, or more commonly known as “Chicken Skin.” It doesn’t cause any harmful and severe complications, but it can be embarrassing to have one. Most often, the ointments and medications that you can buy at the drugstore don’t offer positive results. Sometimes, you need to try natural remedies to get rid of these nasty skin bumps that feel like annoying sandpaper on your arms and legs.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Just like a chicken skin, Keratosis Pilaris feels like rough bumps along the surface of your skin. This is caused by plugged hair follicles and other factors and usually occurs in skin surface where hair can grow such as in the arms, legs, and cheeks. The main problem with this skin condition is that it can be very unsightly and embarrassing to have. It can also be psychologically damaging, especially for teenagers who are very conscious of their looks and social status. It can be disappointing to have this skin condition because it still doesn’t have a cure.
Signs and Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris
The most telling sign of Keratosis Pilaris is the rough and small bumpy feeling on your skin. It’s like gliding your fingers along sandpaper. Its color is usually white, but it can also appear as red or reddish-pink around the small bumps. The number of these small bumps can be as little as 10 but it can also grow up to hundreds of bumps in just one area of the body. Dermatologists usually find this sandpaper-like skin condition on the upper arms of their patients. Other areas where the chicken skin is frequently found are on the thighs and buttocks. Some people even develop these annoying rough bumps on their cheeks. The bumps will stand out and appear noticeable if your skin is too dry. It may not be harmful but it can still leave your skin feeling itchy and rough.
Causes and Risk Factors for Keratosis Pilaris
The leading dermatologists today still don’t quite understand why Keratosis Pilaris forms on the skin. One popular theory or belief is that too much keratin builds up in the hair follicles, which leads to the clogging of the pores. Keratin is the protein found in the hair and nails and makes up the outer layer of the skin.
Some experts believe that thick hairs can also be the cause of Keratosis Pilaris. When these thick hairs from large coils in the outer layer of the skin, it causes inflammation and the abnormal release of keratin. The dryness of the skin is a big risk factor that leads to Keratosis Pilaris. In the winter months and low-humidity weather, the skin may dry out, posing a greater risk of having this chicken skin condition. Another risk factor that has to be considered is genetics. Just like atopic dermatitis, which can be inherited and passed from one generation to another, most researchers agree that Keratosis Pilaris is also genetic.
The final risk factor is the age of the person. This type of skin condition appears in children and occurs frequently as they grow older into their teenage years. Most often, the Keratosis Pilaris disappears as they become adults. The average peak of prevalence is 16 years old.
2. Treating Keratosis Pilaris at Home
Ongoing maintenance treatment is the best way to cure this skin condition. Remember, there is no complete cure that will permanently eliminate Keratosis Pilaris. Some people prefer self-care treatment rather than going to the doctor or dermatologist, which can be expensive. Here is a 3-step plan on how you can treat Keratosis Pilaris at home.
First Step: Exfoliation
Exfoliation is your first step towards self-care maintenance treatment because this process will remove the dead skin cells. You can do this by using a rough washcloth or a loofah to gently exfoliate the dead cells from the skin surface. Do not thoroughly scrub the affected area because it might just irritate the skin and make the condition worse.
Second Step: Apply Keratolytic
Keratolytic is a skin care product that removes the extreme buildup of dead skin cells. This is also called chemical exfoliator, which should contain one of the following ingredients:
- Lactic acid
- Alpha hydroxyl acid
- Glycolic acid
- Salicylic acid
- Retinoids such as retinol, adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene
When applying the keratolytic, make sure to follow the directions on the package. The wrong application or too much use can lead to skin irritation. If your skin becomes too dry and irritated even after following the direction correctly, you should stop using the product for a few days.
Third Step: Apply Moisturizer
Keratolytic or chemical exfoliator has strong ingredients that can dry up your skin, which is why you need to apply moisturizer afterward. Use a moisturizer that is oil-free to avoid the clogging of pores. The correct way to apply a moisturizer is after taking a bath and when you feel that your skin is too dry. It is better to apply the moisturizer while your skin is damp or within 5 minutes after bathing. Applying moisturizer 2 to 3 times per day is much recommended. If this three-step home treatment plan does not work and the Keratosis Pilaris won’t go away, it is time to consult your dermatologist. On the next page, you’ll find the 10 Best Keratosis Pilaris Treatments.