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.