Keratosis Pilaris: A common skin condition, also known as “chicken skin” or “goose flesh,” characterized by rough, bumpy skin on the upper arms and tops of the thighs.
If you’re experiencing an unwanted skin souvenir in the form of tiny, rough, slightly red bumps on your arms, thighs or backside, you are not alone. This condition is called keratosis pilaris and is estimated to affect approximately 40% of adults and up to 80% of adolescents. Keratosis pilaris is a build-up of a protein called keratin at the opening of the hair follicle. This build-up produces spiky overgrowths of skin that can worsen as weather turns cooler and drier.
As widespread as keratosis pilaris is, most people are too embarrassed to seek treatment from their physician or a dermatologist. Instead, they try a variety of self-treatments, such as attempting to scratch the bumps off or aggressively exfoliate them away. Unfortunately, neither methods work and, more often than not, make the situation worse.
For best results in treating keratosis pilaris, make sure to keep the area hydrated with a moisturizer that contains urea and/or salicylic acid to support regular skin-cell proliferation. When used regularly, products containing these ingredients can be very effective at improving this condition. For some people, gentle exfoliation to more quickly renew the skin may also be helpful.
By bumping up your use of moisturizer and avoiding the urge to scratch, you can feel confident taking off your cardigan and showing off your fresh fall skin.