If you experience this harmless yet bothersome skin condition that some call “chicken skin,” I have some helpful tips for keratosis pilaris that can help make life easier! Keratosis pilaris is typically characterized by small red or flesh-colored bumps on the skin that look like acne and appear on arms, thighs and cheeks. The condition itself is harmless but if the appearance of your skin bothers you, here are 9 tips for keratosis pilaris to help clear things up a bit!
This is probably one of the most obvious tips for keratosis pilaris but it still warrants a mention! Keratosis pilaris, or KP, is generally found on dry skin so it’s important to moisturize the dry areas. You might notice that your skin gets worse in the winter and it’s because the dry, cold air really aggravates it. Use a moisturizer targeted to treat KP, like something from DermaDoctor, or go all natural and try coconut oil. I actually used this on my arms without thinking and it really helped smooth out my skin!
2. Eat Well
Eating certain types of food isn’t necessarily a skin care tip, but it can really help moisturize your skin from the inside. Foods like salmon, walnuts, flax and hemp seeds are all high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Other helpful foods include those high in vitamin A, like liver, carrots, sweet potatoes and dark, leafy greens. Others report great results from eating a raw food diet, so experiment a little with your foods and see what works best for you!
3. Get Tested
Many people report seeing great improvement in their skin after getting tested for food intolerance and cutting out certain foods. We often overlook how important our diet is to our health and how the food we eat can affect the way we look and feel! If you suspect that KP might be caused by an allergic reaction, try eliminating certain types of food before you talk to your doctor about getting a food intolerance test.
Exfoliating your skin is essential in caring for your skin and for those of us who have KP, it’s especially important to slough off dead skin and help clear up the clogged hair follicles. Remember not to scrub skin too hard or use harsh exfoliators, this can further irritate your skin. Use a gentle exfoliant and try using exfoliating creams that contain salicylic or glycolic acid, which will help smooth out skin.
5. Shun Soap
A great general skin care tip for dry skin or skin with KP is to avoid using soap-at least in the areas that are affected with KP. Soap is great when you need to wash off dirt and grime, but it can be a little too harsh on sensitive or dry areas. Use moisturizing body washes or super gentle soaps that are made for sensitive skin when you wash up to preserve natural moisture!
6. Stay out of Hot Water
Avoiding hot showers and baths is another essential step in treating KP and helping it get under control. Hot water might feel good momentarily but it really does nothing for our skin! Hot water dries out skin and washes away the natural, protective oils on our bodies, which can leave skin tight and itchy. Keep water lukewarm to warm to avoid drying out and washing away precious oils.
7. How ‘bout Them Apples?
Apple cider vinegar is of the most popular home remedies around and there are quite a few folks who swear by using ACV to help their skin. Some people like to use ACV in the shower to wash their skin and then top with coconut oil, whereas others like to create a concoction of 1 tbsp. ACV, 1/8 tsp. of baking soda, wait 2-3 minutes and mix with water or juice and drink daily. If have you sensitive skin or a sensitive tummy, you might want to skip this tip because ACV might be too strong for you.
8. Cold Showers
Cold showers might sound like punishment during the blustery winter but there are actually some pretty cool benefits to them! First off, cold showers help strengthen immunity, improve circulation, regulate body temperature, improve movement through the lymph system and can help alleviate depression. In addition to that, cold water tightens pores and contributes to detoxification, so gradually switching from warm to cool showers can do wonder for your health!
9. Get a Prescription
While KP isn’t a dangerous skin condition, if your skin doesn’t get much relief from any home remedies, you might want to consult with your doctor for prescription strength treatments. There are lots of great over-the-counter treatments but if you have a pretty severe case of KP or want something stronger to combat the bumps, definitely consult a physician.
I hope these skin care tips will help give you some ideas on caring for your skin with keratosis pilaris. Most skin experts agree that it gets better or goes away with time, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait and hope for clearer skin! Do you have any tried and true tricks on treating KP?