It is possible that what you have is Keratosis Pilaris, which most people know as Chicken Skin. Keratosis Pilaris is a prevalent skin condition that appears when the keratin component of the skin blocks hair follicles by forming hard plugs in it.
Although it does not cause any severe health condition, its chicken skin-like appearance can damage your confidence and self-esteem. More often than not, it is prominent in people with eczema or dehydrated skin.
Usually, during winter, keratosis pilaris causes itching. However, it is not contagious as it is mostly inherited. Keep reading this article for more information and home remedies for keratosis pilaris.
What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
As earlier mentioned, Keratosis pilaris (KP), which is the formation of rough bumps on the skin, is caused by the formation of lumps in hair follicles. Technically, these bumps are called “follicular keratotic papules,” and they affect any skin surface where hair grows.
KP is characterized by inflammatory keratotic papules and can result in scarring or alopecia. It has also been associated with other related disorders like erythromelanosis follicularis faciei et Colli (EFFC); which is a rarer skin condition.
EFCC is usually pointed out by the formation of reddish-brown patches on the cheeks and ears.
Although KP is not a dangerous skin condition, it can be unattractive. Also, because it is more common among adolescents, there is a higher risk of psychological effects as a result of it.
While there is no cure, there are home remedies for keratosis pilaris and other treatments like daily moisturizing, exfoliation, and so on that can help to manage this condition.
Signs & Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris
The most common way to diagnose Keratosis Pilaris is when small, dry bumps that feel rough like goosebumps appear on the skin. The bumps are often white but can also appear red. A reddish-pink color may also appear around the bumps. These bumps are more noticeable if the skin is dry.
Although the number of bumps in one part of the body varies from one region to the other, a research publication has shown that the most common place where KP breaks out is the upper arm.
This conclusion was reached with 92 percent of patients as proof. Other common areas where KP showed are thighs and buttocks. Some people also develop bumps on their faces but is unpopular and is often mistaken for acne.
Research shows that keratosis pilaris symptoms are prevalent in adolescents and may have a psychological impact on the individual. It is also associated with developmental issues of sexuality, body image, and socialization.
Another research from Thailand shows that keratosis pilaris significantly affected e. the self-image of 40 percent of those who have it and reduced the quality of their life.
Although researchers do not fully know the cause of KP, it is believed to be a result of the buildup of keratin plugs in hair follicles. Keratin is a fibrous structural protein that is present in the hair, nail, and epithelial cells that constitute the outermost layer of the skin and is needed for skin regeneration.
Commonly, dead skin containing keratin will peel off the skin. However, for some people, keratin stores up in hair follicles and causes clogging in the pores. This leads to the small, rough bumps that are signs of keratosis pilaris. Also, there may be one or more twisted hair follicles inside the plugged hair follicles.
This is why some scientists believe that large coils of thick hair cause KP under the superficial epidermis or skin’s outer layer. Studies on this theory propose that inflammation and abnormal keratin release is caused when circular hair shafts rupture follicle cells.
Since dead, dry skin is one of the causes of keratosis pilaris, it can get worse during winter months or low-humidity months when the skin dries out.
When a group of researchers at the UK’s Amersham General Hospital conducted a survey involving 49 patients, 80 percent of the patients reported a seasonal variation in the severity of KP. While 49 percent of patients had improved during summer months, 47 percent said worsened symptom during winter.
Another study posits that keratosis pilaris is a result of genetic factors and may be linked to other skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. A 2015 research, including 50 patients showed that 67 percent of them had a family history of Keratosis Pilaris.
A significant risk factor for KP is age. It often appears in childhood, reaches its peak prevalence in adolescence, and disappears by adulthood. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that KP symptoms improve with age in 35 percent of participants. That is, the improvement age was 16 years.
- It is essential to point out that if any of these home remedies for keratosis pilaris causes skin irritation or worsens the symptom, you should suspend the use of it immediately.
- Also, ensure that you gently exfoliate your skin. Do it just enough to remove the dead skin cells.
- If you use creams with chemical ingredients, observe your skin’s reaction to it. If the affected area feels hot, itchy, or irritated, immediately stop the use of such creams.
6 Home Remedies For Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin) That Works
Although there is no known cure for Keratosis pilaris, there are many over-the-counter lotions and creams that help to curb the problem. However, you can treat it with natural and easy to use home remedies. Here are 6 top home remedies for keratosis pilaris that are sure to work.
1. Gently Exfoliate with Sea Salt
Top on our list of best home remedies for keratosis pilaris is gentle exfoliation with sea salt. Here, you will exfoliate the skin without irritating it.
This is why we recommend natural exfoliators like sea salt that contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin, remove dead skin cells, and help to maintain moisture levels.
To make this homemade scrub, you’ll need two teaspoons of sea salt and four teaspoons of honey. Then, do this:
- mix both ingredients in a bowl or pan,
- apply the mix to affected parts of the skin by gently rubbing it into the skin,
- allow the mix to stay on the skin for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
The above recipe has honey in it because honey contains moisturizing properties and is a natural source of acids and nutrients that boosts the skin. Different combinations you can use for gentle skin exfoliation is sea salt, honey, and essential oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and peppermint oil.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another home remedy for chicken skin is apple cider vinegar. Apart from being good for your overall health, it also contains astringent properties that help to clear skin pores and unclog them.
There are several ways to use apple cider vinegar, and one of it is to mix one spoon of raw and unfiltered ACV with a glass of water an drink once or twice daily. This does the work of cleansing from inside out.
- Mix equal parts of ACV and water and apply on the affected body area. Allow to stay on for a few minutes before washing it off. Repeat this process a few times daily until you achieve a satisfactory result. You can mix it with more water if the solution is too strong for you.
- Alternatively, mix a half cup of ACV, a half cup of coconut oil, and a tablespoon of soy lecithin. Use the ointment daily on the affected skin area until you achieve better results.
3. Sour Cream
Sour cream is full of lactic acid that helps to rid the skin of dry skin cells and remove the buildup of keratin without leaving the skin dry. When combined with sugar, sour cream does an excellent job at being a skin scrub.
What you need:
- Two teaspoons of sour cream
- one teaspoon of white or brown sugar.
- In a pan, mix both sour cream and sugar to achieve a paste.
- Then, apply the mix on the affected skin region mimicking a circular motion.
- Allow staying on the skin for a few minutes before washing off.
- Repeat the process for a few weeks more.
Note: You can also use other foods that contain lactic acids like yogurt and buttermilk.
4. Coconut Oil
Another home remedy for keratosis pilaris is pure, virgin coconut oil. It works because it contains moisturizing properties while providing antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil also promotes skin glow.
To use coconut oil, after bathing and while your skin is still wet, apply coconut oil to your skin several times daily. You can also eat one teaspoon of coconut oil daily before increasing it gradually to three teaspoons daily.
Furthermore, you can use coconut oil to make a homemade scrub. Here’s how to:
- Mix all of the above-listed ingredients in a bowl to achieve a paste.
- Then, rub the mix gently on your skin to exfoliate it.
- Wash off and then moisturize your skin.
- Do the process once or twice weekly.
5. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Another way to get rid of chicken skin is by eating anti-inflammatory foods. To heal keratosis pilaris, you need to adhere to a diet that contains anti-inflammatory foods that help to heal and hydrate the body and relieve symptoms.
Such food contains essential vitamins and minerals which the body needs for skin hydration, proper skin cell growth, and lesion healing. Also, it is necessary to drink plenty of water during the day to keep your body hydrated.
Foods to add to your diet include green leafy vegetables that are full of antioxidants, berries that help to reduce swelling, and beets that help to repair cells. You should also eat plenty of foods that contain omega-3 acids like salmon. This is because they contain anti-inflammatory substances.
Another effective home remedy for chicken skin is to use oatmeal. It helps to soothe dry, itchy skin and can serve as a skin scrub for getting rid of the buildup of dead skin cells.
To use oatmeal:
- Make a paste by mixing one tablespoon of oatmeal and warm water.
- Then, gently rub the mix on your skin and leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off and moisturizing your skin. Repeat this thrice weekly.
- Or, grind a one-third cup of oatmeal with a coffee grinder or food processor until you achieve a fine powder. Then, add the powder to warm bath water and soak in it for about 20 minutes. Repeat this at least once weekly.
Start treating keratosis pilaris or chicken skin with these home remedies now! They are sure to help you get rid of KP, heal bumps, and make them fade away while leaving your skin fresh.
Also, ensure always to keep your skin hydrated to avoid or reduce the severity of KP. This way, you can also prevent a reoccurrence of it.