Keratosis Pilaris (AKA Chicken Skin) And How To Get Rid Of It

Skincare for Keratosis Pilaris

Have you ever felt bumps on your skin that feels like chicken skin does? You may have found them on your arms, thighs, or cheeks, among other areas. These dry patches, which can also be itchy, but shouldn’t hurt, are called keratosis pilaris. They are generally small and light in color, but many will be near each other, hence the “chicken skin” comparison that is frequently used. Keratosis pilaris isn’t harmful to you, but can definitely be annoying and unsightly.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup in keratin, a protein. Keratin is actually a good thing; its job is to protect our skin from harm, such as from infections. However, when it builds up, it can block your hair follicles, which results in the bumps. People with dry skin are more likely to suffer from this condition. Due to this, many find that it is worse during the winter, when you’re more likely to suffer from dry skin, and clears up during the summer. However, some people find that keratosis pilaris is worse in the summer for them, so it can definitely vary based on your individual skin make up.

How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris are very common in kids and teenagers, but adults get it, too, and it can go away on its own in time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for keratosis pilaris. However, there are a lot of things that can be done to deal with them and they can go away. Also, there are ways to prevent them in the first place. Below are some tips for this!

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of & Prevent Keratosis Pilaris

Stay Hydrated

You have probably already heard this before. It sounds so simple, but it really is so important for your skin (and the rest of your body!). Be sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day; it is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your health.

Moisturize

Moisturizing is another thing that can help with so many different skin ailments, including wrinkles, itching, and frown lines. There are a number of ways people choose to moisturize. If you are looking for natural options, you can use something like flaxseed oil or coconut oil. You should moisturize daily, twice a day if you can. If you can only moisturize once a day, the best time is right after you shower.

Over-The-Counter Options

Exfoliants

Using your favorite exfoliator will help to remove the dead skin cells to aid getting rid of any blockage that is occurring. There are a lot of different exfoliators, but one of my favorites is the Apricot Scrub from St. Ives and they have a lot of different choices, too. I use this daily and really like it. It’s inexpensive, so it’s good if you’re on a budget. I personally enjoy the smell (natural, not chemical!) If you need something stronger than your basic exfoliator, though, look for ones with these ingredients: salicyclic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid, urea, or lactic acid.

Topical Retinoids

Retinoids are vitamin A and there are a variety of forms of it. You may have also heard the terms Retin A, Retinol, or Retinol A. For keratosis pilaris specifically, retinol can be great at preventing your hair follicles from getting clogged up. If you choose this option, know that retinol also benefits your skin by helping your skin regenerate better, reducing wrinkles, fading dark or brown spots on your skin, and more.

Solutions From Your Dermatologist

Prescription Retinoids

If you’re looking to use a Retinoid for treating keratosis pilaris, you can also speak to your dermatologist about getting prescription-strength retinol (retin A). This provides all of the benefits of the over-the-counter ones, but it is stronger than your non-prescription options.

Laser Therapies

When other treatments are not working, some people see their dermatologists for laser therapy. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to get rid of keratosis pilaris quickly, such as with just one session. It tends to take several treatments, but many find that it is well worth it. There have been studies showing it as being an effective treatment for keratosis pilaris.


Do you suffer from or have you suffered from keratosis pilaris? We’d love to hear what works best for you. Leave a comment and let us know!

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