have you ever heard of an annoying condition called Keratosis Pilaris? there's a good chance you haven't, even if you suffer from it yourself. Keratosis Pilaris, or KP, is a genetic follicular condition that affects about 40-50% of adults and is more common in women than it is in men (lucky us!). you might have heard of it referred to as 'chicken skin' because of it's bumpy appearance. it almost looks like goosebumps that don't go away, and is sometimes red and inflamed looking. it's most commonly found on the backs of your upper arms, although it can also pop up on the lower arms, legs, buttocks, and face. the only place it can't appear is on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet. so why does this annoying condition plague so many of us? here's what Wikipedia says...
- Keratosis pilaris occurs as excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin, accumulates within the hair follicles forming hard plugs (process known as hyperkeratinization ). Bearing only cosmetic consequence, the condition most often appears as a proliferation of tiny hard bumps that are seldom sore or itchy. Though people with keratosis pilaris experience this condition year round, it’s during the colder months when moisture levels in the air are lower that the problem can become exacerbated and the "goose bumps" are apt to look and feel more pronounced in color and texture.
- Many KP bumps contain an ingrown hair that has coiled. This is a result of the keratinized skin "capping off" the hair follicle, preventing the hair from exiting. Instead, the hair grows inside the follicle, often encapsulated, and can be removed, much like an ingrown hair, though removal can lead to scarring.
Beta Hydroxy Acids work by getting inside your pores and exfoliating any blockage from the inside out, so they are perfect for dealing with KP bumps. salicylic acid in particular has helped me, and can be found in many acne medications. problem is, the pH balance of whatever product you're going to use has to be low enough to properly exfoliate, and not all of them are. i look for a pH balance of around 3, which will exfoliate both the skin's surface and the inside of the pores. other ingredients that are said to help KP are alpha hydroxy acids, urea, and lactic acids. here are some products that i've used, read about, and/or plan to try, all of which should help you if you are having KP issues.
- Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA (paulaschoice.com)
- AmLactin 12% Lotion (available at drugstores)
- Glytone Keratosis Pilaris Kit: Retexturize Exfoliating Body Wash & Lotion (Amazon.com)
- Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub & Body Wash(available at drugstores)
- DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Moisturizing Therapy For Dry Skin (sephora.com)
for more information on Keratosis Pilaris, you can visit these websites: KP Help, Mayo Clinic KP, Medline Plus, and many more on Google.