Let’s talk about KP – also known as Keratosis Pilaris or “chicken skin.”
It’s totally harmless, but totally obnoxious. This condition causes tiny red bumps in hair follicles that don’t hurt, itch, or cause any pain other than the mental pain it causes because it won’t go away (ugh). Typically this occurs on ones arms or legs and (hopefully) goes away by the age of 30.
What causes it? Well, mainly it’s caused by excessive keratin within the hair follicle. Typically, keratin, a protein found in hair and nails, helps protect skin against harmful substances and can act as a first, physical defense for our skin. Unfortunately, when not cleared properly, it creates a clogged hair follicle that collects dead skin cells and you get those ever so annoying red, kinda waxy, scaly bumps. Unfortunately, the pathophysiology isn’t well understood so we don’t know exactly WHY this happens to some people and not others. However, it’s been noted that the condition can be worsened if you have dry skin or even eczema. It’s certainly not the end of the world, and it’s obviously NOT contagious but it’s still annoying.
So how can we stop this nonsense? Well, it can’t be cured unfortunately. But, we can treat it and for some people, these treatments can clear their KP right on up! Using AHAs such as Salicylic acid can help with cellular turnover of the skin, which therefore helps with unclogging the hair follicles and subsequently getting rid of KP.
I personally like to use CeraVe SA for Rough and Bumpy skin along with, every once in awhile, some lactic acid that I bought from The Ordinary by Deciem. To be frank, I don’t keep up with it that often because it really doesn’t bother me that much! I have it all over my upper arms, but since I’m in scrubs all day, my arms are typically covered. But, when I do use it, I do see some improvement immediately. My arms have never been perfectly smooth and glamorous, but like a said, I personally don’t really care. The improvement I see typically comes in he form of redness reduction and general smoothing properties. I do know that Gold Bond and Amlactin also have moisturizers with AHAs in them to clear this up as well so I’ll definitely have to try those out in the future when my CeraVe SA runs out.
Unfortunately, this CeraVe isn’t a miracle product for me as it for others (on the weeks that I’m actually dedicated to using it). But it does get the general job done of calming my skin down and moisturizing.
So, if you know of any products that work specifically well for you, let me know! I’d really love to know about them!