What is Keratosis Pilaris and How do I Treat it?

The condition in a nutshell

Keratosis pilaris or ‘chicken skin’ is a dermatological condition where the skin becomes rough and bumpy with tiny raised marks. It looks exactly like the goosebumps your skin acquires when the weather is cold, or you are frightened. In winter or dry conditions, the skin tends to get worse, but in summer the condition generally improves. Thankfully Keratosis Pilaris is harmless and not particularly noticeable.


What does the name mean?

The condition derives its name from keratin because it is caused by a build-up of keratin in the skin’s hair follicles. Excess keratin forms a hard plug over the follicles and that’s how the bumps are formed.


Who does it affect, where does it occur and what does the skin look like?

Keratosis pilaris affects around one in three people in the UK. It can affect people of all ages but it’s particularly common in children and young people, females. And if you suffer from eczema or ichthyosis you’re also more likely to experience Keratosis pilaris.

The bumps tend to occur on the upper arms, cheeks, thighs or buttocks but in some cases the whole body can be affected. Skin feels rough to the touch, like sandpaper, and some people also experience itchiness or inflammation around the bumps.

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What causes keratosis pilaris?

This is just another thing you can hold against your Mum and Dad! Keratosis Pilaris runs in families and is inherited from parents. Thankfully, keratosis pilaris is not contagious.


How can it be treated?

There is no cure for keratosis pilaris and no magic-wand method of keeping it at bay. However, there are some steps that you can take to lessen the severity of your symptoms:

  • Take lukewarm showers rather than hot baths
  • Exfoliate regularly. Our Volpaderm AHA Milk is a revolutionary emulsion that combines exfoliating and moisturising in one go – rejuvenating the skin.
  • Moisturise your skin when it is dry. Our Christialen Emulsion body cream is a parabens-free, luxuriously rich moisturiser
  • Use non-soap cleansers instead of soap. Ordinary soap can dry your skin out and make the condition worse. Our Mild Wash Liquid is soap, fragrance, colour and parabens free, making it ideal for keratosis pilaris sufferers.