Sometimes it’s called “chicken skin.” Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that runs in families. It’s common, it’s chronic, and it’s annoying.
KP shows up first in childhood when kids develop patches of bumpy skin on the backs of their arms, their legs, their bottoms, and sometimes their faces. Most of the time the bumps are white. But sometimes the patches are red because the clogged pores have inflamed the skin. Also, the texture feels rough and dry, which isn’t pretty when it’s on your cheeks.
The best way to treat keratosis pilaris is to exfoliate the skin, then moisturize. You don’t need to exfoliate every day – twice a week is enough. But do apply lotion every morning and night.
One of the easiest ways to exfoliate is to bathe with a body wash that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These two ingredients cleanse away dead skin and unclog pores without the need for scrubbing. Within a few days or a couple of weeks, they resolve the problem of ingrown hairs and dry patches.
You can also use a salicylic acid wash on your face. Face cleansers tend to be a little more gentle than body washes and safer than mechanical exfoliation.
Of course, you can mechanically exfoliate with a loofah or a mitt. But be careful not to overdo it and irritate the skin. Roughing up your body is not going to solve the problem faster, and it could cause an infection.
If you feel that your current moisturizer isn’t doing a good enough job, try one made especially for dry skin. Unless you also have psoriasis, avoid thick and oily creams. Instead, choose products with humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Some body moisturizers also contain glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid to exfoliate your skin throughout the day. Others contain urea which moisturizes while it helps you shed dead cells, too. Then, if you stay on top of things with regular exfoliation and moisturization, the KP will fade away.