How to Dissolve Keratin Deposits

Updated April 17, 2017

Keratin is a protein found naturally in the skin. When keratin builds up, it can block hair follicles, causing small bumps. This condition is called keratosis pilaris. The bumps produced by this condition are usually white in appearance and feel hard to the touch. They are not like acne, as they do not contain pus. Instead, if they are squeezed, they will release hardened bits of keratin. These bumps usually appear on the backs of the arms and the back. With a regular skin care routine, the bumps can be dissolved over time.

Exfoliate the affected area using the washcloth and a mild cleanser. Gently rub in a circular motion to help dislodge the keratin deposits from the clogged pores.

Rinse with warm water and pat the skin dry. Avoid rubbing as this can inflame the bumps.

Apply a lotion that contains lactic acid or urea to the affected area. These lotions will penetrate the skin to help dissolve the deposits.


Apply lotion while skin is still damp after bathing for the best results; the pores are still open at this time, and the lotion can penetrate the skin most effectively.


Do not rub too hard while exfoliating; this can exacerbate the condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth
  • Mild cleanser
  • Lotion
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About the Author

Gail Logan is a magazine editor and freelance writer based in Atlanta, AL. She received her B.A. in Journalism from Patrick Henry College. For the past four years, she has written home design, travel and food features for national magazines, including "Coastal Living," "Texas Home and Living," "Log Home Design," and "Country's Best Log Homes." When not writing, she mentors inner-city children.