It’s a common skin disorder believed to be impacting as much as 50% of the world’s population.
Characterized by small, red skin bumps, keratosis pilaris, also known as chicken skin or simply KP, is a harmless, yet irritating dermatological condition caused by excess keratin production.
Keratin is a naturally occurring protein found in hair, nails, and skin.
If you’ve experienced one or more of the following symptoms, you may have KP:
- Rough skin with raised “bumps”(similar to goosebumps).
- Small patches of hard red skin bumps that closely resemble acne.
- These bumps may appear white, red, or brown in color and frequently appear on the upper arms, face, and extremities.
- This condition tends to become exasperated in cold and dry climates and may clear up or become less severe in warm, humid weather.
Keratosis Pilaris 101
Although chicken skin is believed to be passed on hereditarily, there’s a good amount of people who have KP whose parents did not possess the genetic traits responsible for KP.
In other words, it’s probable that although many people have KP through heredity, some may have it through other factors such as diet or other dermatological condition.
It’s important to understand that KP is an internal problem that manifests itself through external symptoms.
It occurs because the body produces too much keratin (i.e. the internal problem) which traps hair follicles and clogs skin pores which result in small, red skin bumps (i.e. the external symptoms).
Because keratosis pilaris is an internal problem, many people with KP have had success treating and managing the condition by simply changing their diet.
4 Keratosis Pilaris Diet Tips
Food allergy rates have exploded in recent decades in part, due in part to the introduction of new food additives.
All of these changes in our modern diet can cause imbalances in the body and lead to unwanted symptoms.
Although treating skin conditions with dietary approaches isn’t the mainstream approach (yet), many individuals have reported successfully treating their KP by altering their diet.
Thanks to increased access to the internet and advances in alternative healing and wellness research, holistic dietary forms of treatment are on the rise.
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to treat KP with conventional methods such as lotions and creams, consider trying one of these 4 diet based approaches.
1) Stop Eating Gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains that many people are intolerant of.
Over the past decade, gluten related health issues have exploded ranging from serious digestive disorders such as celiac disease to hive-like allergic reactions.
Gluten often damages the intestinal tract which results in malabsorption of nutrients, especially fats. A deficiency of healthy fats is thought to be a factor leading to an imbalanced internal state which can lead to KP.
2) Eat Foods Rich In Vitamin A
Ensuring optimal levels of vitamin A is another successful treatment option many people afflicted with KP have reported online.
Although vitamins are readily available as a supplement, eating vitamin rich foods is still the best way to absorb them.
Liver is probably the most vitamin A dense food there is but if you can’t stand the thought of liver and onions, sweet potatoes, kale, and carrots all contain sizeable amounts of vitamin A.
3) Supplementing With Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Essential fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements have been proven to help increase the absorption of vitamin A.
Since the body can have difficulties absorbing the necessary amounts of vitamin A to correct imbalances, adding an EFA supplement (or just eating more cod or EFA dense types of fish) is a good idea.
EFA’s also offer several health benefits outside potentially treating KP such as improving overall skin health, cognitive function, and even fighting depression.
4) Consider Going Raw
Although it may not be the cause of KP, many people and some doctors, believe that an excess of dead animal proteins (i.e. steak, chicken, etc.) can cause imbalances in the body which irritate and exacerbate KP.
While raw diets require a drastic dietary change for most people, there are countless reports of people completely managing their KP after a few weeks of raw eating.
There are several types of raw diets ranging from paleo to primal but the main characteristic of these diets consists of avoiding processed foods.
Keratosis pilaris, or KP for short, is a common skin condition for which there’s currently no known cure.
Although generally considered harmless, KP is an irritating disorder that can cause social embarrassed and even anxiety.
While traditional forms of treatment, such as lotion help manage the symptoms, they don’t work to restore balance in the body which is often the cause for KP outbreaks.
Many people have reported successfully treating KP by adjusting their diets.
Vitamin A deficiencies and damage to the digestive tract caused by gluten are two common triggers that may lead to KP outbreaks. By ensuring healthy levels of vitamin A and avoiding harmful foods, you may be able to reduce or completely manage outbreaks of chicken skin.