Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a chronic skin condition that affects almost 50 per cent of the population, according to the DermaDoctor website. The condition is characterised by bumps that form a dotted pattern on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks. Some say KP resembles "chicken skin." The tiny bumps are very noticeable but harmless. Symptoms can be mild to severe. Although there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, there are natural treatments to control the disease. But treatments must be ongoing. Once stopped, the condition returns.
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The best way to treat KP is with several products. Dr. Audrey Kunin of DermaDoctor writes: "KP is most definitely one of those skin conditions that responds best to a multi-therapeutic approach. In my experience, single-ingredient products or routines don't do nearly as well as combination therapy." Another website about dermatology, DermStore, says: "The strategy for treating KP involves one or more of the following processes: exfoliating, moisturising, softening and applying anti-inflammatory agents."
Dr. Kunin of DermaDoctor also writes: "Treatment is all about smoothing away the bumps. Therapy can eliminate the bumps, improve the texture, eliminate acne-causing plugs and improve the overall appearance." There are several ways to exfoliate the skin. This involves removing dead skin cells and cleaning out the pores. A paste made of baking soda and water scrubbed into the skin is a good natural exfoliant. A salt and water paste is another natural exfoliant. Lactic acids also exfoliate the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, lactic acid helps remove extra keratin from the skin's surface. Lactic acid is found in milk, buttermilk and yoghurt. There are two other mild acids that may prove helpful in curing keratosis pilaris. Lemon juice has citric acid, and apple cider vinegar has ascetic acid. Applying one of these mild acids to the affected areas of the skin will slough off any debris that may contribute to keratosis pilaris. Vitamin A is often used in the treatment as well. The topical use of retinols, a derivative of the vitamin, is found in many drugs used to treat KP. But for a natural remedy, use vitamin A capsules. Break open a capsule and apply the fat-soluble vitamin to the skin at least once a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover and preventing the hair follicle from being plugged.
Moisturisers lubricate the skin and soften bumps. Dr. Kunin recommends green tea because it contains EGCG to fight the inflammation that causes the formation of post-inflammatory skin discolouration. Green tea oil is also an antioxidant that prevents the damage caused by free radicals. Lemon oil is a good moisturiser that also helps with exfoliation because of the citric acid. The Herbal Luxuries website says lemon oil has "antibacterial, astringent and cell-regenerative properties" that also help with the inflammation caused by keratosis pilaris. Camellia oil is another natural substance that is beneficial to the skin because it has vitamins A, B, and E. The oil is also able to penetrate deeply into the skin, where it is readily absorbed.
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