Do you get those little hard bumps that look like chicken skin all over your arms or legs? They actually have a name, keratosis pilaris or KP, and they are tricky to get rid of! While there’s no cure, as a lifelong sufferer of KP or “chicken skin” I have discovered a few treatments to help reduce the bumps and get silky smooth skin – at least for a little while!
Keratosis pilaris kind of looks like permanent goose bumps. The bumps are generally skin colour, white or red, and while they can itch for some people usually they’re not noticeable. They’re caused by keratin building up and blocking the opening of the hair follicle, resulting in a hard little bump. Luckily the only thing they’re harming is your self confidence – they aren’t going to cause any long term damage.
There’s no way to totally banish them forever, but there are a few methods that will help tame your bumbs and keep them at bay. With all of these methods being consistent is key. If you stop for a few weeks you will notice your KP creeping back and ruining your life once again.
Exfoliating And Moisturising
The easiest way to reduce the appearance of your keratosis pilaris is to get into a really good exfoliating and moisturising routine. This means really scrubbing down in the shower using exfoliating mitts, an exfoliating shower gel or a really grainy scrub. I like to use a coffee scrub like Frank or one of the many imitations. Then follow up with a nice thick moisturiser.
For minor KP outbreaks this might be all you need to do, and you can use products that you already have at home.
Dry Body Brushing
I’ve had a lot of success with dry body brushing. Before I hop in the shower I stand in the bathroom and spend a minute or so brushing my legs and arms. I read somewhere to brush towards your centre to increase blood circulation – to be honest I have no idea if that really does anything, but the act of brushing definitely does help to manually exfoliate your skin.
I just use a really simple Manicare brush, you can get expensive body brushes which I’m sure do an amazing job but I’m happy with my cheapie. Then rinse off in the shower and apply a moisturiser afterwards.
AHA Treatments And Creams
Creams and lotions that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) can really have a big impact on your KP. These chemical exfoliants soften the skin and help dead skin cells to fall off.
While you’re probably familiar with chemical exfoliants for your face, there are also body lotions and serums packed with AHAs! A nice moderately priced option is Palmer’s Anti-Ageing Smoothing Lotion, which doesn’t mention keratosis pilaris in the name but does contain AHAs. Or you can purchase targeted products like DermaDoctor’s KP Duty. I’ve actually used this one and while it is pricey it does work incredibly well! My legs were silky smooth… until I ran out of it of course.
If your KP is really bad and doesn’t respond to any kind of simple treatment, you can go and see a doctor and see what they recommend. I have not explored this option, but if you have please let me know in the comments what your doctor recommended!