Have you ever noticed a bumpy red rash on the back of someone’s arms? Or even worse, you decided to check out your derrière in the mirror only to be startled, when you realized it is covered in red pimply, “chicken skin” like bumps? Chances are you know someone who has this skin issue, or you have it yourself!
This common skin condition is called Keratosis Pilaris (commonly referred to as KP). The signature red bumps are formed when keratin (a protein) hardens within the hair follicle. Most of these bumps contain a coiled ingrown hair, which has been encapsulated by the keratin pug; this prevents it from exiting the follicle and growing naturally above the skin’s surface. Most commonly, KP appears on the upper arms, legs and buttocks and is usually accompanied by dry skin. Almost half the world’s population has KP and this skin disorder is more common among women, than men. While there is no health risks associated with KP it can be unsightly, embarrassing and a cosmetic issue.
There are a few ways to treat KP:
1. Chemical Keratolytic treatments: This treatment will help cellular turnover, breaking down the hardened keratin plug. Product ingredients, which aids in this process include: topical retinoids (vitamin A), Alpha Hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acids) and Beta Hydroxy acid (salicylic acid).
2. PhysicalExfoliants: will help with the rough bumpy texture of the skin. If your “red goose bumps” are accompanied by whiteheads however, avoid scrubs as they can rupture and spread bacteria across the surface of the skin.
3. Moisturizing: When moisture levels are balanced and the skin is healthy, the skin’s natural shedding process occurs at a normal rate. Lotions and moisturizer help soften the hardened Keratin plugs. Urea is a great skincare ingredient to look for when choosing a KP appropriate moisturizer. Urea is a humectant, meaning it helps draw water into the surface of the skin.
Blog Written by askderm’s in house Esthetician
Chantal Monique is a NYS licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist. She has 7 years experience in skin care and makeup artistry. With the unique combination of her education as well as the desire to help people feel beautiful, Chantal provides expert skin care knowledge for our customers.