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Keratosis Pilaris & How to Treat It

Keratosis Pilaris & How to Treat It

Have you had bumpy skin for as long as you can remember? Then you might be experiencing Keratosis Pilaris, a painless condition that affects the body’s skin.

While it's not something to cause worry, reading up on the topic is practical to get more information on the causes and treatments that can help your situation.

Learn More About Keratosis Pilaris & Treatments

Have you had bumpy skin for as long as you can remember? Then you might be experiencing Keratosis Pilaris, a painless condition that affects the body’s skin. While it's not something to cause worry, reading up on the topic is practical to get more information on the causes and treatments that can help your situation. Here’s everything you should know about keratosis pilaris and what you can do to improve your skin’s appearance and texture.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a condition that causes dry, rough patches and small, red (for lighter fitzpatricks) or brown (for dark fitzpatricks) bumps on the skin. These patches are most often found on the upper arms and legs and occasionally on the cheeks. The associated bumps might look like a rash to some, but they don’t itch or hurt and are ultimately harmless.

Keratosis pilaris is often referred to as “chicken skin,” and is commonly seen in young children, although it’s not uncommon to show up on an adult. In terms of numbers, 50-80% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults experience it at one point, although most will see the condition subside or disappear by age 30.

What is the Cause of Keratosis Pilaris?

The skin condition is caused by the buildup of keratin that blocks the opening of hair follicles. Keratin is the hard protein that makes up our skin, which is our first line of defense against infection and other harmful substances. While there is no harm in having excessive amounts of this protective protein, it is the culprit of the small red or brown dots or bumpy skin that someone with KP encounters.

Doctors and other skincare professionals aren’t sure what causes this problem, other than genetics or other skin conditions in which this may be a symptom. Since KP is not damaging, you likely won’t have to seek treatment from a doctor, but sometimes the appearance of the skin can prove harmful to one’s self-esteem. Thankfully, there are several products available that can help treat the condition.

What Makes Keratosis Pilaris Worse?

Dry weather and insufficient moisture in the skin can cause flare-ups and worsening conditions. People with KP should exfoliate and moisturize regularly to ensure thorough and effective hydration. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your skin evenly hydrated:

  • Utilize cleansers or lotions containing AHAs or BHAs (more on that later)

  • Moisturize day and night, especially after a shower

  • Exfoliate regularly

  • Always wear sunscreen

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water

  • Bathe using warm, but not hot water

  • If you live in a dry environment, invest in a home humidifier

Keratosis Pilaris and Your Diet

Your diet is not the cause of your keratosis pilaris, but it can influence your skin. If you are looking for effective ways to reduce the appearance of bumps on your arms and legs, consider the foods you’re eating. Here are a few things you can do to improve the texture and look of your skin:

  • Eat Fatty Acids Like Omega-3 – Healthy fats are the building blocks of healthy skin cells. For our skin to properly function and protect against free radicals and the environment, Omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats are a necessary part of our diet and overall skin health. You can find healthy fats in fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

  • Drink Up! – It is no secret that hydrated skin is healthy skin, so make sure you’re hydrating on the inside too! The more hydrated you are, the higher the water content of your body and skin will be.

  • Choose Antioxidant-Rich Foods - Antioxidants are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that protect and repair skin cells. You can find vitamins A, C, and E in fruits and vegetables, and while you might also find these ingredients in some of your skincare products, getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals orally is essential to your skin and overall health.

How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris

While the condition is painless, that doesn’t mean it’s not bothersome to those experiencing it. As mentioned earlier, there is no cure, but treatment for the skin condition is simple. Balancing a routine of regular exfoliation, whether physical or chemical, and moisturizing is the best way to keep the bumps at bay. Thankfully, GlyMed Plus offers powerful and effective products such as the following: For The Body:

  • Alpha Therapeutic Hand & Body Lotion – Formulated with AHAs, this lotion uses mild chemical exfoliation to nourish the skin and smooth even the driest skin. Suitable for all skin types but highly recommended for dry and sensitive skin.

  • Alpha Therapeutic Ultimate Body Scrub – Fine jojoba beads, glycolic, lactic, and malic acids work together to stimulate cell turnover creating soft, supple skin.

  • Hand & Body Lotion – This lightweight moisturizer uses shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, and sunflower oil to deliver deep hydration in the skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling.

  • Professional CBD Booster – Add this vitamin-rich serum to your favorite body lotion to increase hydration while repairing and calming the skin.

Remember that while exfoliation is the goal here, it can be harmful to over-exfoliate. If you’re using a physical exfoliant, don’t use a chemical one on the same day and vice versa. For the Face: While most adults don’t find the "chicken skin" rash on their faces, you might notice it on the cheeks from time to time. If that’s the case, you may want to choose from the following products:

  • Retinol Restart Rejuvenation Cream – Safe for all skin types, use this product to influence collagen renewal and restore your skin’s protective barrier to diminish the appearance of the red or brown bumps. This product also targets acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

  • Daily Repair Mega-Moisture Cream – Packed with healing and repairing botanicals, this moisturizer is lightweight, yet deeply hydrating. Perfect for morning and evening use and safe for all skin types.

Treat Your KP Skin to GlyMed Products All GlyMed products are pharmaceutical-grade and proven through extensive research to produce stunning results when used as instructed. If you’re ready to start your skincare journey, find a GlyMed Plus Professional near you to learn more about our products and start your regimen.



Written by The Institute of Skin Science