How can I get rid of my chicken skin? I have it bad on the backs of my arms and upper thighs, and it gets worse in the wintertime. – Taryn W.
Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett says: Keratosis Pilaris is a disorder associated with eczema (dermatitis) that is incredibly common in both adults and children – about 50% of the entire world’s population has some form it, whether it is mild or moderate or severe. It may be more noticeable in the winter when the air is dryer and the humidity falls.
The problem stems from how the hair comes out of the skin. Instead of coming out straight, there is a crust of keratin on top and the hair gets caught and can’t get out, and it causes a little bump. In some people, these bumps can be very red and inflamed.
There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, but you can control it with clinical treatments. The best treatment that I’ve found is to mechanically remove those keratin plugs with a diamond peel (a type microdermabrasion that is ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin). Many female patients get diamond peels done in the wintertime on the back of their arms to achieve smoother skin by the summer. Lumenis One, a non-invasive light treatment, can help fade remaining red spots. At-home, use topical products that contain very mild acids like glycolic, salicylic, and lactic. Some vitamin A (retinoid) creams can irritate skin with keratosis pilaris, so if you’re using this acne and wrinkle fighter, be sure to use one in a gel or serum formula which is gentler.
Keratosis pilaris bumps are not like acne, so resist the urge to pick and scratch them. Exoliate!