Keratosis Pilaris – a long name for a very common skin condition. Keratosis Pilaris, or “KP”, is characterized by a rash with hard tiny plugs forming in the hair follicles. These plugs are made of keratin, a protein which is found in the outer layer of the skin. Because the follicles are plugged up, the skin appears raised and bumpy. Many people who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris do not even know what it is or that it can be treated.
There is no cure for Keratosis Pilaris on the market but there are products which effectively treat the symptoms associated with KP to smooth out the skin. AHA’s such as salicylic acid for example, in combination with an intense moisturizer, work very well for those who suffer with this skin condition.
Salicylic acid is classified with a grouping of medicines referred to as “keratolytics”. Salicylic acid can be used to treat certain skin conditions in which the skin has become thickened, scaly or flaky. The properties in salicylic acid work to soften keratin, which is what plugs up the hair follicles on people who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris. Salicylic acid works to loosen the plugged keratin to make it easier to remove. When salicylic acid is used in combination with an intense moisturizer, it peels away the outer layer of skin to soften and smooth out the area. In Keratosis Pilaris, the routine use of salicylic acid helps to prevent the follicles from clogging in the first place. Strengths of salicylic acid products range from 0.5% to 30% so depending on the severity of the KP on a given individual, the concentration will need to be adjusted.
If you are plagued with Keratosis Pilaris and you are self-conscious about your skin’s bumpy appearance, start out with a low concentration of 3% salicylic acid strength to see how well it improves and smoothes out your skin’s texture. If you tolerate it well and would like to see more significant results, try a higher strength of 8% salicylic acid or 15% salicylic acid. Be sure to use salicylic only as directed on the package and do not leave it on longer than specified for best results.
Keratosis pilaris is quite a common condition which affects a person’s skin. It is a complicated name for something which is completely harmless but is considered to be aesthetically annoying to those who suffer from it. Those who do have keratosis pilaris are often afflicted with poor self perception and feel very self conscience about it.
The condition known as keratosis pilaris is most often a result of genetics, but is also associated with a variety of other skin conditions. It can occur on all skin types and becomes worse when the skin is dry. During the winter season, because of the dry weather, keratosis pilaris can become worse. It happens most often in females and sometimes clears itself up in adulthood.
Keratosis pilaris looks like tiny bumps on the surface of the skin – similar to what goosebumps look like except they do not go away. The area feels rough and when it lacks moisture, the skin may also feel itchy. Keratosis pilaris is connected to the process of keratin production. Keratin is an insoluble protein found in hair and nails as well as the most outer layer of the skin. It acts as a barrier against infections. Excess production of keratin will clog the pores and hair follicles which creates the appearance of the tiny bumps on the skin.
Chemical peels which contain AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) have been used with success to treat keratosis pilaris. Because it is hereditary and there is no known cure, the condition will not completely subside but it can be significantly improved through the use of glycolic acidchemical peel products and other AHA peel products such as lactic acid. Glycolic acid peels work to remove the dead outer layer of skin cells which can unclog the pores to reveal smoother skin. The glycolic peels can be done every couple of weeks to achieve the best results and in between treatments a glycolic acid moisturizer will help to maintain the smoother skin.
If you suffer from keratosis pilaris and you are ready to try a chemical peel to treat the condition, Skin Rx recommends starting out with a 30% glycolic acid peel or 30% lactic acid peel. For maintenance in between chemical peel treatments, try Glycolic Smoothing Gel. With a consistent skin care routine including the glycolic acid or lactic peels, the skin will begin to look and feel smoother.
Whether mild or severe, Keratosis Pilaris is not a pleasant thing to deal with. Maybe you didn’t even realize you had an actual “skin condition” and just thought it was dry skin or ingrown hairs. The fact is, Keratosis Pilaris is somewhat of a mystery to many people who have it. It’s not a serious medical condition, and for most people, Keratosis Pilaris often resolves itself eventually. While you have it though, it can make you feel self-conscience about the appearance and texture of your skin.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
According to The Mayo Clinic, Keratosis Pilaris is “a common skin condition that causes rough patches and small, acne-like bumps, usually on the arms and thighs.” The condition is often difficult to treat and is caused by the build-up of keratin which blocks hair follicles. Dry skin can exacerbate the problem. People with Keratosis Pilaris will notice small bumps that may appear like acne, rough patches, and skin-colored bumps which are generally painless.
Skin Rx offers several products to help treat Keratosis Pilaris. With a bit of extra care in your daily skin care routine, you can smooth and soothe your skin.
Microdermabrasion Peel Kit #1 – The microdermabrasion peel is a great treatment for Keratosis Pilaris as it exfoliates and smoothes the skin to balance out the uneven texture.
Skin Recovery Crème – This non-greasy moisturizer is made to heal and repair sensitive skin and is free from oils, perfumes, and dyes.