Keratosis Pilaris - More Common Than You Think

Those bumps on the back of your arms that never seem to go away? Yeah, those are more common than you might imagine.

Little white or clear pimple-like bumps that show up on the back of your arms, your legs, and sometimes - cringe - your butt are known as Keratosis Pilaris. That's the fancy name - you may have heard the condition referred to as "chicken skin."

While Keratosis Pilaris (KP) typically affects teens and young adults, don't be surprised if you see those bumps as an adult. Statistically speaking, 50% of teens and young adults will experience KP, and almost 40% of adults will.

So, exactly what is KP?

It's a simple build-up of keratin - a protein in your skin - that hardens inside your hair follicles. This build-up prevents normal discarding of dead skin cells, and your hair follicle attempts to clear out this dead skin unsuccessfully, the follicle becomes inflamed. This is what causes the discoloration, not dirt or oils or grime as is widely thought.

Generally speaking, KP is more common for those with dry skin types, and it's genetically passed along - so you can thank your grandparents for this one.

Now, how does one go about getting rid of KP?

First thing to note: it will take TIME. In most cases, as you get older, the symptoms of KP will go away on their own. However, there are treatments available for those who find the bumps unsightly or embarrassing.

Essentially, you need to exfoliate to clear your hair follicles of the dead skin build-up. Try an exfoliant with one of the three most prolific skin care acids: Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Lactic Acid, or Salicylic Acid. These ingredients will soften your dry skin and help loosen dead skin cells.

Follow up with a cosmeceutical grade moisturizer, and you're practicing the most beneficial treatment possible for KP. Other methods you might find that have worked for individuals are oil-pulling, dietary changes, or amping your vitamins and minerals intake through a daily multi-vitamin. Be sure to check with your esthetician for some great product recommendations to help you get your KP under control as soon as possible!

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