How To Treat Keratosis Pilaris: 8 Tips
Even if you don’t suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (KP) yourself, chances are you know someone who does. That’s because KP is one of the most common skin disorders, affecting up to 40% of the population. The condition is characterized by red bumps or “chicken skin,” usually on the backs of the arms, thighs, buttocks, or face. While KP isn’t a serious skin condition and doesn’t cause pain, it can be a chronic, unsightly, and embarrassing problem for many people. While we haven’t yet discovered a real cure for KP, there are several treatments that can reduce the symptoms and restore skin smoothness.
WHAT CAUSES KP?
Dermatologists still aren't sure what causes KP, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It occurs when the skin produces too much keratin, a protein that helps protect the skin from infections and other harmful substances. The excess keratin begins to build up inside hair follicles, preventing the hair from pushing its way out of the skin. This blockage creates dry, scaly bumps that may look red, inflamed, and unsightly but generally aren't uncomfortable. Factors like dry skin, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions can worsen KP symptoms.
8 Tips To Help Manage KP:
1. DITCH THE SCRUB AND BODY BRUSH
KP is exacerbated by dry skin and doesn’t respond well to physical exfoliation, which tends to just further inflame the condition. While it may be tempting to buff away all those little bumps, avoid using body scrubs and exfoliating mitts, which will irritate the skin further.
2. AVOID HOT SHOWERS
Hot water can further dry out your skin and exacerbate KP. Stick to lukewarm showers and limit your time in the water to 10-15 minutes.
3. AVOID HARSH CHEMICALS
Avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals, like sulfates or fragrances, which can irritate KP. Opt for gentle, non-irritating formulas instead.
4. USE A GENTLE BODY WASH
Choose a mild, fragrance-free body wash that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Look for formulas that contain ceramides or other hydrating ingredients.
5. REACH FOR A PEEL
The key to eliminating KP is to soften and remove the excess keratin that’s causing the bumps. While physical scrubs can cause irritation, gentle body peels like our TCA Multi-Acid Body Peel safely dissolve the protein plugs without injuring the skin. Our peel contains lactic acid—a moisturizing and exfoliating acid that dermatologists often recommend to those suffering from KP. It safely exfoliates the skin without worsening existing dryness. Use once a week to maintain results.
6. MOISTURIZE IMMEDIATELY AFTER BATHING
Before you get out of the shower, lock in moisture by applying a hydrating moisturizer to damp skin. This helps to seal in the moisture and prevent your skin from drying out. Our Hydrating Body Serum comes in a convenient spray bottle to be used in the shower and combines exfoliating lactic acid with plant-based hydrators like squalane and jojoba esters to plump the skin with moisture.
The key to treating your KP is consistency. Your body will still produce too much keratin—peels and serums treat the problem, but won’t solve it. Be diligent in your peel and moisturizer regimen for the best results.
7. WEAR LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING
Tight clothing can cause friction and further irritate KP. Stick to loose, breathable fabrics that won’t rub against your skin.
8. EAT A HEALTHY DIET
Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can help to improve the overall health of your skin. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.