Have you ever wondered why those pesky small red bumps on your upper arms just tend to stick around or what they even are? Have you just dismissed them as pimples or a flare up of sensitive skin?

Those small bumps are a condition called keratosis pilaris and while it can be very irritating, it’s a harmless condition and more common than you realize!

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless, but extremely common skin condition characterized by small red, bumps on lighter skin tones and brown bumps on darker skin tones. It is a genetic follicular condition, that is also often referred to as “chicken skin”, as it has the appearance of a freshly plucked chicken. The bumps may also appear on the face and be mistaken for acne, but they are not pimples, rather plugged up hair follicles.

What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is caused by the hair follicles becoming clogged with a protein called keratin. When the hair follicles are unable to properly exfoliate this protein out of the follicles, it results in clogged pores, and therefore, keratosis pilaris results. While the bumps may look irritated, they are not, in fact, itchy or sore.

Who Is More Likely To Get Keratosis Pilaris?

While this skin condition affects any race, age or gender it is more common in children and young adults, as well as people with a drier skin. It is a genetic condition that runs in families and is also more likely to affect people who suffer from eczema.

You might notice that it is worse in winter and may clear up or get better during the summer months.

People often grow out of it in their twenties, so you aren’t likely to see older adults with this condition. Hormonal changes during puberty may make the condition worse and it can even be seen in babies and toddlers. It doesn’t just affect the arms, it can appear on the face, thighs and even the buttocks.

How Can I treat It?

While there is no cure or “quick fix” for keratosis pilaris, there are certainly things you can do to minimize the appearance and soothe the skin.

Avoid any skin products that will further dry out the skin,a s this will make it worse. Avoid harsh soaps and opt instead for mild, gel cleansers designed for sensitive skin.

You can try exfoliation with a gentle, soothing exfoliator such as an oatmeal scrub followed by a gentle hydrating lotion. Be sure to exfoliate at least once a week and moisturise every day. Topical Retinoids or lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic acid may be required for more severe case.

At Mederm Esthetics & Laser we offer services that can help. Laser treatments may help to soothe the redness associated with the condition and results will improve with continuous use. Microdermabrasion and peels are 2 more services we offer at Mederm Esthetics, which can also help improve the appearance of keratosis pilaris.

Don’t let this condition stop you from showing off your bod this summer. Follow our advice and you will definitely see an improvement!