Written by IALH Editor
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Chicken skin, otherwise known as keratosis pilaris. I’ve suffered with this on the backs of my arms for as long as I can remember. It’s the only place I get it and as I’ve got older it’s eased, but when I was younger it bothered me a lot and I was always super conscious during the summer when my clothes didn’t always hide it.
These small bumps or pimples that appear are actually a build up of keratin, a hair protein that plugs the hair follicle. The keratin of your body hair gets clogged in the pores blocking the follicle. It’s a genetic skin condition that effects loads of people, there are ways you can prevent it from getting worse and treat it.
There’s no cure unfortunately but you’ll be pleased to know in most cases with constant attention it usually clears with age.
There’s no formal testing for keratosis pilaris, but be sure to get checked out by a dermatologist who can usually diagnose you by looking at the area affected.
There are a few things you can try at home to lessen the appearance of keratosis pliaris.
Exfoliate: lightly exfoliating every day with a pumice stone or loofah can keep it in check. Don’t rub too hard as you may damage the skin and / or cause painful redness.
A warm bath: Have short and warm baths to open up the pores. Don’t sit in it too long if you take regular baths as they can strip the body of its natural oils, causing it to reproduce the oil too quickly – leading to more clogging! But a quick soak in the warm water will open up your pores in the affected areas.
Alpha hydroxy acid: now this right here is the GIRL! Lotions with AH acid in them are super hydrating and encourage cell turnover.
Alpha Hydroxy High Potency Lotion
Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion
Advanced Repair Lotion
Some skin treatments can ease the symptoms of keratosis pilaris, such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Also some prescribed topical creams that include lactic acid and urea. But always talk to your doctor or dermatologist before going ahead with any treatment or cream that you can’t buy over the counter as they may not be suitable for everyone and can sometimes have mild side effects.