Products and advice for treating Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
Keratosis Pilaris is a common condition where skin, usually at the tops of the arms and legs, becomes bumpy with small spots which can be red or look as though they have a white ‘head’. The condition is sometimes nicknamed ‘chicken skin’ due to the rough, bumpy appearance of the skin.
What causes Keratosis Pilaris?
KP is a harmless condition that occurs when too much Keratin is present in the follicles of the skin. Keratin is a protein present in the outer layer of the skin, which causes it to thicken. In a KP sufferer excess Keratin blocks the hair follicle and causes a ‘plug’ of hard skin, which often looks like a pimple or raised lump.
Keratosis Pilaris can affect anyone but is often more common in those who suffer with Eczema and other dry skin conditions. According to studies, it is present in up to 40% of adults.
Treatment and advice for Keratosis Pilaris
KP is not harmful to the health, however with a consistent skincare routine it can be treated, therefore reducing any need to be self-conscious about the condition. Some good tips are:
- Keep skin well hydrated, particularly in the Winter when dry, cold weather can make the condition worse.
- Avoid baths and showers in extremely hot water as this may irritate the skin and increase redness
- Make cleansing the skin a regular part of your routine; this is of utmost importance for helping the skin to recover from conditions such as Keratosis Pilaris. Our Recuperating Hair and Body Complex has allantoin, juniper, willow and birch which work together to calm and soothe the inflammation, reducing redness which can often surround Keratosis Pilaris plugs. It will gently purify skin and replenish lost moisture, ensuring that the skin is not stripped of its natural protection (sebum), which can happen when using harsh cleansers and washes.
- Our Recuperating Cream which contains Urea is a very effective treatment for KP. Urea is a keratolytic which means it helps to shed the upper layers of the skin slowly. It will dissolve excess skin build-up caused by Keratin overproduction in KP sufferers. It will also add intense moisturisation for the area, to smooth and dry the skin. Use at least twice daily to the affected area.
- Do not prick or try to extract the plugs from the skin as inflammation and scarring can often occur as a result
- Harsh exfoliation and rubbing of the skin will not clear Keratosis Pilaris on its own and many of these treatments will scratch the skin and make the condition worse. A lotion that encourages natural skin turnover and exfoliation is a much more effective way to treat the condition and will smooth the bumps from the skin much more quickly.
- Teresa Martin