Friday, 20 November 2015

How I Treat My Keratosis Pilaris

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If you have ever noticed patches of rough skin and small red bumps on your skin, congratulations you may be one of the many people who deal with the condition known as keratosis pilarius/KP/"chicken skin" caused by a build up of keratin proteins on the skin. I dealt with KP for as long as I can remember without knowing what it was or what I could do to help soften and smooth out my rough skin, but after doing some research and changing up the way I treat my skin, I've noticed a definite improvement. I am in no way a medical professional, but since KP is common, non-serious condition I thought I would share today what I do to help treat my KP.

Avoid harsh body soaps

Since KP seems to be worsened by driness, it's important to be a little more selective when it comes to your body washes. Even though KP might sometimes look like acne, using harsh soaps that strip the skin of moisture only aggrevate the condition further. Instead, look for washes targeted at dry skin and moisturizing to keep in your shower. I love the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil which begins as an oil but lathers up into a rich milk that cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling tight or dry. If you're looking for more of a budget option, Dove's body washes are great mild cleansers from the drugstore.


This one may seem obvious, but regularly exfoliating your skin can help slough off the rough, dry skin and extra keratin build up. While it's tempting to be super rough with your exfoliation, be gentle as it can make the skin extra sensitive. My favourite in-shower exfoliators are the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs as they get the job done without being too abrasive, and they're around $5 at the drugstore. I'll do this maybe once per week.

For the past few months, as often as I remember, I have also used a lotion that contains AHA (called Amlactin) on my legs. AHA is a chemical exfoliant which helps to resurface the skin. I will warn you, using this type of product has a pretty dramatic effect on the skin. After using for a few days in a row, after showering I noticed the skin on my legs was peeling/shedding. Not in a bad way, just like it was removing the the top layer. It has made a big difference in the smoothness of my skin, though I will say that it hasn't made it completely disappear. Make sure you're wearing SPF if the areas will be exposed to the sun as the "new" skin can be very sensitive to sun exposure. 


Like I've already mentioned, keeping your skin hydrated is a huge part of improving your skin's texture. As someone who normally hates the feeling of heavy body lotions, this was always a struggle for me until I discovered the Vaseline Spray & Go moisturizers. I use the Aloe variety as it is good for sensitive skin.  It absorbs quickly into the skin, but still leaves it feeling hydrated, so I am way more likely to use it consistently than most other body lotions. If I need something more heavy duty I do also love the St. Ives Renewing body lotion which smells amazing.

While I haven't tried it for myself yet, I've also heard that sleeping with a humidifier is a great way to keep the moisture in your skin in the winter. I have one going on my wish list this year!

Do you deal with KP? Do you have any other tips/products you swear by?

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