Keratosis Pilaris or other known as rough bumpy skin or chicken skin. Who wants to be told they have chicken skin? No thank you.
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Before I went to a dermatologist, I had no idea what was wrong with my arms and even the bottom of my legs.
What is Keratosis Pilaris? A condition where the skin produces too much Keratin (a hair protein) and dry patches. This buildup of Keratin causes a blockage in hair follicles and causes the bumps that we dislike so much.
You can have this skin condition in various places:
- Face (cheeks, neck, or under your eyes)
- Legs (thighs)
As a teenager, dealing with cystic acne, I thought I had acne all over my body too! Thankfully that wasn’t the case and with years of figuring out how to manage it, I am ready to give you some simple tips that will help you improve your rough and bumpy skin.
It’s not acne, don’t pick!
As someone with acne and (I hate to admit this) also a picker, I need to express that you should not pick at these bumps!
These bumps are filled with excess Keratin but just like acne, the appearance and texture will get worse when you pick at them. I promise it’s not worth it.
Tips to stop picking:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts, full-length pants to cover the area
- Find your trigger (Is it boredom? Anxiety?)
- Keep your hands busy
I know it’s one thing to have a hard time dealing with a skin condition and it’s another to be potentially making it worse out of a bad picking habit. Whether it’s Keratosis Pilaris or just acne you’re dealing with, please know you’re not alone in this battle.
If you realize it might be anxiety or depression related, there’s no shame in seeking therapy to get help as well.
Exfoliate once a week
Keratosis Pilaris is caused by plugged hair follicles so exfoliating will help smooth out your skin. It’s important to note though that your goal is to be gentle and don’t try to scrub the bumps off! If you’re too rough, you can irritate your skin making the condition worse.
Before you get in the shower, I suggest using a dry brush first! This not only helps gently exfoliate your skin and unclogs your pores but it helps detoxify your skin as well.
When looking at exfoliating products, there are some key ingredients that will help remove that dry skin and will benefit your KP:
- Lactic acid
- Beta hydroxy Acid
- Salicylic acid
I’ve tried many body exfoliators out there but there is one that I personally swear by when it comes to helping calm my KP.
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
This body scrub was specifically designed with KP in mind! It contains 10% AHA’s that help gently loosen dry skin and decongest those clogged pores.
I have personally gone through two bottles of this exfoliator because I’ve seen a big improvement in reducing the size of my bumps. I call this stuff magic!
Moisturizer is your best friend
After exfoliating, there’s a step you should never ever skip. Moisturizer.
With Keratosis Pilaris, you are already dealing with rough and dry skin. In colder months, it can get worse. Especially if you live in a dry climate. Trust me, moisturizer is your best friend.
Related Blog Post: Amazing Skincare Tools That Have Transformed My Dry Skin
Over the years, I have tried so many different moisturizers. Just like exfoliators, I have a few that I have personally tried and these have helped improve my skin condition!
CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough and Bumpy Skin
This lotion contains Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ceramides! All amazing ingredients for the skin and to help smooth out the bumps. The texture of this lotion is on the thicker side but very nourishing.
This was the very first lotion I bought specifically for my Keratosis Pilaris after I was diagnosed by a dermatologist as she recommended it to me. This was developed by dermatologists so you know you can trust it.
First Aid Beauty KP Smoothing Lotion
Just like the exfoliator, this smoothing lotion contains 10% AHA’s and is made to help reduce the KP bumps. To bring moisture and smoothness back to your skin, this lotion also contains Urea, Colloidal Oatmeal, and Ceramides!
Hempz Coconut & Watermelon
I have been a die-hard fan of Hempz lotion since I was 15 years old. My skin has also been a fan of it.
Although, as of last month, it was my first time trying the coconut & watermelon soothing lotion and it’s incredible! Not only does it have a subtle coconut/fruity scent but it makes your skin so smooth and silky. I even experienced my first sunburn of the season and it helped my skin recover!
Increase and improve water intake
Time to be honest here – do you drink enough water? I’ve talked about this a lot on my blog but it’s something I struggle with too. But here’s the thing, if you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will tell you.
I have noticed that when I don’t hydrate enough, my Keratosis Pilaris and dry skin will get worse. Just like trying to tackle acne, applying products externally isn’t always enough. You have to take care of your skin by staying hydrated!
Not a fan of plain water? Me either. Recently, I bought a Cirkul water bottle to see if it would help increase my water intake, and to be totally honest, it did! I bought the 32 oz bottle with three flavors and I find myself drinking 1-2 bottles a day. My skin isn’t just smooth from the exfoliating and moisturizing but it’s supple and radiant.
Eat nutrient-rich foods
As mentioned above, it’s important to take care of your skin internally instead of just focusing on external products. You should make sure to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet.
As of right now, there are no studies linking Keratosis Pilaris to food allergies or intolerances but getting enough vitamins and eating healthy has been proven to improve the skin condition.
- Eat more fruits and veggies
- Take a daily supplement
- Get tested for deficiencies and allergies just to be sure
Improvement is right around the corner!
With these 5 tips to improve your rough and bumpy skin, I hope you start seeing results soon!
- Don’t pick at the bumps
- Drink water
- Eat healthily
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Lastly, studies have shown that Keratosis Pilaris seems to improve in a majority of people after the age of 30! So, apply all of these tips consistently and hang in there. It’ll get better!
If you have Keratosis Pilaris and you have tips to improve rough and bumpy skin that I didn’t cover in this post, please share with us in the comments below!
Amanda Burnett is a 25-year-old content creator. Growing up with a disability, she wanted to prove to herself that she was capable of accomplishing her dream life. Today she is helping her audience realize their potential as well! Her goal is to motivate as many people as she can through her lifestyle, beauty, and self-improvement content.
Mind Beauty Simplicity says
such an insightful read! i used to get this on my arms sometimes. thanks for the suggestions on how to get rid of it.
Siobhan Llinos says
Great post thanks for sharing! Siobhan ♡ | Vegan Babe Life
This is such an informative post! I’d never heard of keratosis pilaris before but I do have some of the bumps you mentioned on my back, so I’ll have to start working on these! I’m really awful at drinking enough water so I’ll have a look at your bottle if it helped. Thank you so much for sharing x
Karalee Shotola says
This post is so helpful for those that have keratosis pilaris. Even for those that don’t have any bumps, I do think exfoliating and moisturizing your skin, drinking enough water, and eating healthier are beneficial.
Thank you, Karalee! I totally agree, these habits are great in general. xx
Well, look at you possibly defining what I’ve had all my life. For me, it’s my lower legs. I never even considered that it could be something. After my daughter was born, her dad said, “her legs are like yours,” because she has the same thing. Now that I’m older, it’s not as bumpy as it used to be, but it’s still there. Now I have some ideas on how to improve the texture that I will definitely try out. Mind blown!
~ Cassie | letsgrowmom.com
Aw, Cassie! I’m so happy that I could help in such a tremendous way! Definitely let me know if these tips helped. xx
My son was diagnosed with this when he was a baby. They said he would outgrow it but he still has it. Thanks for the info. I rarely hear anyone else talking about it!
I didn’t know how common it was until I was diagnosed by a dermatologist! It definitely needs to be talked about more. Thanks for reading! xx
Fadima Mooneira says
My skin was acne prone when I was a teenager. Thanks to K-Beauty my skin is ok now. Thank you for sharing your tips.
Acne is the worst! Finding a skincare routine that works is such a relief. xx
Good tips here! I used to have these bumps on my arms (not sure if it was the same as what you are discussing) and I picked them–I was 12! And it was awful because then I picked the scabs so…yeah, important to deal with as it does lead to other issues. I honestly really want to start dry brushing so thanks for the reminder.
Yes! The bumps can go away on their own, but when you have them, they can be problematic! I’ll be writing a more detailed post on dry brushing too, so keep an eye out for that. xx