What is Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin) and All You Need to Know About It

Keratosis pilaris, or also commonly known as “chicken skin,” is a generally common skin condition that occurs during teenage age and will prolong to adulthood.

Keratosis pilaris will causes any of the following symptoms: roughness, hardness, bumps in the form on pimples, raised skin, redness or whitehead irritations on the skin – the effect is rather obvious, really.

Most of the time, keratosis pilaris does not hurt or itch or even harm your general health. But having it on your skin is quite disturbing and cause a discomfort especially if you are with family, friends or even strangers. This is because keratosis pilaris typically found on the arms, thighs, cheeks, buttocks, back, face (maybe mistaken for acne), hands and even penis – where the most matters!

However, keratosis pilaris does not affect gabrous skin like palm or soles of feet. Well, at least you have one good news on that

Often times, it disappears by the age of 30 (but some even don’t!), and there are plenty of prescription medications, precautions and home remedies you can take to prevent this condition from appearing on your skin. The medication can be either take a pill or apply on the skin, or even both. However, each medication can give a different effectiveness depends on the users’ skin type.

One thing to take note though, keratosis pilaris is rather a pesky skin condition that most people find out that it is hard to go away, despite the amount of medication they use.

You can often see keratosis pilaris on a person when you see a large amount of bumps over a small surface area – typically smaller than average pimples as they are only the size of a pore typically.

They may be white, cream colored or pinkish red.

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Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris

Okay, this this we’ll go more details on this. Like previously stated above, keratosis pilaris is appeared as small bumps on the skin and cause roughness. The bumps very small like sand and surrounded by a slight pink color.

The bumps does not cause any harm to use, except… well the bumps. It can become worse during colder months, during the air moisture is low. And the symptom may be worsen during pregnancy or after childbirth – so make sure you are prepared future mothers!

Causes of Keratosis Pilaris

So, since there are many people experiencing keratosis pilaris, the what causes it?

It is rather simple – when the human body produces excess keratin, which is a protein of the skin that gives one’s natural skin tone.

The keratin surrounds the hair follicles in the pore, causing these hard plugs and red bumps as seen with keratosis pilaris. This process is also known as hyperkeratinization).

Sometimes these bumps even have a hair grown within them.  The caps prevent the hair from growing, hence is it enclosed in the bump until treated.

The bumps are generally what cause all the symptoms, which are either skin-colored or reddish bumps.

Symptoms may be treated, but not always cured – keratosis pilaris typically clears up as a person ages or “grows out” of it. Find out more about the causes by clicking below:

Read: 3 Keratosis Pilaris Causes That Will Blow You Away

Prevention of Keratosis Pilaris

There are numerous ways to prevent keratosis pilaris, since it is a skin condition thus by maintaining our skin we can prevent keratosis pilaris.

Here are a couple of ways to prevent keratosis pilaris:

  • Keep our skin moisturized by using proper skin moisturizer, this can be a lotion or a cream. This can help our skin to maintain the fluid from escaping from our body. Read more about lotion and cream here.
  • Use warm waters instead of hot water during shower. This is because hot water can remove oils from our skin.
  • Use mild soap instead or harsh and drying soap.
  • Maintain proper personal and skin hygiene.
  • Eat healthy diet. What you eat can contribute to your skin, thus taking a proper diet containing vegetables and fruits that are rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin C would be a great start.
  • Drink plenty of water everyday. Your body requires water to maintain and work properly.
  • Avoid oily and gluten rich food. Oil can worsen keratosis pilaris, thus is better to stay away or reduce eating oily food. Some people are allergic to gluten and eventually cause keratosis pilaris.

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Types of Keratosis Pilaris

There are many different types of keratosis pilaris, which includes the most common, rubra, which is red, inflamed bumps that occur on the arms, head and legs.

  • Keratosis pilaris rubra (red, inflamed bumps on arms, head and legs)
  • Keratosis pilaris alba (rough, bumpy skin without irration)
  • Keratosis pilaris rubra faceii (reddish rash on the cheeks)

Besides that, keratosis pilaris also related to other skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis vulgaris, xerosis, asthma and allergies.

However, keratosis pilaris is not related to goosebumps, chicken pox, measles or any other condition, although similar in some ways. So make sure you know how to differentiate these types of skin condition before applying any medications.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatments

Keratosis pilaris is not a dangerous or malignant medical condition, therefore, treatment is not necessary, but many seek it due to cosmetic reasons.

Because, why not? KP can cause many discomfort and people with it usually hides those bumpy skin with long sleeves or long pants. Some studies say that keratosis pilaris is incurable and some even claims that they find a treatment for it.

Creams and lotions are the most common treatments, although many prefer to take pills that promote healthy skin as well, such as biotin.

The creams and lotions can have a variety of ingredients, including general acne prevention ingredients such as salicylic acid as well as moisturizers such as Vitamin D and E.

The best keratosis pilaris cream available to this date would be AmLactin KP Kit. If you are interested to know more about the product, you can read the full review.

Steroid creams can be used to reduce redness. Remedies such as using coconut oils and apple cider vinegar are one of the options available for ones that looks for a cheaper way to get rid the skin condition – what great is that people claims it worked!

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If you are interested to use remedies instead of conventional products, I would recommends you to check Banish My Bumps, where the creator Angela list down and give you step-by-steps on getting rid of keratosis pilaris in 30 days.


Bumps are likely to return with this skin condition, until typically after 30 or when it decides, on its own, to clear up.  Long baths and using a washcloth, brush or pumice stone can help open up bumps.

Laser therapy is also one solution that is rather drastic, but helpful, yet I can say that it is best kp treatment to this date. Almost all people that undergo the treatment left the room with beautiful skin, keratosi pilaris-less skin.

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To conclude this article, I would like to tell the fact that there are many people out there that are suffering from kp. Well, to put this into perspective, an estimated 40-50% adult and roughly 50-80% adolescents experiencing this type of skin condition.

So, where do yo stand?

There are a couple of causes of keratosis pilaris, some can be avoided and some don’t. What best is to live our life to the fullest and eat right with proper hygiene. If you are suffering right now, fear not since there are treatments available for you (if not, at least it can reduce the redness).

Good luck there.