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Health & Wellbeing / Claire Blackmore

WTF Is Keratosis Pilaris And How Can I Obliterate It?

Spring is just around the corner (honest) but if you dread getting your arms out because of those irritating little bumps covering the back of them, you are not alone.

Studies have shown that around 40% of us suffer from the keratosis pilaris. You know the pimples – they look a bit like chicken skin or goosebumps, occasionally get really itchy and make you super self-conscious when you whip out the short-sleeved tees.

Our resident Pink Parcel GP, Dr. Tatiana Lapa, explains everything you NTK about those annoying lumps and bumps…

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is usually an inherited condition of the hair follicles that causes the skin to look rough and bumpy, as if covered in goose pimples. It is a harmless condition that most commonly affects the upper arms, back and upper thighs.

What Is It Caused By?

A build up of a protein called keratin in the – hence the name keratosis (build of keratin) pilaris (affecting the hair follicles). The excess keratin blocks the hair follicles with plugs of hard rough skin, widening the pores and giving the characteristic appearance of ‘chicken skin’ or ‘goose pimples’. It is also often associated with other dry skin conditions such as eczema.

How Do I Get Rid Of It?

There is no specific cure for keratosis pilaris but there are lots of ways to improve the skin. It’s important to moisturise your skin very well on a daily basis and exfoliate thoroughly in the shower. Prescription treatments such as Vitamin A creams (retinol), chemical peels and microdermabrasion can be very useful in improving the cosmetic appearance of the skin. Sometimes it can be a good idea to see a specialist cosmetic doctor or dermatologist to get on the right track with what will work best for your skin.

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