Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Chicken Skin AKA Keratosis Pilaris

Chicken skin sounds so horrid doesn't it!? If you are not sure what this is then it's basically bumpy, rough, dry patches of skin which usually has a red pimply appearance and is often on the backs of your upper arms.
 A strange thing to write about you may think but this was something that affected Nic's arms growing up and occasionally now too. Nic always felt really embarrassed in school during the Summer months when you have to wear short sleeves. You know how cruel children can sometimes be, taunting you about something which is a little different to everyone else.

Image from victoriahealth.com
With the weather heating up here in the UK we start to reveal a little more skin and sometimes these skin complaints can affect your confidence. If this skin condition is on your mind here is a little info about it.

So what is it?
 It's medical term in Keratosis Pilaris. It is very common and totally harmless. Anybody can suffer from this but more frequently it arises in young females and people who suffer very dry skin which is often fair.It's something which can appear during puberty and usually disperses in adulthood.
 It is usually inherited from one of your parents and is basically a build up of keratin in the skin's hair follicles. The keratin sits in the hair follicles, blocking it and causing a rough patch of spotty skin.

How can I treat it?
 
Because of the nature of it being inherited you are limited to what you can do however by following these tips you can certainly help the situation and give your skin a helping hand.
 As with a lot of skin complaints you need to treat from within. Unless you have medical reasons not to then ensure your diet is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Food which contain this are Flaxseed, walnuts, oily fish such as salmon, sardines and certain vegetables including brussel sprouts and cauliflowerYou can take supplements also.
 Topically it's good to use a gentle body exfoliator. We like the Clarins tonic body polisher http://goo.gl/2x0rvt or Garnier Body tonic scrub http://goo.gl/fGJwES
You don't need to scrub everyday but at least three times a week. It helps to loosen the plugs of keratin and soften the rough texture.
 You can also purchase exfoliating gloves to wear in the shower which are great if you don't have a lot of time http://goo.gl/3wSHJc
 Slather on a rich body cream massaging it well into the affected area. We are a huge fan of Eucerin Aquaphor skin balm http://goo.gl/wKsKA8 but generally any rich body cream will work. Apply this every morning and evening.

Follow these tips and it will certainly help. Don't forget to wear your sun cream if you are out in the sunshine, this area of skin is often sensitive so needs extra protection.

Do you suffer with Keratosis Pilaris? If so what are your top tips?




 
 
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41 comments

  1. I take cod liver oil and use ameliorate moisturiser which is specifically designed for the condition. They have helped so much! Xxx

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  3. Yes yes! Have had this for years. Started in my teens and I stupidly picked at it. I still do when I'm stressed without even realizing what I'm doing. It itches like crazy after hot showers so I try to use oils instead of foaming wash, I also spritz with rosewater after to stop the itch then slather on moisturizer. It's horrible and people often stare in the summer but where I once covered it up even in hot Aussie summers I now don't care so much. It'd be nice to have nice smooth bump and scar free skin.

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    1. Yes avoid picking, I know it's tempting!

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  4. My 2 year old son has this on the tops of both arms. Is there anything you recommend for young skin? Neither me or my partner suffer from it so not sure how to treat it or why he has it. He's had it from a very young age-2-3 months! Thank you x

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    1. My 21 month old daughter has just been diagnosed with this and prescribed aqueous cream. I use it to cleanse her skin before rinsing in lukewarm clear water, then pat dry and apply another thin layer before dressing. even after only a few days I can already see a positive result. I've also noticed that sunscreen causes it to flare up and look quite angry, although it doesn't seem to bother her? Can anyone recommend a sun cream with a high SPF that is gentle on the skin? I'm also tempted to try an oatmeal bath and see if that helps.

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    2. Hey girls I have this too and I passed the genetics down to my 2 year old son! I used Hampton Sun for Kids spf 70 so lovely high protection but also mega gentle. I've also been avoiding using bath products containing sodium laurel sulphate as they can aggravate sensitive skin so have been using a lovely range from boots called Child's Farm so lovely and free of all rubbish, bonus! Plus it was all half price the other work so worth.a look! Xx

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    3. Ultra sun sun cream is amazing not cheap but really good. My 13yr old has this on her arms and face đŸ˜„

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    4. Yes The childs farm range is good, we have tried this also.x

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  5. I've had this since i was a teenager and never knew what it was! It's not as bad these days, just a slight red rash.

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  6. My boyfriend suffers with this massively on his arms and a bit of on the tops of his shoulders. Kiehl's whipped soy milk and honey moisturizer works a treat after exfoliation. Really randomly, in the shower ( after exfoliation where the skin can be a little raw) baby bath ( the johnsons and johnsons variety) works really well at being soothing and gentle :)

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  7. Using a cream with urea (a softener, not urine) has really helped me, it softens the keratin plugs and using a scrub too :)

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    1. The Eucerin contains Urea also.x

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  8. Using a cream with urea (a softener, not urine) has really helped me, it softens the keratin plugs and using a scrub too :)

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  9. I have this as well. Still bad at 41! I discovered a line of products called Glytone. It contains Glycolic acid which fights the condition. They have body wash and lotions. I advise getting the lotion with the highest level of Glycolic. It works wonders. I order from Amazon here in the US!

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  10. I find that soap and glory's 'the scrub of your life' really helps with the bumbs and really afforadable! xxx

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  11. I've had keratosis since I was 12/13 and the following DEFINITELY make a difference:

    * Definitely dairy related - I have a dairy intolerance. When I go without dairy (completely avoiding it, check packets to make sure there is no dairy in product) and drink more water my keratosis improves drastically;

    * I use a soap with a scrubby in the shower first, then use the Lush 'buffy bar' (totally the BEST natural product I've ever come across);

    * coconut oil is good for a moisturiser;

    * Nivea soft cream is the best cream I've come across so far (and its cheap);

    - I've tried using creams with urea in them. They don't work for me. Maybe they do for some people.. but I've tried 2 or 3 different creams with urea in them (some of them were expensive!!) and didn't notice a difference that I could not have achieved with my previous points.

    I swear on all the above! Its such an irritating skin condition - especially when you want to wear a tshirt/sleeveless dress but you're aware of your keratosis (not that anyone would comment on it or really notice anyway).

    My sister and uncle both have Keratosis on their arms too and my sister is completely allergic to dairy and my uncle is intolerant like me.

    I hope these points are helpful to someone! xxx

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    1. Wow thank you Kaela. My son, aged 7, has suffered with keratosis for years and I've long suspected he has a food intolerance. He also suffers from migraines. I'm going to get him checked.

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    2. Ah yes I've heard people say it's dairy related too, and also someone told me it can be an intolerance to tomatoes??

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  12. I had this on my arms as a teenager, but it is not the case any more (I'm 26). Still, I have some problems after hair removal. It affects my face, shoulders and upper part of my stomach (I don't know if I have inherited the chicken skin, but I sure have inherited body hair), so I discovered that for me effaclar duo+ by la roche posay is working very good - over a night the rash is almost completely gone.

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  13. Interesting comments.. I have studied this for a very long time.. Here's what I have found and do now.. The best results are by treating the inside, not creams and washes etc.. Maybe a scrub to begin with, but then its pretty much not needed.. Fermented Cod Liver Oil. KP can be related to Vitamin A and the ratio of A to D in Fermented Cod Liver Oil is spot on, which is important. Next Biotin 1000IU 3 times a day. I also take Vitamin C 3 times a day. People who mention Dairy, it may not be. I thought this too as when I cut out dairy, hey hoh my skin improved. However I found that it was the calcium in the dairy. I and many individuals are sensitive to calcium. When I cut out dairy and my skin improved I thought, I better get some calcium and hey presto, skin started drying out and looking much more KP again. Good luck I have reduced mine by around 80%.

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  14. I used to have this and it disappeared on me when I tested not eating gluten or dairy and hasn't come back even after I started eating both again. I have a feeling that may have been a coincidence, but it's something to try!

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  15. I have this and I've kept it pretty well under control with large amounts of Vitamin D (I have to take more than the daily recommended value) and fishoil. For me, I feel like the severity of it comes and goes... When it's extremely noticeable I use Amlactin lotion or Lac-hydrin lotion (I'm pretty sure they're roughly the same thing... just different names.) Not fancy or organic... but it works and it's what the derm ordered! I find that despite my love of organic or luxurious products, they are not the way to go for this for one big reason: Fragrance. Even "organic fragrance." Adds another level of irritation that is just not a good thing. So, drug store brands it is.

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  16. I've found that eating too much chocolate, fizzy drinks and takeaways can cause this to flare up and have found that drinking the required amount of water daily, eating healthier and exercising (which is what I have started doing) have definitely improved the condition of my skin, also using body scrubs and moisturisers as you mentioned :)

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  17. I have this and allergies and my skin starts to come off sometimes I use a soap and glory scrub and after I apply moztirizer

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  18. I hear that up to 50% of the population has this but other than family I have never seen anyone else with it and that's so annoying lol.
    It's actually got worse for me the older I've become and I wouldn't mind it so much if it wasn't so red.
    I use scrubs which help to smooth and coconut oil which is amazing and my arms can feel super smooth, but the redness remains. I wish I could figure out how to combat that because it really does affect my confidence during the summer. I will try the Omega 3 suggestion but other than using makeup, not sure about the redness.

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  19. Thank you so much for this post and for the tips! I've suffered with Keratosis Pilaris for years and it hasn't been a good experience for me either- I always used to wear a long sleeved top even in the Summer as a teenager as I was so embarrassed to show my arms. I've found that using non-scented products and applying a rich yet lightweight moisturiser everyday helps to keep the skin supple and less-irritated. I've also recently drastically reduced my dairy-intake and have noticed a difference in just a few months xxx

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    1. That's great to hear its getting better for you, hope the tips here have helped.x

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  20. I've had this for years and found that daily use of a really great moisturizer helps tremendously.

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  21. Ever since I was a little girl I've had Keratosis Pilaris. My parents would take me to the US doctors and most would recommend exfoliators and highly hydrating creams. This did not work for me at all, if anything, it just caused skin breakage and irritation.

    Then, my parents decided to try over the border to Mexico and try a doctor there. The doctor there recommended "Betametasona Clotrimazol Gentamicina". I tried this cream for two days and literally saw a shocking difference.
    - First, there was a change in the texture of my skin, it was very smooth and felt like I never had the skin condition.
    - Second, I noticed that some of the Keratosis Pilaris cleared up (not entirely, but some patches).

    I would highly recommend this cream if you really are tired of the results exfoliators and hydrating creams give you. I know for some it's good enough but honestly, it was not for me.

    I've tried looking for this cream in the US and I've not found any that are similar to this. The only place I know to get it is in Mexico, and the price ranges from 2 to 7 USD. If anyone knows of the cream somewhere in the US, let me know, otherwise, I would highly recommend this cream for anyone wanting incredible results. The only thing that was disappointing was that after not using it for a week, the skin went back to its original state so I became very dependent on the product.

    Hope this helps!

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  22. Ever since I was a little girl I've had Keratosis Pilaris. My parents would take me to the US doctors and most would recommend exfoliators and highly hydrating creams. This did not work for me at all, if anything, it just caused skin breakage and irritation.

    Then, my parents decided to try over the border to Mexico and try a doctor there. The doctor there recommended "Betametasona Clotrimazol Gentamicina". I tried this cream for two days and literally saw a shocking difference.
    - First, there was a change in the texture of my skin, it was very smooth and felt like I never had the skin condition.
    - Second, I noticed that some of the Keratosis Pilaris cleared up (not entirely, but some patches).

    I would highly recommend this cream if you really are tired of the results exfoliators and hydrating creams give you. I know for some it's good enough but honestly, it was not for me.

    I've tried looking for this cream in the US and I've not found any that are similar to this. The only place I know to get it is in Mexico, and the price ranges from 2 to 7 USD. If anyone knows of the cream somewhere in the US, let me know, otherwise, I would highly recommend this cream for anyone wanting incredible results. The only thing that was disappointing was that after not using it for a week, the skin went back to its original state so I became very dependent on the product.

    Hope this helps!

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  23. I've had KP on my arms and cheeks since I was a baby. Switching to products with no silicone (dimethicone in particular wreaks havoc on my skin) has helped the most in addition to using organic skincare and upping my intake of fatty acids in foods. A little bit of sunless tan helps me feel less iffy about it but I really can't be bothered to cover up because other people can't deal. It's their problem, not mine.

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  24. The best treatment that I've tried came from your friend Ruth Crilly. It's cheap and wildly effective if you stick with it: dry brushing.

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  25. I've had KP from I was a kid too and finally got rid of it last year when I turned 23 with dry body brushing! I remember first using an exfoliator when I was 8 or 9 desperately trying to get it away but nothing ever worked. Normal in-shower exfoliators only ever aggravated the bumps making them more red and noticeable, even with the exfoliators marketed for microbumps like the one from Sanctuary. Within about a week of dry brushing once a day and then using coconut oil for moisturiser the bumps had disappeared and recently I have only had to do it about 3 times a week to keep them away. It's probably a little too harsh for children's skin but maybe there are softer brushes out there for them.

    As for food intolerances, I did cut dairy out around the same time but I'm convinced that it was the dry brushing that did the trick for me. The difference was noticeable after my first try, and I haven't had the KP come back even though I have occasionally had to eat dairy. I also eat tomatoes everyday now but never ate them as a kid so I know it wasn't a tomato intolerance that caused my KP.

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  26. I have KP in my legs and arms. I use dry brushing, salt soap in shower and moisturise the skin with olive or coconut oil. It doesnt disappear completely, but makes the situation much much much better. I think that using salt soap has been the key thing in this!

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  27. Great tips guys, thanks for sharing.x

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  28. I've had keratosis pilaris for as long as I can remember. Mostly on the outside of my cheeks and my upper arms. Over the years I feel like it has gone down a bit, most on my cheecks but I also feel it has got something to do with the change in my skin care routine. A few years ago I started using acidic toners everyday to remove the build up of dead skin cells. As well as using oils. Now it's barely visible, you can only feel some tiny bumps when you stroke that area.

    On my arms it's not as easy. I tried a lot of different products and also used products that my dermatologist suggested and they didn't help. The only thing I've found that somewhat helps is exfoliating regularly and keeping the area very well hydrated. I also find that depending on what season it is, it differs on how much it flares up.

    As a kid I used to feel very insecure because I felt like I was the only one who had these strange little bumps. My mom also has these tiny red dots on her upper arms but they were never as visible or elevated as mine. They still make me feel insecure about my arms and I know they will never go away completely, but there are some things I can do about it to make them a little less visible.

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  29. I'll definitely be trying some of these tips out come summer! X

    Styling ripped jeans for summer over at-
    hailandharmony.blogspot.ie
    // BLOGLOVIN

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  30. Thanks so so much for this post, it is not spoken about enough and is sooooo common! I've had it since I can remember on my upper arms on the back and on my lower legs at the back. I also had it on my cheeks but that has gone the older I got. It's definitely improved since I was little but still there. If it's itchy I'll scratch it which doesn't help things. I was prescribed urea cream and it did nothing. After googling some things someone spoke about coconut oil. Since dry brushing in the shower and moisturing with coconut oil I've noticed a dramatic difference in my upper arms! I find in summer the kp on my legs is less prominent which is interesting, perhaps fabric rubbing against it makes it worse?! Anyway dry brushing and coconut oil are my saviours :-)

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  31. I inherited this from my Dad. It improves with sunshine in summer and when I am in humid climes. Treating it from the inside is complicated by my Crohn's disease. I've learned to live with it as my body confidence has improved with age.

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  32. I find that keeping my skin moisturised really helps

    www.ambermcniff.co.uk

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