Keratosis pilaris is a harmless normal skin condition. This disease causes small, hard acne-like bumps and rough patches that may make a person’s skin feel like sandpaper. A good number of people know this disease by its nicknames which include; chicken skin or gooseflesh. To date, the cause of this disease has not been determined yet but it can be treated slowly before it disappears from the human skin. The condition can attack any person be it a male, female, white or black and people of all ages.
Unlike other skin conditions, Keratosis poilaris doesn’t hurt or become worse with time. The only problem that a person undergoes is the itching. In a good number of children or adolescents, the disease heals as they get older. So, whether it’s treated or not, it will fade away slowly as one grows. But in case this doesn’t happen, seeing a doctor should be the next thing. In this article, we are going to discuss how this about the cause of this condition, its cure and treatment. Read carefully so that you fully grasp more information concerning keratosis pilaris.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that takes place when keratin, a protein based in the skin, builds up and plugs hair follicles. This brings about a bumpy and rough patch that has a tough texture. When the bump is scratched, you can easily see, a thin coil of hair. The scratching should be totally done away with since it can inflame the hair follicles and allow in pathogens that can bring infection.
The keratosis pilaris disease can be mostly observed on the upper, outer arms, but it can as well be observed on the cheeks, thighs, back and forearms. In some scenarios, the bumpy and rough patches are skin-colored or at times they may appear to be red, swelling or with brownish hue.
What kind of people get keratosis pilaris?
This skin condition which is irritating can be acquired by any person. The age, size, race, sex or profession doesn’t matter. But in most cases, the skin condition is found in teenagers who are in adolescent and more so in females. It occurs less in adults but more in young lads. In addition, it is more prone to individuals with dry sensitive skin and eczema prone people. In most cases, the skin condition emerges while in teenage years but completely goes away while in 3os.
What are its signs and symptoms?
There are various signs and symptoms that a person can see and decide whether the skin condition they are facing is keratosis pilaris or not. Some of the common signs of keratosis pilaris skin condition includes:
- The bumps feel like very rough sandpaper
- Small bumps that appear similar to goose bumps
- Small pinkness may be observed around some bumps.
- They may look like small, hard, flesh colored or white lumps.
- Skin-colored bumps are the size of a grain of sand.
- The bumps may appear on the face and be confused for eczema
Causes of keratosis pilaris
This skin condition is caused by a buildup of keratin. Keratin is a protein that protects the skin form harmful infections and other dangerous things. The creation of keratin forms a plug that closes the opening of a hair follicle. Despite all this, doctors still don’t know what triggers this condition to take place. People with a dry skin have higher chances of having the disease. When there is less moisture in the air during winter, the condition is very worse unlike during summer. Also, it affects people with particular skin conditions such as eczema. In addition, keratosis pilaris can be inherited in families. When this is the case, getting rid of this disease completely is a tricky thing.
A positive thing about the diseases no matter how you acquired it is that it’s harmless. Lastly, the disease as well occurs beside other skin conditions such as dermatitis. In very cold areas, treating this skin condition is really challenging when compared to humid or hot climates. Though not discovered yet, one thing remains clear, that there is underlying inflammation that makes excess keratin production that accumulates and blocks the hair follicles leading to itchiness.
When to see a dermatologist or medical expert
The moment you note some changes on your skin that are not normal, you should visit a dermatologist or a similar physician to check out your condition. A physician can easily and quickly review and determine whether you have keratosis pilaris disease at a glance. Just a simple in-office exam is needed for him or her to let you know if you are suffering from the condition or not.
Treatment of keratosis pilaris
There are various ways to treat the keratosis pilaris condition. When a person suffering from the condition visits a doctor, there is no test done as the doctor simply has to examine the skin. This condition is mild in teenagers or adolescents and in most cases doesn’t need any diagnosis. The condition disappears as one ages. But if it has prolonged and not ending, seeking medical advice of embracing one of the natural ways to treat the diseases can be assumed.
A good number of medicated creams, such as those found over the counter can be applied to heal the skin condition. Most of the creams have ingredients like retinoids, alpha hydroxyl acid, urea, salicylic acid, or lactic acid. All of these support in braking down of excess keratin and get rid of the dead cells that cause blockage leading to keratosis pilaris. A good number of these chemicals are harsh and may be considered unfit for use by children. It’s good to leave children to heal with time or use more natural ways to treat the skin condition.
10 ways to get rid of keratosis pilaris
- Laser treatment – laser is a great alternative especially when a person experiences severe inflammation and reddening of the skin. Though, this will need more than one session to cure completely. It functions better than gels and lotions. But it’s not a cure.
- Oatmeal skin scrub – this function by smoothening out the bumps on the skin. Just apply it gently on the skin with great care. Combine water or milk and then apply it on the affected place. Rub the mixture well and later rinse it off. This can be somehow messy but work effectively.
- Exfoliation – this is one of the best methods to get rid of the keratosis pilaris condition. It will reduce the bumps by getting rid of the dead cells on the skin surface. This in turn opens up the hair follicles and unleash the trapped hair if, just in case there is any.
- Baking soda and salt – take two tablespoon of baking soda, and mix with two tablespoon of salt. Add enough water and mix them. Apply it on the affected area by rubbing well and washing it off.
- Yogurt – take around 3 to 4 tablespoons of yoghurt and apply it on the affected place. Let it stay for around 15 minutes and wash it off gently. The yoghurt contains lactic acid which exfoliates the skin. Then, the milk fats may as well moisturize the skin.
- Vitamin A/retinol – vitamin A and retinol have been proven to have skin benefits. They can assist regulate keratin production and thus prevent the hair follicles from getting plugged with dead cells. In addition, vitamin A can help lower inflammation.
- Alpha hydroxy acids – this contain a wide range of acids such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid and malic acid. These help in moderating exfoliation depending on their level of concentration. Apply creams that contain these acids to get their benefits.
- Diet changes – the keratosis pilaris condition is made worse by the drying of the skin. Thus taking a diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits will offer great support in healing the condition.
- Olive oil skin rub – take 2 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 tablespoon of salt. Mix them and apply on the affected place. Rub then for some minutes before washing it off. Do this regularly.
- Sponge scrub or Loofah – when bathing use a loofah or natural sponge gourd to scrub the affected area. But for people with sensitive skin, they can apply konjac sponge instead of the loofah or sponge scrub.
How to treat keratosis pilaris using coconut oil
Keratosis is a skin condition than many don’t wish to have. Though this condition fades away with age, it can be very irritating and some may be patient to wait. If you are one of those, then trying out creams, lotions, gels or even natural methods like applying coconut can be very ideal to get rid of it. a good number of people dislike using gels or creams as they contain parabens and other toxic chemicals that may be bad for health. One of the best natural ways to get rid of keratosis pilaris is by using coconut oil. Coconut oil heals the skin condition very fast and it functions every efficiently. Below is a procedure to follow when you intend to use cocont oil to heal keratosis pilaris.
What makes coconut oil ideal for treating keratosis pilaris:
- It has antibacterial property that prevents the recurrence of keratosis pilaris
- The lauric acid contained in coconut oil assists to break the buildup of keratin that clogged the hair follicle.
- The coconut oil functions by sanitizing and moisturizing the skin.
- The anti-inflammatory property of the coconut oil greatly reduces inflammation and redness of the skin.
How to apply coconut oil for keratosis pilaris:
After going through the properties of coconut oil that allows it to heal keratosis pilaris, we can now look at a treatment program to follow.
Exfoliation – using a soft cloth, gently exfoliate the chicken skin with scrub created with coconut oil. This procedure makes sure that the affected area is clean and is ready for treatment. In addition, it helps get rid of accumulate dead skin cells.
Rinsing – this procedure is assumed by many but individuals who have applied coconut oil with apple cider vinegar have seen great success. After exfoliation, wash the place with apple cider vinegar and then pat the dry skin.
Massage – lastly, gently massage coconut oil for a minute over the affected place. This procedure will help coconut oil to penetrate well into the skin.
Note that, the coconut oil can be taken orally instead of just applying it topically for great outcomes in the end.
Guidelines to follow when using coconut oil treatment for keratosis pilaris:
- Stay away from soaps, gels or lotions with parabens, fragrances, sulphate, mineral oils, dimenthicone and other harmful chemicals.
- Consume omega 3 or fish oil as supplements.
- Avoid dairy and wheat products as they have been proven to worsen keratosis pilaris.
- Eat food that is low in glycemic index.
Do-It-Yourself bath and body recipes applying coconut oil:
Coconut oil body butter
- To a blender, add 2 parts of coconut oil, one part of shea butter, few drops of one of the essential oils, and one tablespoon of vitamin E.
- Whip the ingredients into fluffy butter consistency
- Keep this in the ideal container
- Apply a small dab of mixture to massage affected place
- Apply coconut oil body butter to moisturize after exfoliation
Coconut oil with sugar scrub
- Combine 2 tablespoon coconut oil and one tablespoon of sugar
- Stir the ingredients well and gently massage for some few minutes
- Use brown sugar rather than white sugar for great outcome
- For added benefits, add one tablespoon of honey and lemon juice.
- Apply this recipe daily for exfoliation
Coconut oil with apple cider vinegar
- Combine one tablespoon of coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and few drops of honey.
- Mix well to make it a very thick paste
- Use it on the affected place
- After some minutes, rinse it off with water
- As well, you can take 1, 1/2 each of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of soy lecithin.
- You can apply this as a pack for around two to three weeks.
Instead of spending a lot of cash on gels, reams or even lotions, one can try out this coconut recipe to get the best of results in a safer and natural way.
What to do and not to do while treating keratosis pilaris
If you are affected by this skin condition, there are some things you ought follow and some shouldn’t be done at all. When you undertake these cautions, your will be able to assist reduce the symptoms or effects that may result from having this disease. These are as follows;
- Avoid scratching at the bumps or rub your skin roughly
- Use soap that has added oil or fat
- Apply warm water instead of hot for bathing and showering
- Apply thick moisturizers smoothly on the skin
- Limit the time you spend in water
- Apply a soft or wash cloth for smooth exfoliation
- Avoid heading out in dry and very cold weather
- Add moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier
- Avoid using excessive pressure when scrubbing as it worsens the condition
- Don’t expose the affected place to heat or sun as it will as well make the situation bad.
- Avoid scratching the bumps over the skin
- Make your diet better by eating one rich in vitamins, nuts, fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid applying gels, lotions or soaps that contain toxic chemicals or parabens.
- Constantly use moisturizing cream that has lanolin, glycerine or petroleum jelly.
From the above information, we can clearly see that keratosis pilaris is a disease that is under study as its main cause has not been determined yet. But generally, the disease is harmless and very common in teenagers and female. It can show itself on your arms, thigh, back, chest and at times on the face. The diseases can be acquired by individuals with certain skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema or in some cases it is inherited. Treating this skin condition is not a must as it fades away as one ages. But if it persists and you feel you want to get rid of it, you can use one of the above methods that e have discussed about.