The Remedies for Clearing the “Chicken Skin”
Having those nasty little bumps on the skin can significantly decrease your mood, especially during a summer season. Scientifically this condition is called keratosis pilaris (or just kp). Currently, the kp skin condition is one of the most widespread ones in the United States. About 50% of American population, according to WebMD, have to fight against the stubborn skin bumps on the backs, arms, or even face. Yes, keratosis pilaris on the face may happen in rare cases, but such risk is possible. Luckily, this condition can be successfully controlled or even completely cured.
Keratosis pilaris: definition and symptoms
Being a common skin condition keratosis pilaris can affect many people of any age. This is a benign condition that is characterized by small, rough, tan, or red bumps on arms, legs, buttocks, and cheeks, primarily around hair follicles on the upper parts of these organs. Some people call these bumps on the skin caused by kp “goose bumps” or “gooseflesh”, though the dermatologists use the term “chicken skin”.
Usually, the scattered, patchy rash looking like small red or tan bumps on arms, legs, thighs, or face is the first symptom of kp. A person may have from 10 to hundreds of such small, rough bumps on the affected area. The area with the chicken skin’s rash resembles a sandpaper when you touch it. If the rash is inflamed, the bumps may have the sort of red halos around them.
Keratosis pilaris: causes
The exact triggers of kp are still unknown, though many dermatologists believe that this condition is inherited. It seems there is a connection between the rash with bumps and the overproduction of keratin. This is called hyperkeratinization.
There are certain studies claim that kp can be caused by such causes:
- ichthyosis vulgaris;
- dry skin;
- seasonal inhalant allergies;
- atopic dermatitis.
Who is more prone to the bumpy skin caused by kp?
According to Healthline, anyone can get kp, though many dermatologists believe it is more common among kids and teenagers and then reoccur in adulthood. Statistically, females are more prone to this skin condition than males. The common age of kp’s onset is during the first 10 years of life and then it may get worse during the puberty years. A few studies proved that kp can be inherited, as it is commonly found in twins. Kp may also happen in people with very dry skin or atopic dermatitis.
Kp treatment: conventional and home remedies
The treatment for chicken skin if there is a mild case of kp can be done without a medical assistance, at home. The Healthline experts recommend using basic over-the-counter moisturizers like Cetaphil or Lubriderm (Dove or Eucerin will also do). Opt for a gentle moisturizing lotion. Many dermatologists recommend using these lotions for a gentle massage into the affected area two or three times a day. Mildly irritated and bumpy skin can be treated only by means of these gentle moisturizers. A 10-day treatment with such remedy can resolve inflammation and reduce redness.
However, sometimes using only moisturizers is not enough to treat the kp symptoms. If you have a moderate or severe case of kp, you have three medical options for the home treatment of this skin condition:
These remedies can reduce the production of keratin and unblock the hair follicles causing the bumpy skin. You can pick among the keratolytic remedies with lactic acid, glycerin, and urea. You need to apply any of these agents daily. Most of these remedies are very gentle and can be used even for the sensitive, easily irritated skin.
A keratosis pilaris lotion based on glycolic and salicylic acids
Using a lotion of this kind can be good for exfoliating your dead skin cells and removing the clogged follicles. If you have a bumpy, thick skin affected by kp, you may use a 10% glycolic or salicylic lotion with daily application.
Prescription retinoid cream
If the first 2 options are available without a prescription, this one can be prescribed only by a professional dermatologist for treating the severe cases of kp. Retin-A creams a.k.a. retinoids can be very efficient for curing acne. All retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that may increase the production of new cells and flatten the bumps. But you need to be patient before seeing the first results – retinoids may need some time, up to several weeks, to start acting.
Do’s and do not’s for people with the “chicken skin”
LifeHacker.Com gives a few guidelines to people who have kp. They may reduce the symptoms of kp by following such expert tips daily:
- Opt for eating more omega-3 fatty acids to moisturize the dry and inflamed skin. You may consume these fatty acids with walnuts, salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, soybeans, and sardines;
- Consider staying away from dairy products;
- Try switching to fragrance-free cosmetic and hygiene products like creams, lotions, perfumes, body sprays;
- Also, try limiting the hot showers, scented body washes and soaps because these factors may only worsen the condition;
- Take the precautionary measures to prevent the excessive dryness, particularly in colder winter months;
- Use your favorite chicken skin lotion to do a gentle massage into the affected area, at least, 2 times throughout the day;
- Never scrub the bumpy skin too harshly;
- Don’t wait for the immediate results when applying the over-the-counter or prescription topical creams.
If you can’t reduce the rash and bumps on your arms, legs, thighs, or face, consider visiting a dermatologist to get the professional chicken skin treatment.