Bumpy skin on arms

Keratosis Pilaris: Little Bumps, Big Annoyance

It’s like having goose bumps when you’re not cold. Keratosis pilaris turns soft, smooth skin into sandpaper. This common skin condition most often causes arm bumps, but it can also created bumps on the upper thighs, buttocks, and face.

Doctors don’t know why some people develop these arm bumps and others don’t, but there are ways to treat keratosis pilaris.

What Causes It, Who Gets It

Normally, skin cells imperceptibly flake off on their own. But that doesn’t happen for people with keratosis pilaris. For those with this skin condition, the skin protein keratin plugs the hair follicles and causes tiny white or red bumps that may be itchy. The bumps aren’t painful, but can make the skin feel dry and rough.

Although it can happen at any age, this is a skin condition that generally affects the young. Babies may have it, particularly on their cheeks, but it’s most common in teenagers on the upper arms. It can also appear on the upper thighs or buttocks.

Keratosis pilaris tends to decrease or disappear by age 30. In the meantime, it can become worse during the winter when humidity is low and the skin is dry. The arm bumps may also get worse during pregnancy or after giving birth.

Keratosis pilaris is not rare: Nearly 4 in 10 people have it. People who already have dry skin or eczema are at higher risk for developing it. It also runs in families.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatment Tips

These skin bumps are harmless, so you don’t have to treat them if they don’t bother you. However, if you’d like to get rid of keratosis pilaris, try these steps:

  • Start by moisturizing. Moisturize your skin several times a day, especially after bathing. You can try plain petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, or creams like Acid Mantle or Complex 15. If these moisturizers don’t do the trick, try an over-the-counter medicated cream that contains urea, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or vitamin D.
  • Consider a prescription. A dermatologist may advise using a chemical peel that can strip the extra skin cells or a topical retinoid (a vitamin A derivative) that you can get with a prescription, such as tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova). If arm bumps and other bumps caused by keratosis pilaris are very red and appear to be infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
  • Take a hot bath and exfoliate. Rubbing your skin with a washcloth, brush, or exfoliating body sponge after an occasional long, hot bath can help dislodge the plugs in your hair follicles and make your skin smoother. The rest of the time, avoid drying out your skin by taking short, warm showers or baths and using mild soaps.
  • Get help from a humidifier. Using a home humidifier when the humidity is low can help prevent keratosis pilaris from getting worse in the winter.
  • Shave with a gel or cream. If keratosis pilaris affects areas you typically shave, make sure to shave after you’ve bathed, and let the shaving gel or cream sit on your skin for a few minutes before you start shaving. Getting hairs soft will help minimize irritation.

When it comes to treating keratosis pilaris, persistence is key. Keeping your skin moisturized and seeing your doctor for a prescription product can help you keep it under control. In the meantime, know that it usually goes away during adulthood, so the future should look brighter … and smoother.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Skin and Beauty Center.

Keratosis pilaris: Diagnosis and treatment

How do dermatologists diagnose keratosis pilaris?

To diagnose this condition, your dermatologist will examine your skin, looking closely at the skin that shows signs of keratosis pilaris.

How do dermatologists treat keratosis pilaris?

This skin condition is harmless, so you don’t need to treat it.

If the itch, dryness, or the appearance of your skin bothers you, treatment can help. A dermatologist can create a treatment plan that addresses your concerns. The following describes what a treatment plan may include:

Relieve the itch and dryness: A creamy moisturizer can soothe the itch and dryness. Most moisturizing creams used to treat keratosis pilaris contain one of the following ingredients:

  • Urea

  • Lactic acid

For best results, apply your moisturizer:
  • After every shower or bath
  • Within 5 minutes of getting out of the bath or shower, while your skin is still damp
  • At least 2 or 3 times a day, gently massaging it into the skin with keratosis pilaris

Diminish the bumpy appearance: To diminish the bumps and improve your skin’s texture, dermatologists often recommend exfoliating (removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin). Your dermatologist may recommend that you gently remove dead skin with a loofah or at-home microdermabrasion kit.

Your dermatologist may also prescribe a medicine that will remove dead skin cells. Medicine that can help often contains one of the following ingredients:

  • Alpha hydroxyl acid

  • Glycolic acid

  • Lactic acid

  • A retinoid (adapalene, retinol, tazarotene, tretinoin)

  • Salicylic acid

  • Urea

For best results when using a medicine to exfoliate your skin:
  • Use the amount your dermatologist recommends
  • Apply it only as often as your dermatologist recommends
  • Stop using the medicine for a few days if your skin becomes dry or irritated

The medicine you use to exfoliate your skin may also contain a moisturizer, which can help with the itch and dryness.

To treat the bumps, some patients may need to apply a corticosteroid to the areas with keratosis pilaris. This medicine helps soften the bumps and reduce redness.

Lasers may work when moisturizer and medicine fail: A laser or light treatment may be used to treat keratosis pilaris. Your dermatologist may recommend one type of laser to reduce the swelling and redness. Another type of laser may improve your skin’s texture and reduce discoloration, including the brown spots that may appear when the bumps clear.

To get the best results from the laser treatments, your dermatologist may add a few microdermabrasion sessions to your treatment plan.

Key facts about treatment

When treating keratosis pilaris, it helps to keep the following in mind:

  • Clearing takes time. If you fail to see improvement after following your treatment plan for 4 to 6 weeks, tell your dermatologist.
  • Some patients need to try a few treatments before they find one that works.
  • To continue seeing results, you’ll need a maintenance plan.

About the maintenance plan

Treatment cannot cure keratosis pilaris, so you’ll need to treat your skin to keep the bumps under control. Your maintenance plan may be as simple as using the medicine twice a week instead of every day. Another option may be to switch to a non-prescription moisturizing cream.

What is the outcome for people with keratosis pilaris?

For many people, keratosis pilaris goes away with time, even if you opt not to treat it. Clearing tends to happen gradually over many years. There is no way to know who will see keratosis pilaris clear.

Alai AN. “Keratosis pilaris medical care.” Medscape. Last updated June 19, 2014.

Ibrahim O, Khan M, et. al. “Treatment of keratosis pilaris with 810-nm diode laser: Randomized clinical trial.” JAMA Dermatol. 2014 Nov 5. .

Lee SJ, Choi MJ, et. al. “Combination of 595-nm pulsed dye laser, long-pulsed 755-nm alexandrite laser, and microdermabrasion treatment for keratosis pilaris: retrospective analysis of 26 Korean patients.” J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2013 Jun;15(3):150-4.

Yang G, Bordeaux J, et. al. “Prospective right/left comparison of azeleic acid and cetaphil for treatment of keratosis pilaris.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Apr;66(4) Supp. 1: AB167.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris and How Do You Get Rid of It?

There’s a good chance that if you clicked on this you either have or have had keratosis pilaris…or know someone who does and is constantly trying to get rid of it. Also known as KP, keratosis pilaris is often called ‘chicken skin’ and is a very common skin condition, which manifests as small, red bumps that can pop up anywhere on the body. However, keratosis pilaris is most often found on the arms and legs.

The bad news? There’s no cure for keratosis pilaris. The good news? There are easy things you can do to help manage the symptoms and decrease the appearance of these bumps. Ahead, experts explain what keratosis pilaris is exactly, weigh in on keratosis pilaris causes, and share the best strategies for treating keratosis pilaris’ bothersome bumps on arms and beyond. (Related: Reasons Why You Might Have Rough and Bumpy Skin)

What is keratosis pilaris?

“Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that causes the skin to develop red bumps, dry patches, and textures,” explains Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a triple board-certified dermatopathologist in the Boston area. “It isn’t painful or itchy, and has no repercussions on your overall health,” adds Dr. Frieling. So, if you’re dealing with keratosis pilaris and the often-accompanying bumps on arms, hopefully the fact that it’s pretty much harmless should make you feel a little bit better. You should also know that you’re not alone; keratosis pilaris can be seen in about 30 to 50 percent of adults and 50 to 80 percent of children, says dermatologist Priyanka Gumaste, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Hoboken, NJ.

What causes keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris bumps are caused by a build-up of dead skin cells and keratin (a protein that makes up your skin, hair, and nails) that blocks the hair follicles, but why this happens isn’t completely understood, says Dr. Gumaste. “It’s thought to be due to an abnormality in the process by which skin cells mature,” she says. “Rather than exfoliating and falling off the skin, dead skin cells plug the hair follicle, leading to rough bumps.” Genetics do seem to play a role—it’s a common consensus that if one person has it, it will appear again within the family—and people with generally dry skin can also be predisposed to keratosis pilaris, adds Dr. Frieling. (Related: How to Decode Skin Conditions, Rashes, and Bumps On Your Vagina)

Where does keratosis pilaris appear?

The most commons spots for keratosis pilaris are the arms and legs, specifically the upper arms (usually on the back of the arms) and the thighs, as well as the butt. In children, it often appears on the cheeks. But why keratosis pilaris pops up on one area over another is unknown, says Dr. Gumaste. (Related: Iskra Lawrence Says Her Keratosis Pilaris Made Her “Hate” the Skin On Her Arms.)

What is the best keratosis pilaris treatment?

While there’s no cure for keratosis pilaris, “for many patients, the condition actually will subside on its own over time,” says Dr. Frieling. If you’re looking for a solution now, there are ways you can treat and manage the bumps on arms and legs and rough skin, she says. Step one, resist the urge to squeeze or scratch at the bumps because that’s just going to irritate the skin, she adds.

The end game is to smooth and soften the skin, which is why both experts agree that your best move is to use an exfoliating moisturizer; this will give you both a hefty dose of hydration, as well as loosen and prevent the build-up of the dead cells that lead to those bumps. Dr. Gumaste suggests looking for a formula that contains urea, a chemical exfoliant, such as Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion (Buy It, $7, walmart.com). Another good keratosis pilaris lotion is Dermadoctor KP Duty Moisturizing Therapy (Buy It, $27, ulta.com) which combines urea with exfoliating glycolic acid. Use any exfoliating lotion twice daily, and you should start to see results in several days, says Dr. Gumaste. (Related: The 10 Best Body Lotions for Dry Skin)

You can also try using an exfoliating scrub on keratosis pilaris-prone spots. Try First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA (Buy It, $26, sephora.com). It relies on both glycolic and lactic acid for chemical exfoliation, as well as pumice buffing beads to physically slough off dead skin cells. The only caveat: You want to use it only once or twice per week to avoid irritating your skin and making it look worse, rather than better. And if nothing over-the-counter seems to be helping, see your dermatologist to discuss a prescription-strength cream, suggests Dr. Frieling.

The bottom line on keratosis pilaris is that this skin condition might be unsightly and irksome, but there are ways that you can help diminish the keratosis pilaris bumps on arms and legs. And, at the end of the day, remember that even though it’s an annoying aesthetic issue, it’s not anything that’s going to be detrimental to your overall skin health.

Unilateral Generalized Keratosis Pilaris Following Pregnancy

Keratosis pilaris (KP), also known as lichen planopilaris, is a common inherited disorder characterized by the presence of small folliculocentric keratotic papules that may have surrounding erythema, which gives the skin a stippled appearance resembling gooseflesh.1 Keratosis pilaris has a predilection for the extensor surfaces of the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks; however, a generalized presentation may occur.1-3 Patients usually are asymptomatic with concerns regarding cosmetic appearance. A number of diseases are associated with KP, such as KP atrophicans, erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et colli, and ichthyosis vulgaris. Treatment of KP mainly focuses on avoiding skin dryness and adding keratolytic agents when necessary.1 We report the case of a 29-year-old woman who presented with unilateral generalized KP in the second month of her second pregnancy.

Case Report

A 29-year-old woman presented in the second month of pregnancy with follicular hyperkeratotic papules on the right side of the face, neck, trunk, buttocks, arms, and legs with mild pruritus (Figure 1). According to the patient, when she found out she was pregnant, she discovered several reddish gray papules on the right cheek and dorsal aspect of the right hand that rapidly spread to the neck and trunk but remained restricted to the right side of the body. She occasionally experienced mild pruritus.

Figure 1. Several reddish gray follicular papules formed red patches on the right side of the face (A). Numerous small hyperpigmented follicular papules were scattered on the right side of the neck; the left side was devoid of lesions, revealing a sharp distinct demarcation line between the involved and uninvolved skin (B). Reddish gray or pigmented lesions were distributed on the hands and thighs but were restricted to the right side (C and D).

Physical examination revealed numerous small reddish or hyperpigmented follicular papules scattered on the right side of the body, both in the flexor and extensor aspects. The distribution of the lesions did not follow the lines of Blaschko. Strangely, the left side was devoid of lesions, and a sharp distinct line of demarcation separated the involved and uninvolved sides. Physical examination of the scalp, hair, nails, and oral cavity was normal with no atrophy or scarring. The patient’s first pregnancy was aborted in the third month of pregnancy (14 months prior to presentation), but no skin lesions were reported at that time. The patient’s medical history was otherwise unremarkable, and there was no known family history of similar skin lesions. Histopathologic examination of a biopsy taken from a lesion on the right side of the neck showed hyperpigmentation of the basal layer, follicular and interfollicular hyperkeratosis, dilated hair follicles containing keratinous plugs, dermal vascular dilatation and congestion, and mild perivascular inflammatory infiltration (Figure 2).

Based on the clinical and pathologic findings, a diagnosis of unilateral generalized KP was made. No treatment was administered due to the pregnancy. The patient’s skin condition continued to worsen throughout her pregnancy with more widespread and hyperpigmented lesions, but they remained unilateral. The patient showed no obvious improvement 4 months following delivery, and no treatment was administered because the patient was breastfeeding.

Figure 2. Histopathologic examination revealed hyperpigmentation of the basal layer, dilated hair follicles containing keratinous plugs, dermal vascular dilatation and congestion, and mild perivascular inflammatory infiltration, which suggested typical keratosis pilaris (A and B)(H&E, original magnifications ×40 and ×100).


Keratosis pilaris is a common hyperkeratotic condition that typically presents as flesh-colored follicular papules surrounded by varying degrees of perifollicular erythema. Occasionally, inflammatory acneform pustules and papules may appear.1,2 Keratosis pilaris usually presents between the ages of 2 and 3 years, flourishes until 20 years of age, and usually subsides in adulthood.4 Xerotic or atopic individuals are prone to develop KP.2 Other conditions associated with KP include ichthyosis follicularis, atrichia with papular lesions, cardiofasciocutaneous syndrome, ectodermal dysplasia with corkscrew hairs, and keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness syndrome.5 Although its etiology is uncertain, KP is thought to be inherited in an autosomal-dominant fashion.

Histologically, the lesions result from the formation of an orthokeratotic plug, which may contain twisted hairs, that blocks and dilates the orifice and upper portion of the follicular infundibulum. Mild perivascular mononuclear cell infiltrates usually are present in the adjacent dermis.5 Most cases of KP involve lesions that are bilaterally distributed. One report described a 5-year-old girl with lesions that were limited to the right cheek. They were diagnosed as atrophoderma vermiculata, a form of KP atrophicans, which is a less common variant of KP.6 Another report described a 2-year-old girl who developed KP 7 months after birth, which was the only case we found in the English-language literature, according to a PubMed search of articles indexed for MEDLINE using the search terms keratosis pilaris, hemicorporal, and pregnancy, with near-total involvement of one side of the body. The authors believed this peculiar manifestation was probably caused by an inherited segmental anomaly from a postzygotic genetic mutation.7

How I fixed my keratosis pilaris (aka “chicken skin”) and got awesome hair to boot

Image zoom IHUAN/iStock/Getty Images

What do you know about keratosis pilaris? Typified by clusters of small bumps in the skin, usually on the backs of the upper arms, thighs, or bottom, this is a skin condition that affects as many as 40% of adults. The Mayo Clinic has a picture for you; don’t worry, it’s not super gross.

Keratosis pilaris is caused by keratin building up in your hair follicle, forming a plug of keratin-like stuff that looks on the surface like mild acne. Nobody seems to know why it happens. Unfortunately, keratosis pilaris can be exacerbated when your skin is dry, so when you treat it like acne by rubbing it with salicylic acid and the like, you can actually make it worse.

Keratosis pilaris is also known as “chicken skin,” a term I don’t care for personally, but there you go.

I’ve had mild issues with this since forever, in the usual places of the upper arms and the backs of my legs, but I didn’t know it was a thing until a few years ago—up until then, I just assumed I was sitting too much, or something. Yes, that is ridiculous, but I have already noted that I am not a dermatologist.

My first clue that something could be done about it came when I ran across this stuff at Sephora:

Image zoom Sephora

I got a free sample and while it seemed like very nice moisturizing lotion, ultimately it didn’t do much better than your standard Lubriderm. Maybe you have to use it for longer, but I am really, really cheap when it comes to beauty products, so I was unwilling to pay $36 as an experiment.

Then, when I was extolling some friends with my skincare disappointment, they said “Oh, the little bumps! You need to use this”:

Image zoom

This is the product formerly known as Buffy the Backside Slayer—I guess they changed the name so people wouldn’t assume it was exclusively for rubbing on one’s butt, but could be used on other body parts as well. Buffy left me nice and moisturized, but didn’t seem to do much for the bumpiness, which I guess makes me the exception as pretty much everyone I know swears by it.

After that I had resigned myself to having stubborn skin. Recently, however, I read somewhere that you can treat keratosis pilaris by smearing coconut oil on yourself in the shower. Though I am pro-oil when it comes to my hair (which is curly and porous as heck), I am seriously anti-oil in skincare. I hate how it feels. I know folks who drench themselves in oil post-shower every day and frankly if there is a space reserved for me in hell, I am pretty sure it involves getting oil put on me. But I thought, hey, if I put it on in the shower, maybe it won’t feel as gross!

Image zoom Amazon

So I got myself a jar of extra-virgin organic coconut oil to experiment. It seems like some people are trying really hard to make coconut oil happen right now as a wonder food, and so the oil I got extols the virtues of cooking with it, with only a cursory mention that you can also use it on your skin (and hair!). It felt a little strange to be carrying something that promotes itself as delicious in curries into the shower, but if it worked, I could deal with that.

It smells like…. coconuts. Sort of. It doesn’t smell good, exactly, but it doesn’t smell bad either. It also feels markedly less disgusting than your standard oil. For one thing, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but liquifies almost immediately with the warmth of your hands. Neat, huh? Also, it seemed to absorb really fast, so I had minimal “ew, get it off me” feelings to deal with.

But the best part is that it worked on my keratosis pilaris when nothing else did. After a week I was all but keratosis pilaris-free. Also I smell vaguely like a cookie all the time.

My hair is loving it too, and it turns out there’s real science behind that: Coconut oil, unlike many other oils used in haircare products, can actually penetrate the hair shaft and deliver its proteiny (or at least protein-loving) goodness to your hungry follicles.

This stuff is my total skincare miracle right now. It’s cheap, it comes in an enormous jar, and it works. All of this, and in a pinch, I can eat it? That’s a near-perfect beauty product for me.

This article originally appeared on xoJane by Lesley Kinzel.

  • By xoJane

Thigh Lump

Although these are rare causes, both benign and malignant tumors of the skin, soft tissues, or bones can appear as lumps on the thigh. In these cases, either a biopsy or surgical removal of the lump can determine whether cancer is present.

A thigh lump can be a sign of injury and require emergency care. It may in some cases be accompanied by serious injuries to the leg. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as paralysis or inability to move a body part, loss of sensation, absent pulses in your feet, uncontrolled or heavy bleeding, or uncontrollable pain.

If your thigh lump persists or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

What other symptoms might occur with a thigh lump?

A thigh lump may occur on its own or may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition that caused the lump.

Leg symptoms that may occur along with a thigh lump

A thigh lump may accompany other symptoms affecting your thigh or leg including:

  • Bleeding or bruising

  • Limited ability or inability to move the leg

  • Muscle weakness or spasm

  • Pain, whether at rest or during specific movements, that may be described as dull, sharp, burning, stabbing or aching

  • Pus or discharge

  • Redness and warmth of the skin

  • Swelling in the leg

Other symptoms that may occur along with a thigh lump

A thigh lump may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

  • Fever
  • Lumps or swelling elsewhere in the body

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, a thigh lump may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have a thigh lump along with other serious symptoms including:

  • Coldness of the feet, with weak or absent pulses
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Loss of sensation in the leg
  • Obvious breakage or deformity of the bones
  • Paralysis or inability to move a body part
  • Uncontrollable pain
  • Uncontrolled or heavy bleeding, hemorrhage

What causes a thigh lump?

A thigh lump may be a result of an infection, an injury, or, rarely, a benign or malignant tumor.

Infectious causes of a thigh lump

A thigh lump may be caused by infectious processes including:

  • Abscesses
  • Boils
  • Cellulitis (infection of the skin and associated tissues)
  • Papillomavirus infections (warts)

Traumatic causes of a thigh lump

Trauma or injury to the thigh may produce a lump. Traumatic causes of thigh lump include:

  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Bite and sting injuries
  • Fractures of bone
  • Hematoma (collection of blood in body tissues)
  • Retained foreign body
  • Sprains and strains

Tumors that cause causes of a thigh lump

A thigh lump can rarely be caused by benign or malignant tumors including:

  • Fibroma (benign tumor composed of fibrous or connective tissue)

  • Lipoma (benign fatty growth)

  • Melanoma (cancer arising in the melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, in the skin or other parts of the body)

  • Nevi (moles of the skin)

  • Nonmelanoma skin cancers

  • Osteosarcoma (type of bone cancer)

Serious or life-threatening causes of a thigh lump

In some cases, a thigh lump may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:

  • Malignant tumors of bone or soft tissue
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

Questions for diagnosing the cause of a thigh lump

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your thigh lump including:

  • How long have you felt your thigh lump?
  • Is the lump getting bigger?
  • Is the lump painful?
  • Is the lump the result of an injury?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?

What are the potential complications of a thigh lump?

Lumps caused by cancers may have life-threatening consequences that depend on the type and stage (extent) of the cancer. Left untreated, lumps due to abscesses or serious infections may lead to widespread infection in the body. Thigh lumps and associated symptoms can be due to serious diseases, so failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage.

Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

  • Adverse effects of treatment
  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Disability
  • Permanent or chronic pain
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Spread of cancer
  • Spread of infection

Tiny White or Slightly Red Bumps on Arms and/or Thighs

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Real talk: I’ve had bumpy arms for as long as I can remember. Despite having tried every treatment under the sun — really, I even tried the sun — my red, patchy keratosis pilaris (or “chicken skin,” as my grandmother so sweetly calls it) plagued my younger years. I wore cardigans to school year-round, I methodically coated the backs of my arms in Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs spray, and I spent a decade wondering why every boy I dated insisted on swaddling me in blankets, until I realized they mistook my KP for perpetual goose bumps.

“Keratosis pilaris is a build-up of keratin — a hair protein — in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles,” dermatologist Doris Day tells Allure. “As a result, small bumps form over where the hair should be.”

Even now, I’m still dreading the summer months when I’ll be forced to bare my arms and abandon the comfort of sleeves. So instead of spending another season hating on my skin for having KP, I decided to go to the pros to find out exactly how to eradicate keratosis pilaris once and for all.

1. Understand that you can’t “cure” keratosis pilaris.

“You can’t eradicate keratosis pilaris,” says Day. (Editorial note: Bummer.) “It’s a genetic condition where, for some reason, the follicles on the outer arms and thighs get clogged and don’t naturally exfoliate,” she explains. But that doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a loofah. “We used to think if you exfoliated enough, you’d be able to undo KP,” says Day. “But exfoliating can actually irritate the bumps and make them much worse.”

2. Start with chemical exfoliators.

“There isn’t a permanent fix, but you can make the bumps go away for a while with glycolic and lactic acid treatments, which will diminish buildup and make your skin feel softer,” says Kenneth Beer, a Palm Beach dermatologist. We like the Skinfix’s Renewing Body Scrub & Cream combo.

3. Incorporate a cleansing brush into your routine.

Instead, Day suggests swapping your body scrub for a Clarisonic facial brush and a salicylic acid cleanser, like Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Body Wash, which has 2 percent salicylic acid to penetrate follicles and chamomile to soothe skin.

4. Load up on lotion.

Post-shower, Day recommends applying AmLactin body lotion which has 12 percent lactic acid. “Lactic acid is great for KP because it loosens cells over time to gently exfoliate skin,” she says. “It’s also a humectant, which means it will add moisture and minimize irritation.” Make sure to slather it on every day and you should notice smoother skin within a week or two, she notes.

5. Visit your dermatologist.

If at-home treatments still aren’t cutting it, make an appointment with your physician. “Your dermatologist can greatly reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris with just a few in-office laser treatments, which help to exfoliate the deepest layers of your skin,” says Day.

More on questionable bumps:

  • Those Tiny White Bumps on Your Face Aren’t Acne
  • 4 Steps to Getting Rid of a Cystic Pimple, Fast
  • This Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Those Deep, Painful Pimples, According to Top Dermatologists

Now, find out what makes this cystic acne sufferer feel confident:

What to know about winter rash

People can try the following home remedies to relieve the symptoms of a winter rash:


Share on PinterestMoisturizing the skin can help relieve the symptoms of winter rash.

Applying moisturizer after taking a bath or shower can help lock in the moisture. Products that contain urea or lactic acid may provide even more hydration.

Fragranced skin care products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. People with sensitive skin may benefit from using fragrance-free moisturizers and creams.

Some natural products can soothe the dry, cracked skin that characterizes winter rash. For example, aloe vera gel and coconut oil contain both antibacterial and moisturizing elements and are safe to use on cracked skin.

People can apply moisturizers several times a day if needed.

Natural oils

Natural oils contain nutrients and minerals that can help soothe and replenish irritated skin. A systematic review published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences looked at how different natural oils affect the skin.

This review found that the following oils may help:

  • Coconut oil compounds, such as lanolin and lauric acids, can improve the skin’s barrier function and promote healing.
  • Safflower oil contains large amounts of linoleic acid which has anti-inflammatory effects, making it ideal for soothing irritated skin.
  • Avocado oil contains vitamins C, D, and E, making it an excellent nourishing oil for dry or damaged skin.

Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties, but it promotes water loss in the skin, which reduces the skin’s barrier function. People who have dermatitis or who struggle with dry skin should avoid using olive oil.

Avoid harsh soaps

Exposure to cold, dry air can weaken the skin and make it more sensitive than usual. People who experience winter rash might benefit from changing their regular cleanser and body wash during the winter.

Look for non-foaming cleansers and body washes. Avoid products that contain alcohols, parabens, synthetic dyes, or fragrances.

Turn down the heat

Central heating systems suck moisture from the air, and people should use them sparingly, even when cranking up the heat seems like a good way to escape the cold.

Also, consider turning the heat down or shutting it off at night.

Use a humidifier

A humidifier can bring much-needed moisture back into the home.

Keeping a humidifier in the bedroom or other commonly used areas can help offset the dryness caused by central heating systems.

  • Do not over wash: Over washing your skin strips it off the natural oils and moisture that it has. If you are using a cleanser, wash your face just once a day with it. In the evenings, after you have removed your make-up, a few splashes of water should be enough to get the dirt off your skin. This way, you keep your skin clean and do not make it any drier than it already is.
  • Use lotions and creams to treat acne: Although most acne treatments are drying, there are those that are less drying than others such as ointments, lotions and creams. You will most probably prefer the way your skin feels after using them. Always make sure that no matter what type of treatment you use, you do NOT use more than what the directions for use say. Contrary to what you think, it will not have a better effect on your skin or get rid of your acne problem sooner.
  • Moisturize regularly: You need to moisturize your skin daily to keep it from drying. How do you prevent an acne breakout and still moisturize? Simple! All you need to do is be careful of the type of moisturizer you use. You can use those that are for sensitive skin as they are light and still effective. You may be tempted to use moisturizers that are meant for acne-prone skin but that would be a huge mistake as they are extremely drying. We love the mega hydrating Shangpree BITGOA Hue Rich Cream, it’s packed with glycerin, and hyaluronic acid soften and replenish moisture. Niacinamide fades hyperpigmentation and leaves the skin glowing. Fermented extracts feed the skin with nutrients, brighten, and improve the skin’s texture.
  • Always protect your skin from the elements: If you are planning to take a walk on a windy, cold day, do not forget to protect your skin against the wind. Hats and scarves are a must on those cold days as your skin can get depleted of the moisture it already has. And do not think it is safe to walk without protection on a sunny day. You will still need nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic sunscreen to protect your skin.
  • Exfoliate: Exfoliating with gentle chemical exfoliators like AHA OR BHA (try Mizon AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner) which increases cell turnover and reduces the buildup of dry skin cell. When you help dry skin shed dried up, dead skin cells, it makes room for plumper moisture filled skin cells to come to the surface , which lends a fresher look to the skin, allows moisturizers to more easily penetrate the skin and helps reducing the chance of pores becoming clogged and creating blackheads, whiteheads and causing breakouts. In short, this is very important to keep skin healthy and helps nourish the skin by prepping it for absorption of moisturizing ingredients helping skin stay healthy and hydrated.
  • DIY Rememedies

    1. Tomato Pulp: Studies have established that the acidity in tomatoes helps the skin dry up acne. This vegetable also is rich in Vitamin A, C and K that is known to be found in most over the counter acne lotions and creams. Slice open a tomato, and liberally scrub it on your face. Alternatively, you can also mash up the tomato and apply it as a face pack and repeat for a few weeks till you see the difference.
    2. Potato: Vitamin C in potatoes helps in boosting the production of collagen and also prevents as well as heals damage caused from the harmful rays of the sun. Vitamin B in potatoes help in skill regeneration and the niacin in this root vegetable helps in lightening the skin.
    3. Lemon Juice: Lemon is highly acidic and dries up acne on the spot. Squeeze lemon juice on to cotton balls and apply on problem areas, this will help clear your skin.
    4. Garlic: Garlic has been long associated with skin treatment. Easy to procure and store, there is no better alternative to garlic. Garlic contains sulphur, zinc calcium, and allicin all known to possess anti fungal and antibiotic properties. Crush garlic and cloves with some water and apply the paste on your face. Wash after a few hours.
    5. Cucumber: This vegetable acts as a coolant to the skin and alleviates skin irritation and other symptoms. Grind and apply as a paste to moisturize your skin and remove excessive oil.

    Skin is a flexible, strong yet sensitive organ and needs to be taken care of really well. A good skin care routine helps skin rebalance, detoxify, replenish and rejuvenates. It might feel overwhelming to use so many products in your skin care regimen, but it actually takes just 5 minutes morning and night and once you see the difference that our products make, you will never go back to your old ways. Now this is a promise. Consistency is very important to maintain a beautiful, radiant and healthy skin.

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