Keratosis Pilaris: What You Should Know
Updated: Feb 19
A few posts back, I mentioned that I suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (KP) on my arms. This is a pesky skin condition that causes small, rough, red bumps that have a similar appearance to chicken skin. KP is a harmless condition, but it’s irritating- especially in warmer months when I feel like baring my arms. There have been several occasions when I've opted not to wear a tank top for fear of people seeing my arms mid KP flare-up. I’ve had a few conversations with clients who deal with the same issue and they always seem to think there’s nothing they can do. While there is no permanent cure for KP, with consistent maintenance your skin’s appearance can improve dramatically.
Before we treat a condition, we first need to understand its cause. Keratosis Pilaris occurs when keratin builds up around the lining of a hair follicle, forming a rough, sandpaper-like bump. These bumps aren’t just limited to the arms - they can appear on thighs, buttocks, and cheeks as well. There really is no definitive cause for this condition, though it is more likely to be seen on those with dry skin or eczema. Unfortunately, females are also more susceptible.
There are two keys to treating this condition: exfoliation and moisturization. As we know, exfoliating can be done physically or chemically so products like nourishing scrubs or pre-moistened glycolic peel pads are great options. For those interested in a treatment that feels a little more luxurious, I recommend dry brushing. Skincare queen Gwyneth Paltrow has sworn by this technique for years and so do we! Not only does this technique aid in sweeping away dead skin cells and improving the appearance of skin, it also helps with lymphatic drainage and detoxing. Some people use the brush on its own but for those like me with KP, I recommend putting some grapeseed oil on the brush before you use it post-shower. Grapeseed oil contains linoleic acid- which strengthens cell membranes and its vitamin-rich formula allows it to penetrate deeper. Allow the oil to soak in for a few minutes before following with a barrier repair moisturizer. I recommend the Zerafite Ultra Rich Body Crème (8 oz. for $39) which was specifically made for those suffering from dry and textured skin. It’s loaded with natural oils and glycerin to soothe redness and naturally smells clean and fresh. I know it seems like you’re going to be lathered in product but remember - KP is predominantly present in those with dry skin. Your skin really will soak up all that added moisture!
I mentioned that consistent treatment would yield results and it’s true. If I consistently treat the KP on my arms for even a few days in a row, it’s barely noticeable. Something I wish I’d realized before I started treating my KP is that you can’t let a flaw determine what you wear or how you live - just wear the tank top!
A luxurious body treatment doesn’t have to break your bank - save when you purchase a dry body brush and large grapeseed oil bundle for $40!