We may feel frustrated when dealing with skin tags like "chicken skin."
But there are a few simple things you can do about it. There's hope!
Learn the basics
Keratosis Pilaris (KP). This is a fancy term for a skin condition that looks like “chicken skin.” It affects the face, arms, legs, buttocks, and chest. Some have inflamed bumps on the skin and some may just have it like it’s nothing.
You’re sure it’s KP as it tends to be itchy sometimes. This bizarre skin problem can affect any skin type, especially dry skin.
How to get rid of it? Just exfoliate! That’s the magic word.
KP is keratin (hence the name) stuck inside pores. Simple skin exfoliation can unblock pores and take away the gunk made of dead skin and keratin. Now you can ditch the expensive derma treatments offered almost everywhere.
There are a lot of chemicals and unusual treatments to exfoliate skin. If you’re excited to try the first treatment that comes to mind, better think twice. Inflammation, irritation, and dehydration are factors to consider first. The list below will detail different options you can explore.
Skin brushes are a good option to remove dead skin build up. An ideal skin brush should exfoliate skin as gentle as possible with minimal effort. This means its bristles should lift off dead skin without the abrasive scrubbing. Choose a durable brush that is either made of high-quality wood or plastic.
A typical skin brush costs way less compared to the fancy procedures done at salons.
You have three options. You can get (1) a dry brush, (2) a typical plastic cleansing brush, or (3) an electronic brush. Each of these performs different functions.
A dry brush has many functions. It serves as a detox tool that assists the body’s lymphatic drainage. Constant brush strokes to your skin improve blood circulation. Thus, it also improves the delivery of lymph fluids to your body organs. Brush strokes also encourage dead skin to slough off. Its detox effect and exfoliation can work some magic on your chicken skin.
Is dry brushing new to you? Know how to dry brush HERE.
A plastic cleaning brush is a good counterpart for a dry brush since as it’s used for wet or damp skin. Since water softens skin layers, exfoliating skin with its bristles will be a lot easier.
HERE are some recommended cleaning brushes for keratosis pilaris.
If you feel like you need a smarter device for exfoliation, an electronic skin brush is the best for you. These amazing skin brushes will work on many aspects aside from keratosis pilaris. Some brushes have interchangeable brush parts. You can switch brushes for different skin needs depending on the kind of results you want.
Recommended electronic skin brush HERE:
Final thoughts on skin brushes:
- Effective and can be gentle
- Involves no chemicals
- Easy to do at home
The most common chemicals used for exfoliation are acids. These acids loosen up dead skin on the surface. Below are a few examples:
- BHA (beta hydroxy acid) - deeper exfoliation, exfoliates the walls of skin pores, anti-inflammatory
- salicylic acid (from willow bark)
- AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) - superficial exfoliation, cannot exfoliate pore lining
- salicylic acid (from willow bark)
- lactic acid (from milk)
- citric acid (from citrus fruits)
- glycolic acid (from sugar)
- tartaric acid (from grapes)
- malic acid (from apples
Although proven effective, be careful in using these acids. There's still a debate about the right amount suited for KP. Putting acid on the skin may upset its natural pH. This brings untoward effects like:
- excessive redness
- burning and tenderness
Read the labels to see what concentration (by %) is well-tolerated by your skin. Also, read a lot before attempting to “do it yourself.” It’s best to consult with a skin doctor first to know what you can do on your own.
Remember that inflammation and irritation worsen keratosis pilaris. Over-stimulating skin with acids may lead to more harm than good.
Final thoughts on chemical treatment:
- Effective but depending on the level of concentration
- May or may not be expensive
- Results may take time
- Easy to do at home but with safety issues
- Can cause redness and burning
- Sun exposure
There is a dangerous belief that sun exposure can heal keratosis pilaris.
UV exposure damages skin without noticing. UV rays damage skin cells and will contribute to the loss of collagen. Bam! Aging happens faster. Your acne gets worse. Then, your KP runs a tantrum.
The visible peeling of the skin after a sunburn is a big no no. You should never do this kind of “exfoliation” in the name of treating KP. Be careful! Irritation and inflammation caused by UV rays can worsen keratosis pilaris. It can also bring other issues like wrinkles, acne, and uneven skin tone.
Final thoughts on sun exposure:
- Waste of time
There is hope indeed. Now you can finally smoothen skin without spending a fortune!
Your options in treating KP are everywhere. Sift through them and see what fits for you.