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What Causes Keratosis Pilaris Bumps (Chicken Skin) and How Do You Get Rid of It?

Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a skin condition that often appears as rough bumps on arms. Sometimes it’s referred to as “chicken skin” as it resembles well, the skin of a plucked chicken. It’s completely harmless, but annoying and unsightly nonetheless.

KP is caused by excess keratin (found in hair protein, nails, and the outer layer of your skin).  These dead skin cells plug hair follicles causing goose pimply bumps which can appear flesh colored, pink, red or brown. Aside from arms, KP can also appear on your face, thighs and buttocks.  While it’s a common condition affecting 40% of adults, KP tends to be more common in those with fair skin. So what causes KP flare-ups? Dry, cold weather, hormonal changes, and shaving. Luckily, it often goes away once you’re over the age of 30.

With Summer in Full Force, Keep the Bumps at Bay with These Tips: 

While there’s no known cure, there are definitely ways to reduce its appearance. Two words: Exfoliate and moisturize.

1. Gently exfoliate with an exfoliating treatment like Hit Restart Detox Scrub Treatment. The operative word being gently—over-scrubbing will not get rid of the bumps, and can often cause inflammation. Physical scrubs (like Hit Restart) or chemical exfoliation containing glycolic acid both work to unplug the blocked follicles and remove dead skin cells.

2. Taking a warm bath prior to exfoliating opens up your pores, enhancing effectiveness of exfoliating treatments. Just be sure to avoid hot baths as it can further irritate and dry out skin.

3. After your bath or shower, slather on a moisturizer containing glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid. Cortisone can also help to temporarily reduce redness. Keeping skin hydrated soothes dry patches and prevents flareups. 

Repeat 2-3 times a week for smooth skin, sans bumps--just in time for tank-top weather.

Fytt Perspective

As you know, we are all about a healthy skincare diet for overall skin wellness! Aim for an anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3 oils to calm irritation and keep skin hydrated.  Throw a spoonful of chia seeds in your morning smoothie, and sprinkle sunflower seeds in your salad for lunch. Choose fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, or sardines 1-2 times a week.  Also, magnesium and zinc are key minerals for healthy skin. Some foods rich in these minerals include dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and quinoa.