TREATING KERATOSIS PILARIS - 3 EASY STEPS
5 'Chicken Skin' Treatments, Ranked In Order Of Effectiveness
Nothing quite kills your Michelle-Obama-tank-top vibes quite like chicken skin.
(its fancy medical term) is a very common condition that plagues about 50 percent of us with stubborn bumps on the backs of our arms. And if you’ve tried to scrub them away, you know that's not the answer.
Keratosis pilaris happens when your skin overproduces keratin (an important building-block protein in your bod). The keratin then plugs up hair follicles, causing tough little bumps that can look red and rough.
You'll most often find it on the backs of your arms, although it is also known for showing up on your cheeks, thighs, and butt. (Because of course.)
The good news: It's totally benign (a.k.a. it's not cancerous or doing you any kind of harm). The bad news: it’s genetic and mostly out of your control—and that makes it tough to treat. #blessed?
Still, there are things you can do to keep the bumps at bay. Here are five options, ranked from least effective to most.
5. Eat plenty of omega-3s
Foods rich in omega-3s are essential for keeping skin moisturized and healthy. These include walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, tuna, sardines, and soybeans. Leafy greens are also always good to get in for overall skin health and function, says Craig Austin, M.D., a New York City dermatologist.
Some foods can make matters worse though: Stay away from dairy products if you’re prone to keratosis pilaris, since it can trigger inflammation (which can in turn trigger conditions like keratosis pilaris), Austin says.
4. Switch to fragrance-free products
In some cases, keratosis pilaris is caused or exacerbated by wearing fragranced body products like lotions, creams, and perfume sprays, using scented soaps and body washes, and by showering with hot water, says Austin. Make sure your body-care regimen is fragrance-free, and try to use the most lukewarm water possible for showers and baths. Also, keep bath time short (think: under seven minutes) so dehydration of skin is minimized.
3. Add keratolyic agents to your skin-care routine
Say what? Allow a doctor to translate this one for you: “Keratolyic agents help remove keratin—or the scales that are blocking the follicles, causing the bumps to form,” says Austin. Products containing lactic acid, urea, and glycerin (likeAmlactin Fragrance-Free Moisturizing Body Lotion) all perform this function and can be applied daily to prevent and treat the condition. Best yet, they’re super-gentle, so this is a great option if you have sensitive skin that is easily irritated.
2. Use a good chemical exfoliant
Chemical exfoliants that lift dead skin cells are your BFFs. Austin says salicylic acid (like what you'll find in theCane + Austin Face & Body Retexture Scrub) and glycolic acid (likePaula’s Choice Resist Skin Revealing Body Lotion with10 Percent AHA)are especially effective in working out those clogged follicles.
For the thicker skin of your body (think: your arms and legs, not your face), Austin recommends a concentration of 10 percent glycolic acid or more to see visible results quickly. Just bear this in mind: You need to be consistent with daily application to chase the bumps away and maintain results, he adds.
1. Go for a prescription retinoid
Prescription retinoid like Retin-A is a go-to treatment for acne. But Austin says that the vitamin A derivative’s exfoliating powers also allow younger skin to come up faster, so those chicken skin bumps flatten out. Just remember that the final result takes patience; you must be on a retinoid for several weeks before you’re in the clear—but once you are, it’s smooth sailing.
Video: How to get rid of Chicken Skin with Natural Remedy|Keratosis Pilaris|
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