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Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition that causes bumps on the back of your arms or thighs. It can be caused by hormones, genetics, or an underlying health issue.
Have you ever had the sensation of having “chicken skin” on your arms or legs? If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Keratosis pilaris is a prevalent skin disease that affects almost half of all teenagers and 40% of adults. It appears as little, rough-feeling lumps on the skin, which may be mistaken for pimples. But it’s a distinct kind of skin problem.
Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition that may be unpleasant and even socially harmful. The majority of medicines and over-the-counter treatments don’t work. Still, there are specific natural skincare solutions that may help reduce the appearance of sandpaper bumps and leave your skin appearing cleaner.
What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a condition in which blocked hair follicles produce rough-feeling lumps on the skin’s surface. Because of the rough texture that develops in the arms and cheeks, keratosis pilaris is sometimes referred to as chicken skin. Follicular keratotic papules are the precise term for these pimples. They may affect any part of the body where hair develops, including the face.
Keratosis pilaris atrophicans refers to a category of diseases characterized by inflammatory keratotic papules. Alopecia and scarring are possible side effects of this inflammatory skin response. Meanwhile, erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli (EFFC) is a similar but much more uncommon skin disease that is linked to KP across the afflicted regions. Reddish-brown spots, typically on the cheeks and ears, are indicative of EFFC.
Even though keratosis pilaris is a harmless disease, it may be unattractive. It may also be harmful to one’s mental health, mainly because it is most prevalent among teenagers. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this illness. If you’re wondering how to get rid of keratosis pilaris, natural keratosis pilaris remedies may help. Daily moisturizing, moderate exfoliation, and the use of mild, non-irritating body soaps are all part of these therapies.
Signs and Symptoms
How is keratosis pilaris diagnosed? Small, dry pimples that feel like sandpaper or goosebumps are the most common sign of KP. Usually, the bumps are white. However, they may become red or acquire a reddish-pink hue surrounding the lumps. The amount of bumps in a single region varies, as a person may acquire 10, 50, or even 100 tiny bumps in a single spot.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Trichology, the most frequent location of KP is the surface of the upper arms, which occurs in 92 percent of individuals. The thighs, which account for 59 percent of cases, and the buttocks, which account for 30 percent of cases, are also prevalent. In addition, some individuals acquire pimples on their faces, particularly on the cheeks, which are sometimes misdiagnosed as acne.
Although the skin disease is generally innocuous, it may cause itching, roughness, and dryness. It usually becomes worse throughout the winter months. Dry skin may draw attention to the pimples by making them stand out.
Because keratosis pilaris symptoms are prevalent among teenagers, research suggests that the skin disease may have a psychological effect. It’s been linked to problems including body image, sexuality, and socialization throughout childhood. However, according to data gathered by Thai researchers, keratosis pilaris has a significant influence on self-image and quality of life for 40% of people who have it.
Risk Factors and Causes
The reasons for KP are still a mystery to researchers. However, they think that keratin accumulation causes plugs to develop in hair follicle openings. Keratin is a fibrous structural protein present in the outermost layer of your skin’s hair, nails, and epithelial cells. It’s an essential component of your skin’s structure since it allows it to regenerate.
Dead keratin-containing skin cells usually peel off the skin. As a result, Keratin builds up in the hair follicles of specific individuals, causing blocked pores. Keratosis pilaris is characterized by tiny, rough bumps on the skin. There may be one or many twisted hairs within the blocked hair follicles; in fact, some experts think that keratosis pilaris is produced by thick coats that form huge coils under the skin’s superficial epidermis or outer layers. According to studies, the circular hair shaft ruptures follicle cells, resulting in inflammation and aberrant keratin release.
Keratosis pilaris is caused by dead, dry skin, and it may worsen in the winter or when the skin dries out in low-humidity conditions. In a study of 49 patients performed by researchers at Amersham General Hospital in the United Kingdom, 80 percent of them noted seasonal variations in the intensity of keratosis pilaris symptoms. For example, in the summer, 49% of patients stated that their symptoms improved, whereas, in the winter, 47% indicated that their symptoms deteriorated.
According to research, keratosis pilaris is a hereditary disease linked to genetic skin problems such as atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema. In a 2015 study of 50 individuals, 67 percent of them had keratosis pilaris in their families.
Another important risk factor for this skin disease is age. It often occurs throughout infancy, peaks in adolescence, and then fades away by maturity. In research published in the British Journal of Dermatology, 35 percent of the keratosis pilaris symptoms improved with age. The average improvement age was 16 years.
Although there is no treatment for keratosis pilaris, regular care may manage the symptoms. Moisturizing lotions containing lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and urea are used in traditional treatments. These are keratolytic agents that thin the skin surrounding lesions or places where extra skin has formed.
The effectiveness and tolerability of utilizing creams containing 10% lactic acid and 5% salicylic acid to treat keratosis pilaris were assessed in a 2015 research published in Dermatology Research and Practice. Both the lactic acid and salicylic acid groups exhibited a substantial decrease in lesions after 12 weeks of therapy. Symptoms decreased the most in the first four weeks, then began to diminish after that. Participants in the lactic acid group had a higher number of negative responses. Following the application of the cream, these individuals complained more of an unpleasant odor and discomfort, such as a burning or itching feeling.
Even though keratolytic medicines seem to be successful, they do not cure skin disease. They must also be taken regularly to keep keratosis pilaris symptoms at bay. The adverse effects of these chemical therapies may also differ from person to person, with individuals with sensitivity experiencing more severe side effects.
Pulsed dye laser targeting is another kind of therapy used to decrease the redness associated with keratosis pilaris. Pulsed dye laser therapy was a safe and effective treatment for redness in research performed at the University Hospital of Wales in the United Kingdom. However, it had no discernible effect on skin roughness.
This may be a good treatment choice for individuals with fair skin who want to decrease spotty redness on their cheeks or other visible parts of the body. The disadvantage of this therapy is that most insurance providers do not cover it. It may also be costly, costing several hundred dollars each session. According to case studies, it takes one to four sessions to see a difference. Furthermore, redness may reappear a few months following therapy.
6 Natural Treatments
1. Use sea salt to exfoliate gently
Gentle exfoliation is the key to eliminating dead skin and unplugging hair follicles without hurting the skin and aggravating the issue. To calm the face, remove dead skin cells, and help the skin maintain moisture levels, use mild and natural exfoliators like sea salt, which has anti-inflammatory qualities.
Mix two teaspoons of sea salt with four tablespoons of raw honey to make your DIY scrub. Raw honey is a natural source of skin-boosting nutrients and acids and moisturizing qualities. First, apply the mixture evenly to the problem region, carefully massaging it in. After that, let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it with warm water. My homemade body scrub, which contains sea salt, honey, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and peppermint oil, is another excellent combination for gently exfoliating your skin.
2. Experiment with Dry Brushing
Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores. Brush each region of your body with a natural bristle brush, moving it in long sweeping movements. Before you moisten your skin, make sure you do this. Do it slowly and carefully so as not to irritate or inflame the skin. The goal is to eliminate the dead skin and unclog the clogged hair follicles that create bumpy, rough areas. After you’ve finished dry brushing, take a shower and pat your skin dry as usual. Apply a natural oil to the afflicted regions and the rest of your body, such as coconut oil.
3. Make Use Of Mild Soaps
To wash the sensitive regions without hurting the skin and creating even more redness and accumulation, use a natural, non-toxic, and gentle soap. Pure, all-natural, and chemical-free ingredients are used in the finest body soaps. Castile soap, which is typically produced with olive oil, is one of my favorite products. Castile soap, honey, lavender oil, vitamin E, and jojoba oil are among the natural and healthy components in my homemade body wash. It will nourish your skin without drying it out or exacerbating the symptoms of keratosis pilaris.
4. Moisturize daily
You must moisturize every day using natural, non-irritating solutions. Applying a natural moisturizer like avocado to the afflicted areas while gently exfoliating or dry brushing can help to decrease inflammation and restore moisture, leaving the skin feeling dewy rather than harsh and flaky. Avocado also includes vitamin A, which may aid in reducing redness and strengthening skin cells, making it an effective keratosis pilaris therapy. I use my homemade avocado face mask on red and rough areas and let it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Coconut oil, aloe vera, and jojoba oil are all-natural moisturizers that may be left on your skin. Coconut oil, renowned for treating chronic skin problems, is one of the finest tools for your skin. It helps to cleanse, hydrate, and cure the skin and has anti-inflammatory qualities. While your skin is still wet, use coconut oil to your whole body (particularly the red and rough regions) after bathing. Then, allow your body to air dry or pat dry with a clean towel.
5. Invest in a humidifier
Because the symptoms of keratosis pilaris tend to worsen in the winter when the skin is drier, using a humidifier in your sleep may help to decrease skin patchiness and redness. Your skin dries out because of the low humidity. As a result, adding moisture to the air within your house, particularly at night when you spend the most time indoors, may assist in alleviating symptoms.
6. Include Anti-Inflammatory Foods in Your Diet
Eating anti-inflammatory foods as part of a keratosis pilaris diet that promotes healing and hydration may help to alleviate symptoms. These meals provide the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy skin cell development, lesion healing, and hydration. Consume lots of antioxidant-rich green leafy vegetables and beets, which aid in cell regeneration, and berries, which assist in decreasing swelling. Omega-3 meals, such as wild-caught salmon, are especially essential since they are powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals. And, of course, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.
If any of these keratosis pilaris remedies irritate your skin or exacerbate your symptoms, stop using them right once. Make careful to exfoliate lightly — just enough to remove the dead skin cells from your skin’s top layer. Pay careful attention to how your skin responds if you opt to use lotions containing chemical components. If the afflicted regions become itchy, heated, or irritated, discontinue therapy.
- Keratosis pilaris, or KP, is a prevalent skin disease that affects about 50-80% of adolescents and 40% of adults.
- Keratosis pilaris is a condition in which blocked hair follicles produce rough-feeling lumps on the skin’s surface. Because of the rough texture that develops in places, including the arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks, keratosis pilaris is sometimes called chicken skin.
- Symptoms typically appear in teens, and their frequency diminishes as they become older. Keratosis pilaris seems to be a hereditary condition as well.
- Exfoliating gently, hydrating the skin regularly, and avoiding irritating, poisonous chemical soaps are the most effective ways to cure keratosis pilaris.
- Coconut oil, jojoba oil, lavender essential oil, sea salt, raw honey, avocado, and Castile soap are some of the finest skincare products for treating keratosis pilaris.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get rid of keratosis pilaris?
A: Keratosis pilaris is a condition that causes bumps and redness on the skin. There are many ways to treat this condition, such as using a moisturizer or keratolytic lotion to help clear up the bumps.
What is the fastest way to get rid of keratosis pilaris?
A: Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that causes small bumps on the skin. The most common treatment for keratosis pilaris is to use a topical steroid cream, such as clobetasol propionate 0.05%.
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