Keratosis Pilaris Therapy: What Can You Do to Handle These Bumps?

Welcome to Ask a Beauty Editor, our new column during which Sarah Jacoby, SELF’s senior well being and sweetness editor, goes on the hunt to search out the science-backed solutions to all your skin-care questions. You may ask Sarah a query at [email protected]

What precisely is keratosis pilaris and might I really eliminate it? Does it worsen relying on the seasons and different components?

— Lisa

First off, please know that you’re faaaaaar from the one particular person coping with this situation. “Keratosis pilaris is a quite common pores and skin situation,” Shari Lipner, M.D., Ph.D., dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medication and New York-Presbyterian, tells SELF. “I get a lot of patients coming in specifically asking about it—and treatment for it.”

So, what’s keratosis pilaris, precisely? It’s a situation that causes (completely innocent) tiny bumps on the pores and skin that seem like goosebumps or small pimples. However they’re probably not pimples, Dr. Lipner says, they’re plugs of lifeless pores and skin cells in your hair follicles. These bumps often seem on the higher arms, entrance of the thighs, or (most frequently in kids) in your cheeks. The situation itself is benign, however it could include dryness or itchiness that could be disagreeable.

Sadly, for most individuals, keratosis pilaris is a continual situation, so “we can’t offer a cure,” Dr. Lipner says. However, as you famous, it could wax and wane as a result of climate or different components. You may discover your signs extra within the winter when the air is drier, as an illustration, or for those who take lengthy, scorching showers that dry out your pores and skin.

However, for those who occur to be coping with a bout of keratosis pilaris proper this second, there are some methods to handle it and even make it much less noticeable. The primary and most essential factor is to moisturize, Dr. Lipner says—and it issues each how and if you do it.

You need to make certain to make use of thick creams or ointments somewhat than lotions (for those who put them on the palm of your hand and switch it over, the merchandise shouldn’t drip or run, Dr. Lipner advises) as a result of these extra successfully seal hydration into the pores and skin. Dr. Lipner additionally particularly recommends in search of moisturizers that comprise substances like urea or lactic acid, which are usually an extra-thick consistency and also will assist by gently exfoliating these lifeless cells off of your pores and skin. Try AmLactin Ultra Smoothing Intensely Hydrating Cream, $16, or KP Duty AHA Moisturizing Therapy, $38. A mild exfoliating physique scrub, like First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub, $26, might assist, too.

The most effective time to moisturize is correct after a bathe or bathtub when your pores and skin continues to be damp (however not, like, dripping moist). A thick cream will be capable to seal that moisture within the pores and skin. And also you’ll need to moisturize two-to-three occasions day by day, Dr. Lipner says. (However, clearly, you don’t must take a bathe each time you need to use your moisturizer.)

With a beneficiant moisturizing and exfoliating routine like this, most individuals with keratosis pilaris see some enchancment, Dr. Lipner says. However for those who’re nonetheless feeling annoyed, speak to a board-certified dermatologist about your different choices. These may embody chemical peels, quick programs of topical steroids, laser therapies, or microdermabrasion, Dr. Lipner says. “There are a lot of other options besides at-home treatments.”

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