You may have noticed keratosis pilaris bumps without actually knowing what they are or what they’re called. Keratosis Pilaris is the medical name for those frustrating rough, bumpy patches that show up on your upper arms and thighs. A very common skin condition, keratosis pilaris shows up as numerous small, rough, red or flesh colored bumps that look like permanent goose pimples. These bumps commonly appear on the upper arms and backs of thighs, and are generally harmless, albeit annoying. Although they usually disappear by the time you hit your thirties, many people still suffer from them through adulthood.
Keratosis Pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, the protein that protects our skin and makes it waterproof. When too much keratin is produced, it forms a plug at the opening of the hair follicles, which leads to a rough bump. The exact cause or triggers of this are unknown, but we do know that keratosis is not contagious, although there is a genetic predisposition in most people with this condition. It is also more likely to appear in people with dry skin or eczema.
If you have suffered with keratosis pilaris, you will know how frustrating the bumps can be. However, there are a few tips that can help keep the bumps at bay and restore your soft, smooth skin.
- Don’t scratch the bumps. Scratching can not only leave unsightly marks, it can also aggravate the bumps and make them appear more prominent. Leave them alone and add some moisturizing products to help make your skin feel more comfortable and less itchy.
- Exfoliate wisely. Exfoliating the skin is a great way to start unclogging the follicles to reduce the bumps. Using a harsh scrub on the affected areas may seem like a good idea, but like scratching, it won’t do anything except irritate the bumps and make the situation worse. The key is to use a gentle, topical exfoliant that will dissolve keratin plugs without irritating your skin. Swap your harsh scrubs out for a gentle exfoliating peel like Neostrata Lotion Plus. This is a lightweight formula that contains 15% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate your skin and soften roughness.
- Switch up your showers. As wonderful as a long, hot shower can feel at the end of the day, it can be extremely drying. Turn down the temperature and try to take a quick shower with warm water rather than hot water to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. Try a natural konjac sponge instead of your regular loofah, which may be too rough. The Konjac Body Sponge in Pink is ideal for even the most sensitive skin and has pure French pink clay to soften while you use it.
- Moisturize generously. Dry skin is more prone to developing keratosis pilaris, so make sure you keep your skin loaded up with moisture at all times. Look for an intensely moisturizing cream that contains ingredients that won’t further clog your pores or follicles. Eucerin Repair Lotion 10% Urea was developed to moisturize and soothe extremely dry skin. It is perfect for those suffering from keratosis pilaris as it contains urea and lactate, two of the skin’s own natural moisturizing factors. This formula moisturizes and promotes the exfoliation of dry, rough skin to leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft all day long.