It may surprise you that Keratosis Pilaris (often abbreviated as ‘KP’) affects about 40% of the world wide population. Also known as ‘chicken skin’ that sure is a lotta people!
In case you're scratching your head, wondering what the heck KP is, I'll fill you in. It is a benign skin disorder characterized by rough, red bumps around your hair follicles. These unwelcome little bumps usually show up on your arms though it can also affect your thighs, buttocks and even your face.
Keratosis pilaris or chicken skin is a result of the accumulation of an overabundance of protein in your skin, called keratin. What happens is that this keratin and your dead skin cells block the opening of your hair follicles, which is a process referred to as hyperkeratinisation, forming hard plugs which resemble goose bumps.
The exact cause of Keratosis Pilaris remains unknown though genetics seems to play a part. It's definitely a condition that gets worse in colder weather when your skin dries out and the air is dry.
Whether the causal factor is genetic or from an inappropriate (or lacking) skincare regimen, it is likely inflammation that exacerbates excess keratin production in your body, which is the pesky substance that accumulates and blocks your follicles resulting in the characteristic, undesirable red, bumpy rash caused by the formation of these plugs.
The treatment of KP involves actively moisturizing your skin combined with gentle (but very regular) exfoliation to dislodge these nasty little keratin plugs. Note however, it’s also important not to over-exfoliate as this can lead to greater inflammation and increased irritation of these unpleasant little bumps.
It’s also super important to hydrate and effectively moisturize your skin. Do your best to avoid petroleum-based moisturizers as they may aggravate the situation.
Luckily, with summer upon those who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris tend to do a lot better with a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun, and warm, humid (non air conditioned) surroundings.
If you have experienced chicken skin, please let us know what you've done to heal yourself. We'd absolutely love to hear from you!!