by BR Amelia
I was Zooming with friends recently and one of my besties was bemoaning the fact that summer was round the corner. On seeing our surprise (because we were all excited to live our best summery frosé and flippy frocks lives), she opened up about how she had a flare up of keratosis pilaris and was feeling self-concious about wearing short sleeves this summer. Naturally we told her no one would notice and that she would be as gorgeous as always, but on seeing our words do little to help her feel better I decided to get my geek on to understand what she was going through and to see what could be done about it...
What is keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless skin condition that involves areas of small bumps appearing on a person's body; most often on arms, thighs, bottom, back and face. The bumps can range in colour from that of your skin tone through to pink, red or brown, and some people will also experience itchy skin.
What causes keratosis pilaris?
Good old genetics are likely to blame for keratosis pilaris, but what causes the bumps is excess production of keratin, which then gets trapped in the hair follicle.
Who experiences it?
Keratosis pilaris can be found in people of all ages. However, it's most often seen in children and teenagers, and is more likely to be experienced by women than men. If you're on the youthful side and have keratosis pilaris, the good news is that it can get better on its own as you age, with reduction seen by the age of thirty.
Pregnancy, having dry skin, eczema, and even the winter months can also create or exacerbate the issue.
What can you do to make it go away?
Unfortunately, there's no cure for keratosis pilaris, however there are ways to minimise it with a good, simple skincare routine. Cleanse with gentle soaps and cleansers. You can manually exfoliate the area, but do so gently. When you dry off, pat don't rub. Finally, use a mild but nourishing moisturiser to hydrate the skin.
People have found wearing loose clothing helps keep irriration at bay, as does investing in a humidifier in order to keep the air around them moist.
Other options involve using topical cleansers or creams that include retinoids or acids, or a course of IPL treatment. Before undertaking such a regime, it's important to talk to a health professiona, and to always patch test first to check for reactions.
Finally, if you find yourself really concerned do have a chat with your GP, as prescription creams, such as tretinoin, may help in reducing the look of keratosis pilaris.
So, my beauties... what's your experience with keratosis pilaris? Have you found ways to minimise it? Has yours ever just disappeared? Chat below!