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How to cure keratosis pilaris
Keratosis pilaris – you might have it, and not even know. Turns out I did, but I’d never been able to put a name to the strange patch of ‘chicken skin’ on the backs of my arms. But once I realised I had it, I immediately began furiously Googling ‘how to cure keratosis pilaris’ like a maniac.
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Turns out, I needn’t have been alarmed. Keratosis pilaris (or KP) is harmless, very common and can be treated (albeit with a bit of commitment). Looking for answers, I enlisted Skinstitut Expert Zoe Devine to help me find out how to cure keratosis pilaris.
What is keratosis pilaris and why is it on my body?
“Keratosis pilaris may not sound familiar, but you have probably seen it quite on the backs of the arms or legs,” says Zoe. “It can also be seen on the face over the cheeks or on the buttocks, as rough, dry skin with tiny bumps.”
Many people remark that keratosis pilaris resembles chicken skin or goosebumps, or that their skin has a distinct pink or brown hue surrounding the roughened bumps. Luckily, it’s not harmful and it’s very common, especially amongst children and young adults, so you don’t need to panic. Keratosis pilaris is mainly treated for aesthetic reasons, so if it doesn’t bother you, go ahead and rock that KP – but it might be worth investigating why it’s cropped up.
According to Zoe, keratosis pilaris occurs when hair follicles accumulate with a build-up of keratin (the structural protein that constitutes our skin), forming a plug. This can create a blockage within the follicle and produces the characteristic bump or rough skin patches.
“It’s believed there can be a genetic predisposition to keratosis pilaris and those with dry skin tend to be more susceptible,” says Zoe. “On top of this, it’s also understood that our diet and lifestyle can be contributing factors.”
How to cure keratosis pilaris
Before we can figure out how to cure keratosis pilaris, we first need to identify the reason why you might be experiencing KP.
“Keratosis pilaris can be caused by insufficient intake of essential fatty acids, which is extremely common in the Western diet,” says Zoe. “Additionally, low Vitamin A intake can be compounding. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, so with an insufficient intake of fats, it may be more difficult to absorb ingested vitamin A.”
If you believe your KP is due to lifestyle factors, preventative measures may help you figure out how to cure your keratosis pilaris. Zoe suggests having a look at your nutritional intake.
“Try to adopt a diet that is rich in a wide range of nutrients, particularly oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, good quality oils – for example, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil –and Vitamin A-rich foods such as sweet potato, carrots, tuna, spinach, red capsicum, mackerel, salmon and liver.”
Skincare products to cure keratosis pilaris
If you’re hell-bent on ditching your keratosis pilaris, it’s time to amp up your exfoliation. “Try using a scrub daily, such as Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14%,” says Zoe. “This dual-action exfoliant that works on the skin in two different ways. It uses the 14% glycolic acid to work into the pore to dissolve the intracellular glue that may be trapping keratin. Secondly the 100 per cent biodegradable jojoba beads manually buff away dry, dead skin cells.
Another great product to add to your anti-KP campaign is your trusty retinol serum – sounds weird, but it actually helps! “For best results you can apply retinol on clean dry skin after scrubbing the affected area, which will deliver the much-needed vitamin A into the skin,” says Zoe. “Be sure to do this at night time only and this can be repeated each night. Continue this process or at least 2 weeks to see improvements in the skin, or do this ongoing to manage keratosis pilaris.”
bh loves: endota spa new age™ Glycolic Exfoliating Cleanser, Ella Baché Earth Enzyme Body Exfoliant, Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, Dermalogica Age Smart Overnight Retinol Repair, Skinstitut Retinol ($49, adorebeauty.com.au).
Have you experienced keratosis pilaris?