Keratosis Pilaris and Gluten Allergy

keratosis pilaris gluten

Keratosis pilaris – we call such lumps at hair follicles with pin horn. Often young people is affected, keratosis pilaris is congenital (inherited).

Skin covered with changes is dry and rough, makes the impression of a grater. The pellets are scattered, grouped, but do not merged.

Most often they are on the upright surfaces of the limbs, on the face they are grouped near eyebrows, and are accompanied with redness of the face.

Skin look gives the impression of a grater, like a permanent “goose bumps”, or “chicken skin”. The symptoms are often less severe in summer. The disease is not accompanied by any other symptoms.

One of the things that made me decide to give being gluten free a try, Keratosis Pilaris (KP). I’ve had KP since junior high.

It’s always made me very uncomfortable when wearing sleeveless shirts, especially since I’m rather pale and the red bumps really stand out.

In searching around about KP and how to treat it, I heard many people say that they noticed that when they went gluten free their KP really cleared up.

This made me take notice. I had heard from, and lived with, people who went gluten free and heard that it not only helped their digestion but that their skin felt so much better.

Now that I am living by myself for the first time, and there is no one to tempt me away from my diet with their yummy gluten-filled food, I thought I would give it a try.

Thus, this post is all about keratosis pilaris and gluten allergy, and what relates them.

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What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a very common skin condition often referred to as “chicken skin”. Worldwide, keratosis pilaris affects an estimated 40 to 50% of the adult population and approximately 50 to 80% of all adolescents.

Varying in degree, cases of KP can range from minimal to severe.While KP resembles goosebumps, it is characterized by the appearance of small, rough bumps on the skin.

Primarily, it appears on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, but can also occur on thighs and buttocks or any body part except palms or soles.

‘Keratosis’ means that there is too much keratin – which makes up the tough horny outer layer of the skin: ‘pilaris’ comes from the Latin word for hair (pilus).

In keratosis pilaris, many small (1 to 2 mm. across) horny plugs can be seen blocking the hair follicles on the upper and outer parts of the arms and thighs.

There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, since KP is a chronic, genetic follicular disease, however treatments are available, although somewhat disappointing.

Keratosis can last for many years, but often decreases in adult age.

Where It Affects?

Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition, where the skin on the back and outer sides of the upper arms are rough and bumpy.  It can also appear almost anywhere else on the body, especially on the thighs and tops of legs.

It does not generally occur on palms or soles of feet.

When you have the skin condition keratosis pilaris, it manifests in small, pointy pimples that can cover affected areas of your body, common sites to see keratosis pilaris pimples include the backs of your arms, the legs and the buttocks, although the pimples also can appear on your cheeks and neck.

It’s not clear what causes the condition, although heredity may play a factor, since it runs in families. It often gets worse in the winter and seems to clear up in the summer.

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Available Treatment?

treatment for kp gluten allergyKeratosis pilaris is not an incurable condition. Simple home treatments can guarantee significant improvement. You can take vitamin A and vitamin C.

It is advisable to use a coarse sponge in the bath (the salt water can be added to soften the skin). Then apply highly moisturizing body lotion to the affected area.

Also microdermabrasion or oxybrasion can be extremely helpful. It allows removing excessively keratinized layer in controlled manner, and at the same time usage of suitable ampoules and algae masking change mitigation and moisturizing the skin.

During oxybrasion, it’s important to use saline for additional exfoliation.

Treatments, their frequency and intensity are always selected depending on the severity of the changes.

What Relates Keratosis Pilaris and Gluten?

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The intolerance to gluten can cause celiac disease.

Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye. There are significant links between the keratosis pilaris and celiac disease because they have same symptoms.

Therefore, avoiding gluten consumption can help to naturally and effectively manage the chicken skin.

Avoid Confusion

Another skin condition that can be mistaken as keratosis pilaris is called dermatitis herpetiformis because it looks something like chicken skin. Skin biopsy can help you confirm your skin issues.

If the results show that you have either celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis, then you definitely need to switch to a gluten free diet.

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Keratosis Pilaris Treatment

Keratosis is the most common cosmetic defect that does not require medical consultation. In lighter stadium it’s enough to consult a cosmetologist or pharmacist, who will recommend the cream and proper care.

Before you’ll buy, make sure you have checked whether the proposed cosmetic contains all the necessary ingredients, so that it will effectively prevent excessive keratosis of the skin, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory work, while accelerating the regeneration of damaged skin parts.

Supplements and treatments for keratosis pilaris

Here I briefly list some available treatments for KP.

  • Take vitamin A supplement (at least 250,000 iu/d) and vitamin C (1000 mg/d). This vitamins help to keep healthy skin.
  • Use isotretinoin orally or locally on skin, as well as other retinoids taken orally.
  • Use tazarotene locally on the skin, prefer on the affected areas.
  • It’s recommended to use creams with vitamin A and E, also creams containing urea.
  • Baths in water with salt added.
  • Poultices from herbs muciparous,
  • Use herbal scrubs and showers, you may look at Amlactin and Glytone KP Kit.

You can find out more about treating keratosis pilaris from our previous post here.

If you are more towards natural treatment or remedies, you can give Banish My Bumps a try. It is basically an ebook written by Angela Steinberg, a former KP sufferer. The ebook is rather famous on the internet right now, so if you are interested, you can get hands on the ebook here.

Conclusion

As a brief conclusion, we can say that people that have an allergy towards glutens are more prone to get keratosis pilaris. It just a matter of time.

However, fear not since this type of skin condition is not forever lasting, it will fade away during 30s. However, why need to wait since you can pick the best treatment available.

Despite all of that, it is best for you to maintain a healthy diet and take care your body hygiene, if it can’t completely get rid of it, well at least reduce the redness.

Hope this article meaningful to you. If you have any questions or want to share your gluten allergy, please do so in the comment section below.