Keratin plugs in skin

Everything You Need to Know About Keratosis Pilaris—Including How to Treat it

If you’ve ever spotted small, red bumps on your arms or thighs, you may have assumed they were tiny pimples or even hives. But these red bumps on the skin are very often keratosis pilaris, a harmless (albeit annoying) skin condition caused by a buildup of keratin in the hair follicle.

Hold on, what exactly is keratosis pilaris?

According to the National Institutes of Health, keratosis pilaris is seen most commonly during childhood. Visually, it presents itself in the form of papules — small, rough, raised lesions.

“Keratosis pilaris (KP) is characterized by flesh-colored or reddish bumps that typically appear on the arms or legs,” says New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD.

The NIH describes them as spiny and keratotic, noting that they are typically skin colored and found on the outer surface of the upper arms and thighs, although it may occur elsewhere on the body. The condition is generally worse in winter and often clears in the summer.

Some people refer to keratosis pilaris as chicken skin, since it can feel rough like sandpaper or resemble goosebumps.

What causes keratosis pilaris—and how is it treated?

Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin (a hair protein) in the hair follicle. While nobody knows exactly why keratin builds up like this, the NIH explains that is more common in people who have extremely dry skin or suffer from atopic dermatitis (eczema) it also seems to run in families.

While there’s no cure for keratosis pilaris, it’s not uncommon for the condition to eventually go away on its own. “Keratosis pilaris often shows up anytime after the age of 10 and gets worse at puberty,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “But a lot of people outgrow it around the age of 30.”

If you’re bothered by these little bumps, the good news is that treatment can help ease symptoms of keratosis pilaris. Here, dermatologist-recommended products for smoother, more even skin.

RELATED: The Best Moisturizers for Rosacea, According to Dermatologists

hair image by Dubravko Grakalic from Fotolia.com

Keratin buildup, common in skin, can lead to blocked hair follicles and small white bumps. When this natural skin protein causes a blockage, the condition is known as keratosis pilaris. While the bumps look like acne, they actually contain hardened keratin rather than pus. There is no cure for the harmless condition, but with a steady skin-care regimen, you can limit the problem.

Rub a cloth gently over keratin deposits in a circular motion.

Rinse the affected area of your skin with warm water. Pat your skin mostly dry with a towel without rubbing or squeezing the deposits. Leave your skin slightly damp.

Apply a lotion containing either lactic acid or urea. As it helps moisturize your skin, it will begin to dissolve the keratin.

Repeat these steps for a few weeks. If you still notice a problem, apply a cream with a Helix Aspersa Muller complex as an ingredient. The main component of this complex, glycoconjugates, may help reduce excess keratin.

After you have reduced the appearance of keratin on your skin, continue a steady moisturizing routine to prevent future keratin deposits.

Tip

Rubbing a cloth gently on the keratin spots will exfoliate your skin and allow for the release of some of the deposits.

Apply the Helix Aspersa Muller complex cream three days a week for five to six weeks to achieve ideal results.

When you check your makeup in the mirror, only to spot a giant you-have-no-idea-what bump staring back at you, it’s tempting to go IN on your face. But experts agree that when it comes to most face bumps and pimples under skin, a hands-off approach is most definitely best.

“Popping anything causes your skin to physically break apart, making it more susceptible to infection and an even bigger problem than what was originally there in the first place,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. You’re also pretty-much guaranteeing scarring and a drawn-out healing process if you don’t resist the pop, says Noelani Gonzalez, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West.

The best move is to stock up on derm-approved, over-the-counter skincare products—or let professionals handle it in their offices with skin-safe lasers and gadgets you don’t have access to at home. And the smartest treatment will depend on what exactly is causing your annoying skin issues—whether it’s a hard pimple underneath the skin or tiny white bumps on your face.

Here, all of the details you need on 12 common bumps—and a friendly reminder that you definitely should not be picking them:

1. Cystic Acne Pimples

Cystic pimples occur very deep under the skin’s surface, forming a red, tender nodule that’s not only painful but much harder to treat with OTC meds. “The inflammation that accompanies cystic acne can hinder the healing process and often lead to permanent scarring that’s impossible to eliminate,” says Dr. Engelman.

Picking at these bumps under the skin won’t help either. “The cysts occur so far beneath the skin that you won’t even come close to reaching the bump, and you’ll be left with a bloody spot,” says Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.

The cause: “Cystic acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations and acne bacteria,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “High hormone levels trigger an overproduction of oil, causing pores to swell. When this oil cannot reach the skin’s surface, it ruptures underneath and causes inflammation to spread to the surrounding tissue.” Other causes include bacteria in hair follicles and slowed cell turnover in acne patients that lead to keratin buildups in pores, says Dr. Gonzalez.

The treatment: Instead of going at it with your fingers, book an appointment with your dermatologist, who can properly treat the situation (usually in the form of a cortisone shot to instantly kill the swelling) and may even be able to save you from scarring altogether.

2. Milia

Ever notice how those tiny white bumps on your face (aka milia) refuse to pop no matter how hard you try? Well, rest assured. They are truly un-poppable—at least without a dermatologist or esthetician’s help.

The cause: Milia are not actually filled with dirt, oil, or grime. They are tiny, harmless cysts that occur when dead skin cells get trapped under your skin, says Dr. Schlessinger. “Picking at them often has little to no effect, and attempting to pop them will likely leave your skin red, irritated, and inflamed, with the milia still intact,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Ouch.

The treatment: “If it’s bothering you, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist, who will likely extract with a heated, sterilized tool,” says Dr. Engelman. You can also use a retinoid cream to help smooth them out faster, although milia generally clear up on their own.

3. Ingrown Hairs

Getty / Biophoto Associates

Frustrating? Extremely. Worth picking—even if you just shaved your bikini line? Absolutely not.

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The cause: “Ingrown hairs occur when the hair shaft becomes trapped beneath the skin’s surface,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “The red bumps that follow are often itchy and inflamed, but it’s never a good idea to use tweezers or manual force to pluck them.” Squeezing them will only make the inflammation and irritation worse, he adds. (Hello, unsightly red marks that last for months.)

The treatment: Apply hydrocortisone, which reduces redness, itchiness, and irritation—and wash the affected area with an exfoliating cleanser to help the hair reach the skin’s surface. If the painful bumps persist, Dr. Gonzalez says you can go to a dermatologist who will nick the skin and remove the hair or inject it with steroids to reduce the inflammation. Pro tip so you don’t have to deal with them at all: Exfoliate before you shave, and shave in the direction your hair grows instead of against it.

4. Skin Tags

KeskiHeikkila

“Skin tags are extra growths of skin that typically occur on the neck and underarms,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. But there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t pick at the small bumps. Namely, skin tags are made from flesh, and attempting to remove them will cause pain and bleeding, says Dr. Zeichner. It could also increase your risk of infection.

The cause: “They often occur in areas of friction, like by the neck, underarms, and groin, and they are thought to be caused by skin rubbing on skin or on clothing,” says Bruce Katz, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Dr. Gonzalez typically sees skin tags on her overweight patients or those who wear a lot of jewelry.

The treatment: This one’s definitely a job for pros. “A professional can remove skin tags by freezing them off (a technique using liquid nitrogen known as cryotherapy), lightly burning them off with cautery, or surgically removing them by snipping them off,” says Dr. Gonzalez. And if your skin tags are large enough to interfere with your daily life, your insurance company might even take the bill off your hands, says Dr. Zeichner.

5. Cold Sores

Unless you’re looking to inspire a whole army of these bad boys, don’t even think about touching them—no matter how much that cold sore looks like a pimple. “Picking at cold sores could very easily lead to the formation of another sore,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “Popping them releases a blister-like fluid that contains the same virus and can easily spread to other areas, including someone else’s face.”

The treatment: Small sores can heal on their own with the help of OTC treatments. But if you notice cold sores popping up more frequently (or spreading to larger areas), Dr. Gonzalez says you should see a doctor for professional help for more aggressive medication and, if you have sores more than six times per year, preventative medication.

6. Keratosis Pilaris

American Academy of Dermatology

“Squeezing or picking at these lesions causes worsening effects like redness and the potential for scarring as well,” says Dr. Engelman.

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The cause: Often referred to as “chicken skin,” this genetic condition is caused by a buildup of keratin—the protein that protects skin, hair, and nails from infection and other harmful environmental toxins. “The buildup forms a plug that blocks the opening of a hair follicle,” Dr. Engelman adds.

The treatment: Instead of picking, use a chemical exfoliant that has salicylic acid and glycolic acid, or products such as AmLactin to calm the inflammation and gradually smooth out the bumps over time, Dr. Gonzalez says. “If that doesn’t work, see a dermatologist or an esthetician who can properly treat you,” recommends Dr. Engelman. Treatment options include the topical medication tretinoin (a.k.a. Retin-A) to exfoliate the area, pulsed dye laser to treat redness, and chemical peels, Dr. Gonzalez adds.

7. Blackheads And Whiteheads

These might be some of the most commonly popped bumps—but keeps your hands off if you can.

The cause: “Blackheads consist of the same thing as whiteheads—pores that become clogged with oil—except the oil has oxidized after being exposed to the air, giving it a black or brownish hue,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “Squeezing them can force the bacteria even deeper and causes trauma to the skin.”

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The treatment: The best ingredients for dealing with blackheads are salicylic acid and retinol. These exfoliants promote cell turnover, preventing dead skin cells from plugging up your pores.

To work the oil and dirt out without picking at your blackheads or applying pressure, use an over-the-counter exfoliant like Differin Gel. “It will work to bring the blackhead to the skin’s surface, leaving you with a fresh face in just days,” says Dr. Engelman.

And look for makeup and skincare products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, to ensure that what you’re using on your face won’t contribute to any future bumps.

8. Seborrheic Keratoses

whitemayGetty Images

Dr. Zeichner says seborrheic keratoses are rough brown bumps that typically occur on areas that get a lot of sun exposure, like the face, chest, and back. They’re totally benign, Dr. Gonzalez says

, but they can get in the way since they can get caught in clothing and feel scaly.

The cause: “These are solid growths of extra skin that build up on the surface of your body,” says Dr. Zeichner. Sun exposure doesn’t help, but even if you lather up with sunscreen daily (which you should!), these bumps might still be in the cards for you since they’re genetic.

The treatment: Instead of trying to pop them, Dr. Zeichner recommends visiting your dermatologist if they become irritated or inflamed—your derm may even be able to get treatment covered through your insurance.

“If you are bothered by the appearance, speak to your dermatologist about a treatment called Eskata, which is the only FDA approved treatment for them,” advises Dr. Zeichner. The treatments cost about $375 per session and typically require two sessions to work; each session treats four to five spots. Otherwise, you can opt for cryotherapy to freeze them off or have them gently burned off, adds Dr. Gonzalez.

9. Lipomas

Getty Images

A lipoma is a fatty deposit underneath the skin that might feel like a cystic pimple. They’re non-cancerous and generally harmless, although they can become painful if they grow too big.

The cause: Lipomas are often genetically linked, so you can thank your parents if you notice one start to pop up, says Dr. Gonzalez.

The treatment: Even though Dr. Pimple Popper “pops” lipomas for her clients on the reg, you should not give it a try at home. Breaking open your skin will make it red, angry, and potentially let bacteria into the area. Your best option is to have a dermatologist remove it by burning it off or taking a laser to it to reduce scarring.

10. Cherry Angiomas

PobladuraFCGGetty Images

These bright red benign bumps are made up of tiny blood vessels. They tend to pop up on the face, chest, belly, and back.

The cause: Their cause is unknown, but there is a genetic component that might make you more prone to getting them.

The treatment: Considering these are filled with blood, popping them is definitely not the move. However, removal is pretty straight forward, Dr. Gonzalez promises. A trip to the dermatologists office for a laser or a cautery treatment will leave you bump and scar-free.

11. Sebaceous Cysts

anayasGetty Images

Another Dr. Pimple Popper fave, these skin-colored bumps are full of a yellow cheese-like material that Dr. Gonzalez says you probably won’t want to see or get a whiff of. And though they’re typically benign and asymptomatic, these can sometimes become painful if they’re inflamed, infected, or get ruptured, she adds.

The cause: These random build-ups of keratin, which looks like a pimple under the skin, pop up on areas of the body with a high volume of oil glands.

The treatment: “Treatment-wise, you have a few options,” Dr. Gonzalez says. You can have your derm inject them with steroids to help the inflammation go down and reduce the bump’s appearance, or your doctor can perform surgery to remove the keratin-filled capsule inside, which is a pretty good option since the cyst is likely to become inflamed again unless it’s totally removed.

12. Sebaceous Hyperplasia

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These small yellowish bumps that pepper the forehead or center of the face are super-common. They tend to appear with age and are often mistaken for pimples or skin diseases.

The cause: While totally harmless, the bumps are caused by an overgrowth of oil glands on the face. Unfortunately, there are no signs or symptoms to look out for, you’ll just see ’em when you see ’em (sorry!).

The treatment: If you’re bothered by their appearance and long for the days when your skin was smooth and clear, Dr. Gonzalez says dermatologists can lightly burn these doughnut-looking bumps off with electrocautery, laser them off, or freeze them off with cryotherapy.

Jenn Sinrich Jenn Sinrich is an experienced writer, digital and social editor, and content strategist covering health, fitness, beauty, and relationships. Caroline Shannon-Karasik Caroline Shannon-Karasik is a writer and mental health advocate based in Pittsburgh, PA. Aryelle Siclait Assistant Editor Aryelle Siclait is an assistant editor at Women’s Health where she writes about relationship trends, sexual health, pop-culture news, food, and physical health for verticals across WomensHealthMag.com and the print magazine.

Keratosis circumscripta

What is keratosis circumscripta?

Keratosis circumscripta is a rare, harmless skin condition. The original cases were 11 African patients descended from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. Some authorities do not recognise keratosis circumscripta as a separate and distinct skin condition.

The cause of keratosis circumscripta is unknown.

Clinical features

Keratosis circumscripta occurs in children, usually appearing and developing over 2-3 weeks. It is characterised by circular patches consisting of aggregations of small skin colour papules (bumps) with a small plug of rough keratin protruding from the tip of the papule.

Keratosis circumscripta typically affects the elbows and knees, and very occasionally, the backs of the hands and feet, trunk, neck, base of the spine, shoulders and hips.

Conditions that may look like keratosis circumscripta include circumscribed juvenile pityriasis rubra pilaris (also called Type IV pityriasis rubra pilaris), psoriasis and lichen spinulosus.

What is the treatment?

Treatment of keratosis circumscripta is difficult as it usually fails to improve whatever is tried. Exfoliating agents containing urea, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxyacids may help remove the rough keratin plugs temporarily.

Keratosis circumscripta tends to increase in size over a few years and may persist long term.

10 Facts About Keratosis Pilaris From Dr. Pimple Popper

This article has been updated.

This morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the fifth case of the recently discovered coronavirus in the U.S. Find out what it is, where it is, how to avoid it, and all the other need-to-know information about the illness below.

What is the new coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses named for the crown-shaped spikes that cover their surfaces (corona is the Latin word for crown). According to the CDC, human coronaviruses can cause upper-respiratory tract illnesses, including the common cold, and can sometimes lead to more severe lower-respiratory tract issues like pneumonia or bronchitis.

Because this latest coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, is so new, health officials are currently trying to figure out how it works and how to treat it. It’s not the first time a potent new coronavirus has caused an international outbreak: SARS-CoV originated in Asia and spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003, and MERS-CoV first infected people in Saudi Arabia before spreading across the globe in 2012.

Where is the coronavirus outbreak happening?

Overall, China has more than 2700 confirmed cases, many of which are in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province where 2019-nCoV was first detected last month. Around 50 additional cases have been reported in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The CDC has confirmed five U.S. cases—in California, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington—all of whom had recently returned from trips to Wuhan. Right now, the CDC is screening all passengers from Wuhan, and their flights are only allowed to land at one of five U.S. airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, or Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Chinese officials have shut down transportation to and from Wuhan, and they’re also temporarily closing tourist spots like Beijing’s Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland, and a portion of the Great Wall.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Symptoms are similar to those caused by a cold or the flu, including fever, dry cough, and breathing difficulty. As of Monday morning, 81 people in China had died from the virus, and The New York Times reported that older people with preexisting conditions like cirrhosis, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease are most likely to be affected.

How does the new coronavirus spread?

Because most of the early cases of 2019-nCoV were traced back to a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, health officials think the virus originally spread from infected animals to humans, but it’s now being transmitted from person to person.

Though scientists are still studying exactly how that happens, the leading theory is that it travels in tiny droplets of fluid from the respiratory tract when a person coughs or sneezes.

How do you avoid the new coronavirus?

The CDC is warning everyone to avoid any nonessential trips to Wuhan, and to avoid animals or sick people if you’re traveling elsewhere in China. If you’ve been to China in the last two weeks and experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek medical attention immediately—and you should call the doctor’s office or emergency room beforehand to let them know you’re coming.

Otherwise, simply stick to the precautions you’d normally take when trying to stay healthy: Wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, stay away from sick people, and thoroughly cook any meat or eggs before eating them.

Should you be worried about the new coronavirus?

The global health community is taking 2019-nCoV seriously in order to curb the outbreak as quickly as possible, but you definitely shouldn’t panic. The CDC maintains that it’s a low-risk situation in the U.S., and public health officials are echoing that message.

Caitlin Wolfe, a former consultant epidemiologist for the World Health Organization (WHO) and current doctoral student at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health, tells Mental Floss that it’s too early to tell if the virus will become a nationwide outbreak, but the fact that cases have been detected in the U.S. “means patients and physicians are paying attention to the relevant symptoms and travel history,” and “the public health systems we have here are working.”

“The most important messages to get out to the American public are ones that share the information we know and avoid the alarmist/sensationalist narrative,” Wolfe says. “Early estimates from the Chinese authorities suggest that the R0, or the average number of people each person with the virus infects, is between 1.4 and 2.5. To put this in perspective, the average number of susceptible people infected by someone with the measles virus is between 12 and 18.”

While experts work to understand and fight the virus, keep an eye out for updates from the CDC and WHO and be extra committed to practicing good hygiene habits—which, as Wolfe points out, will also help protect you from the flu or even just a regular cold.

4 Effective Treatments for Keratosis Pilaris

Elinor Carucci

As a general life rule, it’s best not to make mountains out of molehills. The exception: keratosis pilaris (KP), a condition that causes patches of fine bumps on the backs of your arms (and sometimes thighs and rear). KP isn’t dangerous, contagious, or painful, but that doesn’t make it any less of a Big Beauty Bummer—especially if you’re in a tank top.
The root cause is genetics. Up to 50 percent of the population, mostly women, are inherently programmed to overproduce keratin, a protein that’s a building block of skin, according to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., the director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York City. That excess keratin ends up getting trapped inside hair follicles and forming hard plugs that become raised and rough to the touch. These inflame the surrounding skin, which then turns red.
Why KP surfaces as patches on particular body parts is a mystery. What doctors do know is that KP often exists in conjunction with certain unrelated skin conditions, such as eczema. Dryness tends to exacerbate KP, which is why you’ll notice it more in the summer, when sun and salt water dehydrate skin, and in the winter, when humidity is low. The condition can also flare up when hormones fluctuate—for example, during pregnancy or your period. Other experts point to obesity as an aggravating factor. Left untreated, KP sometimes improves on its own as you age.
What can you do in the meantime? Unfortunately, no medication zaps away the condition for good. But mix and match a bunch of strategies typically designed to target a slew of other skin problems and suddenly you have a seriously effective way to temper or even tamp out those patches, at least for a while. Here’s what to do.

Adopt a Sensitive-Skin Cleansing Routine

KP-ridden skin may feel tough, but you have to treat it like a baby’s when bathing or showering. Hot water can strip away oils, allowing the skin’s moisture to escape, which then leads to dryness. The dead, dry skin cells build up excessively around the follicles, which is further compounded by hair that becomes trapped under the excess keratin. As a result, the patches look even more obvious.
Keep bathwater lukewarm, and limit exposure to 10 minutes or less, says Mary Lupo, a dermatologist in New Orleans. Also remember that soaps and cleansers with harsh lathering agents, like sodium lauryl sulfate, and heavy fragrances can be drying. Stick to gentle cleansers that contain soothing ingredients, such as glycerin, aloe vera, and cucumber extract. Try Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Beauty Bar ($13 for four, amazon.com), Fresh Soy Cleanser ($15, sephora.com), and Lush Honey I Washed the Kids Soap ($8, lushusa.com). Finally, drop the loofah and other mechanical exfoliators. “Their abrasiveness can leave skin more parched and inflamed,” says Meghan O’Brien, a New York City dermatologist.

Steal a Trick From the Acne-Prone

Acne body washes are not just for acne; they’re also great for KP. Why? The active ingredients—most commonly alpha hydroxy acids (including glycolic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (including salicylic acid)—“help to exfoliate the abnormally accumulated keratin,” says Lupo. Try Neutrogena Body Clear Wash ($7 at drugstores and amazon.com), which contains salicylic acid. Squeeze a dollop of the spot treatment onto a damp, soft washcloth and rub the area gently in the shower.

Moisturize As If You Have Dry Skin

A super-rich body cream with lanolin, glycerin, or petroleum jelly, like Curel Ultra Healing Lotion ($10 at drugstores and amazon.com), can help calm KP. Apply it on rough spots right after bathing, when skin is still damp. “This seals in moisture so it penetrates deeper and lasts longer,” says Zeichner.

Call in the Retinol

If you don’t see improvement using hydroxy acids after four to six weeks, add retinol to your routine. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, has been clinically proven both to enhance the unclogging of pores and to stimulate collagen production. “Retinol-based products smooth the skin by gently exfoliating to remove dead skin cells and imperfections,” says Jessica Weiser, M.D., of the New York Dermatology Group, in New York City. Start with an over-the-counter product, like Chantecaille Retinol Body Treatment ($96, nordstrom.com), and proceed slowly. “After cleansing, apply a pea-size dollop to dry skin only every other day, to give your skin a chance to acclimate. Once the area shows signs of improvement in texture and tone, use it nightly,” says David Colbert, a New York City dermatologist and the founder of Colbert M.D. Skincare.
You should see results in three to six months. If not, consult a dermatologist, who may prescribe a more potent, prescription-strength retinoid, like Tretinoin or Renova, or a softening and healing agent, like urea, which helps dissolve and soften plugs more intensely. As a last resort, you can opt for either an in-office light chemical peel (cost: about $300), which gets rid of excess keratin with low doses of acid, or microderm-abrasion ($150), which gently sands down and smooths the skin via a handheld device.

Consider Laser Hair Removal

Yes, really. An intense pulsed light (IPL) laser, typically used to remove hair at the follicles, may improve KP, too. While eviscerating each strand, the laser takes away the pore-blocking keratin along with it. Recurrences of the hair and excess keratin are probable, but chances are you’ll have smoother, less red skin for six months. (Cost: $500 per session; you may need several.)

3 easy ways to turn drugstore beauty buys into luxury products

The average department store lipstick can set you back a whopping $26. But, the truth is, the trendiest, most coveted items at the department store can be re-created at home with drugstore beauty buys. Yes, seriously.

1. GLYCOLIC ACID PEEL MASK

These ingredients create a brightening, tightening and toning mask right at home – and it’s so easy.

Aspirin has salicylic acid — which you may have seen used in over-the-counter acne medications — that can delve deeper into the pore to dissolve keratin plugs that can lead to blackheads and whiteheads. “It is lipophilic and absorbs nicely through fatty substances, like oil, and the ‘fatty’ layer of the upper skin cells,” Dr. Rachel Nazarian from Schweiger Dermatology Group told TODAY Style.

Nazarian confirmed that lemon has alpha hydroxy acid, a water-soluble acid that can help unglue dead skin cells on surface of the skin.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Source: Today – 3 easy ways to turn drugstore beauty buys into luxury products By, Anna De Souza

Natural Treatments for Keratosis Pilaris!

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What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition that is completely harmless but can be difficult to keep under control. Sometimes referred to as ‘chicken skin’, it presents itself as dry, rough patches of bumps on skin, which can appear on your upper thighs, back of your arms and even on your face. If you struggle with this chicken skin on arms, legs or your face, you’re not alone. Approximately 40% of adults and 80% of adolescents have these Keratosis Pilaris bumps somewhere on their bodies.1

Although this condition can appear at any age, it can begin to show signs in young children. This condition can appear all year round, however it is prone to flare ups in cold climates. Often the cause of Keratosis Pilaris is due to a buildup of Keratin in the hair follicle in the skin. Keratin is a protein naturally produced in the body, and can form a plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. These plugs are what create the rough, bumpy patches of skin, which can also be flaky and dry.2

How to get rid of Keratosis Pilaris

The Keratosis Pilaris diet
Many people with Keratosis Pilaris find that a specific Keratosis Pilaris diet can ease their symptoms. Some simple dietary changes combined with regular topical treatments can help improve the appearance of these bumps. You can try cutting out dairy or gluten products from your diet for two weeks and see if you can notice an improvement. Some naturopaths claim it is caused by your body’s inability to process casein or dairy protein. If signs improve, try swapping dairy products like milk to soy or nut milk and avoid gluten if you think this may also be an issue for you. In this case it is recommended to visit a naturopath or your healthcare professional to ensure your body is receiving all the vitamins it needs. Keratosis Pilaris may also be a sign of vitamin, zinc, magnesium or vitamin B deficiency, and a naturopath or your healthcare professional can address these issues.

Our in-house Nourished Life Naturopath Mel also recommends these easy, day-to-day topical steps for a Keratosis Pilaris home remedy program to keep Keratosis Pilaris under control.

1. The first step is exfoliation! Regular exfoliation can help to smooth the skin and buff away any bumps – don’t try to scratch them off! However, this step alone will not address the inflammation at the base of the hair follicle.
2. Use a hard working moisturiser. Regularly moisturising softens dry skin and can promote cell turnover, preventing blocked pores.
3. Avoid synthetic ingredients commonly found in mainstream scrubs and lotions as these can make the skin dry.2
4. Treatment for Keratosis Pilaris is all about consistency, so once you find a routine that works, stick to it.

Natural body scrubs to smooth Keratosis Pilaris

Body scrubs and exfoliators are so helpful for buffing away dead skin, unclogging pores, and encouraging skin cell turnover. We have so many amazing natural scrubs here on Nourished Life, but I am particularly partial to the benefits of coffee scrubs.

Ethique Mochaccino Body Polish
Packed with deeply exfoliating Pumice and Coffee Beans, the Ethique Mochaccino Body Polish is a solid coffee body scrub that thoroughly buffs away dead skin cells to help unclog blocked pores. Ideal for targeting dry, flaky skin, this plastic-free bar can be used two to three times weekly to help control Keratosis Pilaris and polish skin, with smoothing Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter to hydrate rough patches and leave skin feeling soft and supple.

Mineral Fusion Body Scrub – Kona Coffee
Another natural treatment for bumps on arms is the Mineral Fusion Kona Coffee Body Scrub, a creamy whipped Coffee body scrub that contains exfoliating Ground Kona Coffee and Pumice to loosen build-up and remove dry skin, while hydrating Hyaluronic Acid plumps and helps to even skin tone and nourishing Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Macadamia Oil and Avocado restore skin with smoothing moisture. Apply to damp skin and gently massage in circular motions to stimulate blood flow. Pair with the Eco Tan Extreme Exfoliant Glove for a more intense scrub.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub
If you have Keratosis Pilaris on the face, try the bestselling Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub. It is ideal for Keratosis Pilaris as it contains exfoliating Walnut Shell Flour, French Green Clay and Lemon Peel Granules as well as natural fruit acids from Acai, Blackberry and Pomegranate to help dissolve and scrub away bumps and polish the complexion. Use three times per week for best results, following with moisturiser after each use.

Dry body brushing for Keratosis Pilaris

Hydrea Vegan Dry Body Brush
One of best tips for getting rid of Keratosis Pilaris is to dry body brush! Used daily, the Hydrea Vegan Dry Body Brush works as a Keratosis Pilaris treatment, helping to smooth bumps by stimulating circulation and the lymphatic system and working to brush away dead skin cells and exfoliate skin. Cut on a smooth angle, the bristles on this brush are specially designed not to scratch skin. Brush affected areas each morning before showering, moving upward towards the heart.

Stay moisturised to treat Keratosis Pilaris

Elektra Magnesium Cream
Topical use of a Magnesium cream can help soothe and hydtrate dry, flaky skin. My all time favourite Magnesium cream is the Elektra Magnesium Cream – Island Spice. Used on affected area it can help to keep that chicken skin feeling under control, rich in replenishing Magnesium Chloride as well as natural butters and oils such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Mango Butter and Hemp Oil. This deeply nourishing daily Magnesium moisturiser can be applied all over the body, including the face.

SKIN by ecostore Rejuvenating Body Moisturiser
Designed to condition dehydrated skin, the SKIN by ecostore Rejuvenating Body Moisturiser is a wonderful, dermatologically tested daily moisturiser for dry skin which can be used on Keratosis Pilaris, it can help to smooth bumps on skin and deliver a burst of moisture. Rich in essential fatty acids from Blackcurrant and Grape Seed extracts, this gentle yet powerful body lotion also contains creamy Shea Butter which may help soften existing bumps and reduce new bumps from forming.

Coconut oil as a Keratosis Pilaris home remedy

Coconut oil is also a fantastic treatment for Keratosis Pilaris as it contains Lauric Acid which can help to break up Keratin, and avoid build up which can reduce the appearance of bumps on the back of the arms and body. It is also rich in both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness.

Coconut Magic Organic Coconut Oil
I love the Coconut Magic Organic Coconut Oil, which contains nothing but cold-pressed, 100% Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, rich in skin-loving saturated fats and essential fatty acids. For on the go, I definitely recommend the Coconut Magic Organic Oil Trio Pack so you will never be without your Coconut Oil. Keep one in your bathroom, one on your desk and one in your handbag! Simply target application to any area of dryness or bumps on the skin.

Shower filter for Keratosis Pilaris

Waters Co Therapy Shower Filter
My last recommendation for Keratosis Pilaris treatment is the Waters Co Therapy Shower Filter. Once attached to your shower, this shower filter is designed to remove chlorine, dirt, rusts and other nasties from your water flow, which can contribute to skin irritation and build-up in pores. This detoxifying shower filter uses Vitamin C and natural Sea Collagen designed to plump and hydrate the skin. It’s ideal for anyone with dry, flaky or sensitive skin prone which can be prone to Keratosis Pilaris.

Sources: 1 Body and Soul, 2 Health Direct.

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