Keratosis Pilaris is the medical term for those dreaded goosebumps on the back of your arms and in some cases thighs and calves.
KP is a genetic condition that appears as rough, red bumps on the skin – this resembles red goosebumps and chicken skin.
It is most commonly found on the back of the tops of arms, but can also affect tops of thighs and buttocks. This condition can be irritating and scratching seems to make it worse, this can cause scabs that result in scarring in extreme cases.
Help get rid of keratosis pilaris with these easy to do tips
This affects 40% of the population – 50 – 80% will affect adolescents and often appears in individuals when they are children, it is more common in women than men.
Keratosis Pilaris occurs when the body produces excess Keratin – a natural protein in the skin, the excess keratin surrounds and traps the hair follicles/pores, this causes hard plugs to form and cause the red dots that you see – this is known as Hyper-keritinization. Ingrown hairs can also result from the keratinized skin trapping the hair follicles and preventing the hair from growing out.
Many doctors will just dismiss this as a genetic cosmetic problem and regard it as untreatable but there are a few things that have shown to give results.
Retinoid (Vitamin A) creams have proved very effective as they have a normalising effect on the skin and speed up the rate at which skin cells shed. They also have a clearing effect on pores and discourage the blockage of dead skin cells. It may take a few weeks for changes to be seen and monitor for any irritation.
Lactic acid is one of our favourite ingredients. An AHA derived from yogurt. There are several reasons I use it over other AHA’s such as glycolic acid but mostly because it has additional benefits to the skin, other than just exfoliation.As with Glycolic Acid and other AHA’s, Lactic Acid is a keratolytic agent. Which means it provides effective exfoliation. It works to dissolve the desmosomes (bonds) that hold keratinocytes (skin cells) together. This gentle but effective exfoliation is great for increasing cellular renewal. Helping to keep the texture of the stratum corneum smooth and even, thus reducing goosebumps effects.
Skin needling – Dermagen
Dermagen – Skin needling, is an ancient technique used to induce collagen production. It can actually increase collagen up to 1000% with just one treatment. By creating a microtrauma on the skin it releases growth factors that promote scarless healing it also encourages the production of normal (woven) collagen rather than scar forming collagen by kicking in fibroblasts that thicken and tighten improving tone and texture dramatically. Read Marie Reynolds article needles and pins to discover how this technique can help to smooth your skin for perfect smoothness.
Diamond Microdermabrasion is very effective and I have used this on clients with Keratosis Pilaris with very good results! It is a mechanical form of exfoliation with a suction action, it can actually remove some of the more stubborn keratinized plugs! and leave skin very smooth and even in tone. The avoidance of Pore Clogging ingredients is also key to prevent further problems – so steer clear of mineral oil in body lotions, also known as Paraffinum Liquidum and Petrolatum, these will only sit on the surface and possibly cause more congestion and build up of dead skin.