Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin)

Keratosis Pilaris (aka Chicken Skin) is a common, harmless skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on your upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks, sometimes with redness or swelling. Except for itching sometimes, Keratosis Pilaris doesn’t hurt.

It is caused by a build up of keratin, the protein that protects skin from infections and harmful substances. The buildup forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of hair follicles causing patches of rough, bumpy skin. No one knows exactly why keratin builds up but it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with skin conditions (like atopic dermatitis). Dry skin tends to worsen it.

You can’t prevent or cure Keratosis Pilaris but you can help improve the appearance of the affected skin by using:

– Moisturizers with urea.

– Creams to remove dead skin cells – creams containing chemical exfoliants like Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Salicylic acid etc. They also help moisturize and soften dry skin

– Creams to prevent plugged follicles – creams derived from vitamin A (topical retinoids) work by promoting cell turnover and prevent plugged hair follicles, but they can irritate and dry the skin so be careful how you use them.

There are body lotions with Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid to help with Keratosis Pilaris available here.

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