keratosis pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin): Causes & Treatments

Have you glanced at your skin and wondered what all the red bumps are? Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that often leaves people a little confused!

Red bumps are sometimes a cause for alarm. You may wonder if you’re experiencing a chickenpox outbreak or an allergic reaction to food. As it stands, keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless skin condition. If you deal with blotchy red skin and want to find treatment, read below.

We’ll explore keratosis pilaris (sometimes called chicken skin), the causes, and treatments.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Let’s break down what this skin condition is. Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition characterized by spackles of red and pink bumps. 

You can find these blotches throughout the body, though they commonly appear on thighs, arms, and buttocks. While you may be alarmed or confused why these bumps appear, they’re completely harmless. Other symptoms you may experience see with this condition are:

  • Sandpaper-like skin texture
  • Slightly discolored skin
  • Slight irritation

Where Does Keratosis Pilaris Come From?

This skin condition has a genetic foundation. Some people have flare-ups during the winter, while other people have these bumps year-round.

Unlike similar looking conditions such as eczema or chickenpox, these bumps rarely cause any itching, burning, or peeling. These bumps appear thanks to an overproduction of keratin that becomes clogged in the pores. Similar to how acne forms, keratosis pilaris creates bumps and irritation.

Doctors believe keratosis pilaris may have some genetic overlap with atopic dermatitis.

Who Gets Keratosis Pilaris?

While anyone can get this skin condition, some groups are more susceptible than others. Children, women, and people with pale skin have a high chance of getting these little bumps.

If you deal with uneven hormones, you may experience more flare-ups than other people with the same skin condition. Hormonal fluctuation is well-known for causing skin blotches such as keratosis pilaris, melasma, and hyperpigmentation.

How Do You Treat Keratosis Pilaris?

You may wonder how to treat such a stubborn and mild skin condition. Some people believe there is no treatment at all! Fortunately, modern medicine has a few solutions to make your skin appear more even.

Salicylic acid and glycolic acid can also help get rid of Keratosis Pilaris.

Reach Out to a Dermatologist

While keratosis pilaris is usually harmless, more extensive coverage can cause irritation and dryness. Ask a dermatologist for help if you find yourself scratching at your skin more than usual.

Dermatologists will usually prescribe a topical cream with exfoliating properties to get rid of dry skin. These creams may have retinoids, a type of vitamin A that’s useful for peeling the skin. Keep in mind that retinoids make your skin sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen after application.

Consider Microdermabrasion 

Another feature you can ask from a dermatologist is microdermabrasion. This exfoliating treatment is more extreme and is best saved for the keratosis pilaris that covers the body.

Try Vascular Laser Treatment

If you’ve been struggling with this issue for years, vascular laser treatment may provide long-term options. Always double-check with your doctor before committing to any type of laser treatment, especially if you have other skin conditions.

Try These Simple and Safe Home Remedies

If your keratosis pilaris is more mild, you can try these simple and safe home remedies to reduce your symptoms. Remember not to use too many home treatments at once so you don’t further irritate your skin!

Always Remember to Use Lotion

Lotions, creams, and gel creams are reliable ways of nourishing your skin’s moisture barrier. Try to use products that are light on fragrance so you don’t potentially irritate your skin.

Solid ingredients to look for include:

Reduce Tight Clothes or Irritating Materials

If you like to wear snug leggings or tight shirts, consider switching up your style. Tight clothes tend to rub and pinch the skin, especially around your hips and underarms.

Loose clothing made of soft materials like cotton or polyester will keep your skin feeling good. Rough materials you should steer clear of are wool and leather.

Take Soothing Baths 

A nice, soothing bath will go a long way in keeping your skin soft. While you don’t need to take one every day, two or three times a week will help.

Consider adding these ingredients to your bath to speed up the healing process:

  • Epsom salt (this is drying, so add lotion afterward)
  • Lavender oil
  • A few drops of milk

Try not to add fragranced bath bombs to your next soak session. These fragrances can further irritate the skin and expose you to a UTI.

Buy a Humidifier to Keep the Air Moist

You may be experiencing keratosis pilaris flare-ups because of dry air. Winter is frequently a rough season for people with this skin condition, so try buying a humidifier.

Humidifiers are increasingly popular, adding a little moisture to the air periodically. Not only will you breathe more easily, your skin will feel supple and smooth.

Why You Should Treat Your Keratosis Pilaris

Everyone has different reasons for treating this skin condition. Some don’t like the appearance, while others are frustrated by the dryness.

← Older Post Newer Post →