Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
Do you have scaly bumps on the backs of your arms, front of your thighs, cheeks and even your buttocks? Your rough skin may be due to keratosis pilaris (also known as KP). Keratosis pilaris is extremely common. Some people only have a few rough bumps. Other cases are more severe. Although the condition tends to get better as your get older, your KP bumps won’t go away without specialized treatment.
What causes keratosis pilaris?Dead skin cells cause the bumps we love to hate. Your skin’s dead cell layer (made of a protein called keratin) builds up around the hair follicles and plugs up the entire follicle opening. If your skin feels bumpy, rough and like sandpaper, KP is probably the culprit. Redness often develops around the hair follicles, giving the skin a dusky pink color. It’s like a red, neon sign that screams, “Look at my chicken bumps.” Unfortunately, hair can also become trapped under the bumps, making them look just like pimples. Although you may have had KP as a child, the condition often worsens at puberty - just about the same time that body image becomes really important. It also shows up more when your skin is really dry (like in the winter.)
Yes, you can treat the “chicken skin” bumps and have soft skin again!The key is loosening the buildup of dead cells around the hair follicles and moisturizing your skin. The three treatment regimen steps to follow are: 1) Exfoliate your skin (otherwise known as removing the dead skin cells.) You want to “buff” or “sand down” the dead skin cell plugs that are sticking out of the follicles. You can do this by simply using a rough shower cloth or sponge and/or a gritty body scrub when you bathe. 2) Use skin care products with keratolytic ingredients (a “keratolytic” is something that breaks up keratin-containing dead skin cells.) Keratolytic ingredients exfoliate by loosening the glue that holds the dead cell plugs together. Combining physical exfoliation with keratolytic ingredients is extremely helpful. The keratolytic ingredients we use to treat KP are:
- Alpha hydroxyl acids (including glycolic acid and lactic acid)
- Retinoid (like prescription Retin A)
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- the Salux Cloth, which is a rough shower cloth
- Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash, a strong glycolic acid skin cleanser with 8.8% glycolic acid
- Glytone Body Lotion, an intensive keratolytic moisturizer with 17.5% glycolic acid
What’s the bottom line and fastest way for treating your KP?Try my Anti-Aging Body Skin Care Kit, which could also be called a KP-911 Kit! I’ve used it for years to treat my own KP and it works beautifully to keep KP skin soft and attractive. If you have body acne too, use both my Anti-Aging Body Skin Care Kit ("KP-911") with my Back and Body Acne Kit to give both conditions the one-two punch fast! Add my All Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion if you have sensitive skin and use it on days that you don’t use the Glytone Body Lotion.
“As for the Glytone Body Wash and Lotion...it’s like a miracle! I have suffered from tiny bumps on the backs of my arms for as long as I can remember. Within 2 weeks of use, my arms were smooth and soft. I live in a warm climate and my extremities are always exposed so smooth skin is very important to me.” - S. Marshall, February 2012Please remember, the information presented on Dr. Bailey Skin Care’s Blog and web site, and any related links, is provided for general information and educational purposes only and are the opinions of Dr. Cynthia Bailey. Consult with your physician or health care provider for any specific medical conditions or concerns that you have. (This also applies to patients in her medical practice; the information here is not a substitute for, or an extension of, the medical care she provides for you.) Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here.