How to Get Rid of Keratosis Pilaris.
Though harmless, many have a skin condition called keratosis pilaris. It gives the skin the appearance of “chicken bumps” or goosebumps, but the bumps don’t go away easily. The great news is the condition usually never worsens and disappears as you age. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to lessen the appearance of keratosis pilaris and make your skin feel better.
What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is caused by an excess buildup of keratin in the skin. The buildup blocks the opening of hair follicles, resulting in hard bumps. Doctors still aren’t sure what triggers the over production of keratin. The light colored bumps most commonly appear on the upper arms, booty and thighs. It can affect the face, but that’s much more rare.
The condition is most often seen in children, teens and those with dry skin. Children and teens often grow out of it. Unless you pick or scratch at the bumps, there’s usually no pain associated with keratosis pilaris. Itching is the most common complaint.
For those with dry skin, the bumps may go away in the summer, but worsen in the winter months. Those with skin conditions such as eczema may also be more prone to keratosis pilaris.
How To Treat The Condition?
There is no treatment to completely cure keratosis pilaris. The treatments available help lessen the effects and prevent itching. The most important thing to do is keep your skin moisturized, especially the areas affected by the bumps.
For mild outbreaks, doctors typically recommend simple over the counter treatments such as thick moisturizers, soaps with extra oils and a humidifier to moisturize the air in your home. They also recommend avoiding hot water and scratching at the bumps. Basically, avoid anything that may dry out your skin.
DERMAdoctor is a good source for keratosis pilaris treatments. They sell a cream with alpha hydroxy acids called KP Duty meant just for this condition. They also have a variety of products with retinoids.
For more severe versions, you may need to use prescription creams instead. You’ll need to use these treatments for several weeks or more before you see a noticeable improvement in your skin. The top two prescription types are topical exfoliants (not for use on young children) and topical retinoids. Both may cause redness or peeling. The ingredients are designed to help clear clogged pores and prevent them from being plugged by extra keratin again.
If all else fails, laser skin treatments are an option. This is usually only recommended in cases with extreme inflammation and redness. You’ll notice a difference within several treatments. It still won’t cure the condition, but it will lessen the effects.
Keratosis pilaris is manageable in most cases by taking good care of your skin. Extra moisturizer and gentle cleaners help reduce itching and redness while preventing the condition from getting worse.