Keratosis pilaris, or KP, is a common skin condition. The disease shows up as small bumps on the skin that give the appearance of chicken skin. Almost half of the population is afflicted with this disease, according to Dr. Audrey Kunin of the DermaDoctor website. Most of the bumps form on the upper arms, back of thighs and the buttocks. KP is harmless and is not contagious, but in some cases the symptoms are severe. KP has no cure, but treatments often help. To keep the symptoms at bay, treatments must continue, or the bumps will reoccur.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lemon oil
- Green tea oil
- Baking soda
Use several products. KP "responds best to a multi-therapeutic approach," says Dr. Kunin. The approach to KP is to exfoliate, lubricate and use anti-inflammatory products.
Exfoliate the skin. When you exfoliate, you remove the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and also deep clean the pores. Scrubs are good exfoliants. Baking soda is a good homemade exfoliant, especially when combined with water to form a paste. A paste made from salt and water is another good scrub. Commercial scrubbers, such as St. Ives Apricot Scrub, are a good choice.
Use vitamin A capsules. A derivative of vitamin A called retinol is used to treat KP. The Mayo Clinic says that retinols are used for "promoting cell turnover and preventing the plugging of the hair follicle." For a more natural form of vitamin A, break open a capsule and squeeze the oil onto the skin.
Use alpha hydroxy acids. There are natural acids that are mild. The lactic acid found in milk and yoghurt gently exfoliates the skin. Applying these substances to the affected areas will deep clean and smooth the bumps of KP. Glycolic acid is made of fruit acids and is a popular skincare product. You can buy glycolic acid from skincare centres or online. You can also buy lotions and creams that have glycolic acid as the main ingredient.
Moisturise your skin. Moisturisers soften the skin and the KP bumps. Lemon oil has citric acid that also helps to exfoliate the skin. Green tea oil is recommended for KP by Dr. Kunin. Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Camellia oil has vitamins useful to the skin, such as A, B and E. Cocoa butter is made of vegetable oil and deeply penetrates the skin, so it is an excellent moisturiser. Commercial lotions from Jergens, vaseline Intensive Care and Lubriderm are good for hydrating the skin.
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