Keratosis Pilaris

As we head into the Winter months and before you hide away your body for the rest of the year, let’s talk about a common skin condition that affects many people on arms and legs.

If you have tiny bumps on the tops of your arms or thighs, it is highly possible you are suffering from a harmless skin condition called keratosis pilaris.

It is caused by the build-up of the main protein in the skin, keratin.  It appears as white or red bumps on the surface where keratin becomes trapped in the hair follicle underneath.  Clients often describe their skin as feeling dry or rough to touch and iv heard it described as many things from rough skin through to a chicken skin appearance.  While this condition is more prominent in children it can appear at any time.

Is there anything we can do?

Yes.  While keratosis pilaris is not considered treatable (long term) as such there are many things we can do to reduce its appearance.

I want to take you back to the cause – keratin.  To have an effect your product must target this and that’s why I have found so many moisturisers to have little to no impact here.  We need a body lotion or oil containing something that will help to break keratin down.

Your body product or oil should contain at least one of the following:

  • salicylic acid
  • vitamin a
  • glycolic acid
  • lactic acid

These will all induce natural cell regeneration helping to prevent build-up of keratin in the skin.  My favourites as they are great at targeting keratin would be Vitamin A or salicylic acid.  Some clients find great relief from coconut oil as it also helps with natural skin regeneration.  You can also add in a manual / grain exfoliant once weekly as a boost to help to reduce the appearance.  I have generally found the grain free products to have a much better effect.

You can boost your homecare plan with a professional treatment on the area.  This can be very beneficial for a special occasion or event coming up and would normally include a peeling or exfoliation treatment.

This condition usually worsens in winter due to reduced humidity so keep up your product applications daily for bump free arms and legs next summer.

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Jeanne Brophy

Jeanne Brophy has been working as a facialist for over a decade. Jeanne’s holistic approach & understanding of skin health has earned her the reputation as one of Irelands leading skincare specialists. Her focus on skin health has taken her on seminars & courses throughout Ireland, the U.S., France & the UK, discovering innovative skincare solutions for healthy radiant skin. Her aim is to help all her clients become truly confident in their own skin .