How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
9:00 am
07/02/15

Photography by James Kicinski-McCoy

Summer is here, meaning it’s officially shorts and tank top season. But for some, the idea of baring legs or arms is a frightening one due to red or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. Sound familiar? Known by many names, keratosis pilaris is, for lack of a better word, an annoying genetic skin condition (often referred to as “chicken skin”) that haunts more than 40% of adults and some children. The condition is caused naturally by the body when too much keratin is produced around our hair follicles, trapping the hair and forming hard bumps that line the arms, legs, thighs, and sometimes even your bum.

Wondering why me? Up to 50% of the world, mostly women, inherit the overproduction of keratin in their bodies. Symptoms can worsen in the winter when skin is drier or when individuals wear tight-fitting clothing. While there sadly isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure, there are careful steps you can take to manage the common condition. Some natural remedies include keeping bath and shower water lukewarm (hot water can strip the body of natural oils, leading to dryness), regular exfoliation to buff away dead skin cells, which can fuel keratosis pilaris, and moisturizing often to keep skin soft and fight outbreaks. Oatmeal baths can work wonders to calm skin irritations, which is another great option during KP flare ups. Also, sunlight helps aid vitamin D deficiency, which can cause dry skin, so make sure to spend extra time in the sun (with UV protection) if you’re not supplementing.

For many people, natural remedies don’t work as well (or as quickly) as specially-formulated treatments. Check with your dermatologist to determine whether or not you have KP and get some relief with these hard-working products that deliver results, below.

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