Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Help! I've Got "Chicken Skin" On My Arms!

Do you have red bumps on your arms and legs that you just can't seem to get rid of? Chica, don't feel bad. Millions of people have "chicken skin" on their arms or legs. 

So, what is it?

Officially it is known as Keratosis Pilaris (KP), and it is simply excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin that accumulates around hair follicles. KP is completely harmless, but for those who have the rough, bumpy skin, it can be embarrassing and annoying, especially during the warmer months when you want to wear sleeveless shirts or dresses.

Unfortunately, KP is genetically predetermined, and it may not be curable but can be controllable. Dermatologists recommend chemical exfoliants that are found in alpha hydroxy (Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid) moisturizers, rather than physical exfoliants, such as a loofah sponge, which can be too abrasive on the skin. 

AHA's are effective because they prevents the hair follicles from clogging. The combination of exfoliating and moisturizing draws fluid and water into the skin cells. This initiates the skin cells to slough off, revealing softer, smoother skin. Thereafter, using an alpha hydroxy (as directed) moisturizer should keep the problem under control.

Keratosis Pilaris Tips
  • Take warm showers and baths rather than hot.
  • Use mild soaps or gentle body washes.
  • Do not harshly scrub the areas that have KP. This can worsen the condition.
  • Keep the areas of KP exfoliated with a Salicylic Acid or AHA based lotion.
  • Apply moisturizers frequently. For better absorption, apply to the skin after showering.
If these measures don’t work, a dermatologist may prescribe a topical steroid or special preparation containing salicylic acid or urea.

My Picks:


Keratosis Pilaris regimen duo


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