Chicken skin, gooseflesh, goosebumps… call it what you will, Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a skin condition that can cause a great deal of frustration and can be a big bummer if you plan to show off your upper arms or legs.
What is KP?
In KP, small, rough, red, or tan bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, and sometimes on the face. Because of it’s appearance, KP is often called chicken skin because it creates a permanent freshly-plucked chicken appearance. Bummer. The good news is that KP is benign, meaning it is medically harmless despite it’s displeasing appearance. It occurs when dead skin cells plug up hair follicles thereby blocking the openings for newly grown hair to emerge from the skin.
Why Do I Have This?
KP is a very common skin condition and can appear on an otherwise healthy person. It has no known cause, but is usually hereditary. While it isn’t contagious and it doesn’t typically spread from one part of the body to another, KP tends to worsen during dry weather (hello, Arizona!), pregnancy, in persons prone to eczema, or in persons with hay fever. Sometimes the bumps can itch and the affected skin area can become irritated and red.
How To Treat KP
Treatment usually involves moisturizing in order to gently exfoliate to soothe dry and itchy skin. Urea and lactic acid are among the active ingredients in this type of treatment. However, you should exercise caution when using exfoliating moisturizers, including those available by prescription. Some topical creams include acids that can cause negative side effects such as redness, irritation, or stinging.
If you prefer a more natural method of treatment, I recommend Down to Earth serum by Dalby Day. This serum contains natural ingredients to soothe KP irritations (as well as other types of skin irritations - Bonus!) plus it doesn’t irritate the skin. Scottsdale Integrative Acupuncture is proud to stock Down to Earth serum - pick up a bottle (or two) during your next visit!