So What Is ‘Chicken Skin’ And How Do I Get Rid Of It

Everything you need to know about keratosis pilaris

Have you ever noticed small red bumps on your legs or arms? As if you have permanent goose pimples that simply will not budge? Well, you may have a skin condition that is commonly known as chicken skin. The fancy medical term is actually Keratosis Pelaris, but don’t worry, it is a really common skin condition that affects over 40% of us, and is completely harmless.

Wondering what on earth it is and what causes it? It’s all down to the hair follicles within your skin. Keratosis Pilaris – also known as ‘KP’ – is basically a skin condition that leaves small red, white or skin coloured bumps on the upper arms and thighs. Whilst it is less common, it can also affect the forearms, upper back, the face or the entire body. The bumps typically look like chicken skin, which can leave it feeling a little rough and bumpy. For some, the condition can also feel itchy and inflamed leaving a pink hue around the bumps.

If you are reading this and thinking this sounds all but too familiar, it is actually super common, affecting one in three people in the UK, according the NHS website. Keratosis pilaris is also a genetic condition that runs in families, so if one of your parents have it there is a pretty good chance you will too. 

What Causes It?

The condition occurs when too much keratin builds up in the skins hair follicles. The build up of keratin – which is a protein that’s found in the outer layer of the skin – blocks the hair follicles which causes the surface to thicken the pores to appear red and bumpy. 

So how can you treat it? Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick cure to rid Keratosis pilaris, but there are a few ways you can treat it! So if it’s starting to bother you, here are three top tips to keep it under control

Regular Exfoliation is Key

Exfoliating is necessary at the best of times, but if you have KP it is essential! By gently exfoliating the rough skin, it will get rid of all the unwanted dead skin cells and smooth out the outer layer of the bumps. We recommended using a body scrub such as the Derma Doctor KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub, £34.50 to exfoliate and treat the skin. Not only is this formulated for those who suffer KP, it also contains glycolic and lactic acid which will dissolve the dead skin cells, cleanse and encourage the renewal of healthy skin.

Keep The Skin Hydrated

Lack of moisture is one of the biggest triggers when it comes inflammation caused by KP, so it is super important to keep the area hydrated. Using a moisturiser or lotion, such as the Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion, £22.50 on a regular basis will replenish the moisture levels and soften the skin. Not only will your skin love you for it, but it will also keep uncomfortable irritated skin to a minimum.

Ditch The Hot Showers

Showering under hot water or sinking into a hot bath is relaxing, but it can also dry the skin out and leave the skin dehydrated. As this can lead to inflammation try taking a warm or cool shower to lessen the affects and moisturise after to balance your skins moisture levels.

Whilst there isn’t a way to completely rid the condition, almost half of us will have it so it’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about it!

By Emma Hull