June 6th, 2011
07:54 AM ET

Can you make keratosis pilaris go away?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Jennifer from Richmond, Virginia

My 14-year-old daughter has had bumps on her cheeks, upper arms and thighs for several years. Her pediatrician say it's keratosis pilaris and not to worry about it, but my daughter doesn't like the way the bumps look. Is there anything we can try to make them go away?

Expert answer

Thanks for your question. Keratosis pilaris is a very common skin condition that occurs in different degrees of severity in up to 80% of teens and nearly half of adults.

Resembling pink or flesh-colored goose bumps, keratosis pilaris is caused when a substance called keratin clogs the hair follicles on the skin, usually on the outer parts of the upper arms and thighs and sometimes also on the face.

Keratosis pilaris is not harmful and if left untreated may eventually clear up, although this can take years. The condition often runs in families and tends to be worst during the teen and young adult years.

Some people find their skin improves in the summer with sun exposure, while for others it can get worse.

Your daughter may first wish to try simple measures such as taking warm rather than hot baths or showers and running a humidifier in her room.

Soap-free cleansers such as Dove or Cetaphil are often recommended, as are general over-the-counter moisturizers. Exfoliating with a loofah may also aid in removing some of the keratin.

There are multiple creams and lotions that may be prescribed for patients wanting to treat keratosis pilaris; however, they don't always work well. Products containing lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, a retinoid or other acne medicines, or urea can sometimes reduce the bumps.

Using a topical steroid for about a week may also help if the bumps are very red or inflamed. In severe cases, removing the bumps by microdermabrasion, chemical peels or other methods can be successful.

You can ask your pediatrician if any of these therapies may be useful in your daughter's situation or consider consulting a dermatologist.

Because this condition is so common, I hope our readers will share their experiences with treating keratosis pilaris as well.

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soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. JH

    I can definitely relate: I've had this frustrating condition for many years, I'm now 42. To make matters worse, I have OCD and am a compulsive skin picker, so the backs of my upper arms are always covered in scabs and are irreparably scarred. In years past when I was still getting purposeful sun exposure, I did find that this made the bumps diminish some, not that I would recommend sun exposure these days. In winter, the condition seemed better but probably only because I wasn't able to see/feel or pick at it much with my arms being covered most of the time. I have been considering trying alpha-hydroxy acid in a lotion to see if it helps, but I think you probably need to regularly scrub these areas in the shower with a loofah or some sort of buffing pad, but not too much or you may start an infection. My 3-year-old son has the bumps on his legs, arms, and sides of his face and they get worse when he gets overheated, so it would seem there is a genetic component to it. My advice is to avoid pickiing these bumps if you must deal with them, so that if you are lucky enough to see them go away someday, you won't be left with scars like mine. Good luck!

    June 6, 2011 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristy

      I have the same problem... until someone at an herbal shop showed me a very simple solution. Go to Smart and Final or some other restaurant supply store and get a squeeze bottle meant for pickle relish (the ketchup ones have too small an opening). Then, fill it about 3/4 with CANE sugar, the regular C&H stuff in the pink bag. Then, fill the rest with olive oil, the lightest color you can find (the dark color works too, but it smells more olive-y, and you don't want to smell like a salad.). You can also add a natural fragrance oil if your skin can stand it (I like the gingerbread oil from http://www.dragonmarsh.com, and a little goes a long way). Stir. Add more oil, stir, until it's totally well mixed. Then, when you're in the shower, squeeze some into your hand and scrub wherever you have bumps. It'll rub away the bumps and leave everything else moisturized sooo well. In about two weeks, no more bumps. Just make sure to keep using the scrub, even after the bumps are gone, because if you stop, they'll come back. But, it's simple and easy and cheap, and so much better for your skin than all those nasty stuff from the chemical companies (baby oil is mineral oil... from petroleum. the same stuff they make gasoline from. horrible for your skin! It makes more bumps!).

      June 6, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Perhaps some meds for your OCD might help you stop picking at the bumps. Just a thought. Good luck.

      June 6, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • Cynthia

      I know how you feel. I had Keratosis Pilaris too and always wore long sleeves even when it was really hot. I started using Paula's Choice 2% BHA and it cleared up completely within a few weeks. I don't know if it works for everyone, but it seems to work for a lot of people. I've told several people about it and it has worked for everyone I've told. It is a fairly common thing.

      I started with their liquid formula but I also have used their 2% BHA body lotion. I recommend the liquid to start. You can find out a lot more about KP and the various treatments and products here: http://cosmeticscop.paulaschoice.com/keratosis-pilaris-solutions.aspx

      Good Luck!

      June 6, 2011 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      If you try alpha-hydrox, I would suggest the Oil Free Formula' with 10% fruit acid. It is less likely to clog sensitive pores the way a lotion might. I have been using alhpa hydrox for years. If that works for you, and you want a stronger % of fruit acic, A-H makes a '12% Mousse' (not for hair), and a 12% lotion.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • Marcie

      just wondering if you used a shower or bath filter?

      March 27, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
  2. Jen

    I'm 26 and I've had this condition since I was a young teenager. As weird as it is, I also get it on my HANDS, which makes them really rough and bumpy! It's quite annoying, but I've figured out a weird way to deal with it: I use a cheap razor to GENTLY shave the palms of my hands in the shower. I wouldn't recommend this for any part of your body that's hairy as well (such as arms), because stubble and ingrown hairs will only make things worse, but it works like a charm for hands. Also key is using a gentle and hypoallergenic scrub twice a week. I'm a fan of Clinique scrubs, but you can also use a paste of salt and olive oil with a little lemon juice. Sounds like salad dressing, but works beautifully! And make sure to moisturize with something really thick. Body butters work well. One last thing: never, ever, ever try self tanner. Embrace the Casper look, because otherwise you're going to look like George Hamilton mated with a leopard. Be gentle but diligent with your skin care routine, and you'll be softer and smoother in no time. Hope this helps, and good luck! 🙂

    June 6, 2011 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristy

      Use sugar instead of salt. Salt is drying. =)

      June 6, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  3. EG

    I know this sounds strange, but stop washing the areas with the bumps. It worked for me when I had it on the backs of my arms. It took a month or so. I rinsed with water and water only. I first read about this on a k.p. help website when a teenager was taken to the doctor and the doctor told him to stop washing with any kind of cleanser and just use water. The parent was appalled and said that didn't make any sense. I took the doctor's advice, and I'm not sure if the poster to the website took it or not. I don't think many doctors will recommend this b/c there is no pharmaceutical company researching the effectiveness of water.

    June 6, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CD

      I agree with this. I have limited my use of soap products and the bumps have all but disappeared. The marks remain, but I've had these for more than 30 years. It's been about 4 years since I stopped using soap except when absolutely necessary/infrequently.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
  4. FD

    I have had the condition my whole life and I am now 44. Both of my young daughters have the same condition as well. I have found that when I am at the beach, the salt water clears my arms up completely. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix. However, I began taking a daily vitamin D supplement, 2000 i.u., about 6 months ago and have seen a definite improvement. I still have some bumps on my upper arms, but it is very light. I hope this works for someone else as well.

    June 6, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shannon

      I also have had this condition my whole life (40 years), and Vitamin D also has recently made a HUGE difference. My arms now look normal only with the little dots of scaring left from years of picking at the KP. I am taking 5000IU in addition to cal-mag and a multi vitamin.
      I had noticed that my kp would diminish a lot if I had sun exposure on my upper arms in the summer. Could it have been Vitamin D deficiency all along? New studies have shown that the recommended dosages for Vitamin D are too low and that we need a LOT more than what was previously thought.

      March 30, 2012 at 03:56 | Report abuse |
  5. Nicoel

    So glad someone addressed this. People think I'm crazy when I tell them what I have, mine is right on my face for all the world to see. Make up can't even cover it. i have Keratosis pilaris rubra faceii

    June 6, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. laurie

    i had the same problem on the back of my arms. i used this terra cotta stone: http://gildentree.com/p-130-foot-scrubber.aspx
    it seems weird like it might hurt to scrub, but it does not. after the initial daily use i only need to scrub occasionally. i also bought one for my sister and it worked for her. the only draw back is that it does break if you drop it. i just order another when it gets too bad. hope that helps someone.

    June 6, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. HB

    Obviously this suggestion will only work for women – but progesterone-only birth control methods such as the mini pill or Depo provera make the condition virtually disappear for me (as did my actual pregnancy!)

    June 6, 2011 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • amayda @HB

      I was going to say the same thing! During both my pregnancies it went away, but when I went on the pill it came back after my first pregnancy. After my second pregnancy I got a Mirena (IUD) and it went away for good. I also found that while on the pill and training for a race it would be less noticeable.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • 4mercy

      Hormonal contraception was declared carcinogenic in 2005 by an international cancer research firm...like asbestos and cigarettes. I would not readily give it to young girls just to treat a skin condition. Would you let your child smoke cigarettes if it made the condition go away? My family also lives with this condition.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • LizA

      Wow 4mercy, there is no proof that birth control pills are cancer causing. I'm pretty sure if they did it would be banned or at least advised against and my doctor has never told me that there's any risk (beyond if you're a smoker and on the pill). I've been on birth control pills for the last 10 years and they've helped keep my skin clear. I still have KP so I can't vouch for their effectiveness on that but they do help with acne.

      June 6, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  8. Amy Cook

    I have finally found the answer- KP Duty by Dermadoctor. It is a lotion that has worked great for me. Can be found online at Dermadoctor com

    June 6, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trigirldallas

      Totally agree with the KP Duty lotion by Dermadoctor. My bumps improved about 75% after just a week. Also good is the KP Duty exfoliating cream for use in the shower.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Good grief! Just went to that web site for a look. The least expensive KP Duty product was a 4 oz. tube of moisturizer for $36. Sheesh! Hey, not all of us can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on this.

      June 6, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
  9. MH

    I have had KP since early childhood and for as long as I can remember. I used to have it really bad on my cheeks but it went away with puberty and a lot of moisturizer. I recommend Purpose lotion for the face. I still have it on my arms and legs and I think lactic acid creams work the best, but you have to use it everyday or it comes back.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. CLJ

    I'm over 40 and have had issues with this most of my life. I've found that a combination of the pool and some sun exposure tend to help a lot. I like to swim and belong to a gym with a pool, so year round swimming is easy.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ES

    I have had this condition for as long as I can remember. It has been worse since I was pregnant and had my children. The only thing that works for me is using no lotions or creams whatsoever on the affected areas. If I use lotions it makes the bumps red and inflammed. I hate having dry looking skin, but I hate the bumps on my upper arms more.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Karen Gordon

    KP is horrific. I have suffered from it since I was about 4 and I'm now 43. The absolutely GREATEST cure are a combo of products you can find at Sephora: DERMADOCTOR KP Duty Scrub and KP Duty Moisturizer. The scrub is a chemical and physical exfoliant so it really works – products with sugar and salt actually irritate the skin and make it worse. So this will help to make the unsightly look of the bumps go away but it's the KP Duty Moisturizer that will really keep the bumps away. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this treatment over anything including prescription creams.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MCP

    I have had KP on my arms and legs since I was a teenager (30's now) and only just recently found out what it is. Sun exposure in the summer helps me as well as exfoliation with a loofa but nothing has ever cleared it up completely. Although not painful I certainly get embarrassed when people ask what I have all over my arms, especially in the summer time during swim suit season (which is long here in Texas). It's nice to know there are a few new products on the market and that this condition is becoming more well known. Thank you all for your suggestions!

    June 6, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jen

    I tried everything to stop the painful little spots. Meanwhile, I was making face cream with anti-oxidants. Eventually tried it on the spots. I was shocked to feel better right away and now my skin looks normal. Sometimes a spot pops up, I put the cream on and it goes away. I make my cream with coconut oil, cacao butter and the anti-oxidants. No irritating additives, just healing emollients. I'd strongly suggest making your own healing cream. Or, finding a good one and mixing in some vitamin C powder. Also, vitamin C powder dampened to a paste and applied to painful spots will help.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JFO

    I've had KP my entire life; what helps for me is dry brushing before showering, never using any soaps on the affected areas (I just clean with a wet washcloth), taking WARM instead of hot showers, and ALWAYS using Am-Lactin afterwards (OTC, if its not on the shelves, ask the pharmacist for it – you don't need an Rx). I've also used coconut oil and had some pretty good results, but I prefer the Am-Lactin, even if it does have a kinda bad smell.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristy

      Try olive oil! Did wonders for me! You can even add a natural oil based fragrance if it doesn't irritate your skin.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
  16. annie

    Anybody have it on their butt cheeks? I do and it drives me crazy! It's so embarrassing. I use Eciderm Intense Healing and it makes it better, but not much. Have used AmLactin with same results. I want it t go away so i can feel good when my husband touches me.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meg

      Yes I have them there too and my upper thighs and the backs of my arms! I know exactly how you feel, what I found that works is applying Aveno lotion EVERYDAY twice a day and I purchased 10% lactic acid on Amazon that won't break your wallet and I apply it where you have KP for 3 minutes and then wash it off in the shower. Within in a week and after 2 application I have found my skin is much softer and less bumpy. I still have some pink marks however the skin is overall MUCH smoother. Hope this helps girl!

      May 13, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
  17. MB

    My husband has this condition, and I have found that his bumps have improved since eating more tomato-based products. He has also cut down on his fat, and we use a gentle soap, Dove Sensitive skin. I don't think his condition gets better in the sun. But the detoxifying quality of tomatoes seems to have helped. Good Luck everyone!

    June 6, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. E.S.

    Amlactin lotion works great! Available over the counter. It's pricy – $26.00 for a tall bottle but it will last you months & months. I use exfoliating scrubs in the shower and amlactin lotion. I also use a perscription ointment called Triamcinolon. I've had the bumps on my outer arms and thighs and keep it under control by using all three things. My daugher has it also. I swear by the Amlactin lotion and the Triamcinolon ointment.

    June 6, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NK

      watch out for steroid creams. I used one for years, loved the results, and then was told I had glaucoma/was a glaucoma suspect. they were sad and puzzled because I was so young. a quick bit of research turned up that steroids can increase eye pressures. I stopped using the lotion right then, years ago, and was UNdiagnosed with glaucoma, after a year of eye drops and treatment and all. I stay away from the lotion because, I hate kp, but I value my eyesight more. I still get my eyes checked every two years now and the pressures still went away and stayed away with the lotions.

      January 27, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
  19. as

    going gluten-free made mine disappear!

    June 6, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CS

      I've wondered about this...Been researching going GF just for this reason. I just haven't taken the plunge yet!

      June 6, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  20. JC

    My 12 yo son has this....as soon as he stopped drinking milk, it pretty much disappeared...

    June 6, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Amy

    The alpha hydroxy acid lotion works perfectly for me. It only took a few days to notice a difference and a few weeks for them to completely disappear. It doesn't hurt; and you don't have to buy the expensive stuff, I got mine at a beauty supply store for $9 and it's a large bottle, will likely last a year or more since I only use it on the backs of my arms.

    June 6, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Michele

    I have used organic, virgin coconut oil topically for several years to treat KP with complete success. The coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which apparently is what makes it work. My KP cleared up in a few days after I first started using it. It will come back if I stop using the coconut oil, but as soon as I start putting it on again, it goes away.

    June 6, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mark

    Our whole family (multiple generations had it until we tried a product from http://www.pearsonspromise.com. It is a special soap and cleanser that removes the clogged hair follicles and straightens the hair so that it doesn't clog again. It contain coconut oil, shea butter and other natural ingredients. Fantastic stuff.

    June 6, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sunny

    Amlactin and a pumice stone. I'm 42 and fought this since childhood. Take it from me – i"ve seen 3 dermatologists and researched this countless times. You just have to stay on it every day. Good luck!

    June 6, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rachel

    There is a website for KP sufferers http://www.keratosispilaris.org. I've tried KP Duty Am Lactin and other methods nothing has worked. I'm going to try some of the ideas posted. Thank you for sharing.

    June 6, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Kelsey

    I use a goat milk soap (www.goatmilkstuff.com) that is fragrance/dye free. It has natural lactic acid in it and does not over dry my skin. Eucerin is also a great lotion...any of the versions. I stay away from fragrances/dyes as I have found they irritate the bumps more.

    June 6, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. CS

    Longtime sufferer.....I felt like I tried EVERYTHING on the KP boards that people suggested. It seems like everyone was different and you have to find what works for you.
    Mine has not entirely disappeared, but it a million times better than it used to be. Tolerable. Minimal. So much so that i am not embarrassed by it anymore.
    I refuse to use anything with a fragrance to it....None of that even in my house 🙂
    My routine kind of goes like this....warm showers. I wash and condition my hair FIRST because i don't want the shampoo/conditioner residue left on my body. Then I wash with a loufah using Aquaphor Baby Wash (CVS, Target). I found this out by accident. When my son was an infant, normal baby soaps dried his skin out. This was the only soap I found that didn't. Then I started using it and noticed a huge difference in myself.
    Anyways, after every shower, I slather myself in Amlactin lotion in the areas I suffer from KP. It's not cheap ( 14.99 a bottle usually) but keeps my skin super soft and moisturized. I'm a fanatic about this. Seriously...I will not go without my Amlactin...in the mornings, after the gym at lunch, and my evening shower...lotion lotion lotion (I know...too many showers..not good, but I do it)

    It's not gone 100%, but I'm a much happier person nowadays.

    June 6, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LadyMarianFL

    I've had KP for many, many years, also, but so far, nothing has worked. AmLactin was a waste of hard-earned money. Will try some of the home remedies mentioned in this thread... Thanks for the tips!

    June 6, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jenna

    I too, have had this condition for as long as I can remember, completely covering my legs, arms, some on my face, and even a little on my stomach. Even in pictures of me as a child you can see the beginnings of it. I used to be self conscious about it because other kids would stare at my skin, and one time a girl even got up and moved away from me because she was afraid it might be contagious. Yes, I think anyone who has/had this condition can relate to the feelings of alienation associated with it. I went through a phase where I thought I would treat it and it would go away. I tried all the recommendations in this article (except microdermabrasion) over a period of several years. Some creams like lac-hydrin helped for a little bit, but they do not unclog your pores, and they are not cures. It has gotten better with time, but it is not gone. Then again I'm only 23. You get so used to having it that you finally reach the point where you just don't even think of it anymore. There are more important things in life than keratin clogging your pores. My advice to any young girls who have this condition: don't let it consume you or take up any more of your time than it deserves, things could always be worse.

    June 7, 2011 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. toots13

    I have had for years and this is what has really improved my and my kids' KP: I put a salicylic acid body wash in the shower and we wash our our arms, legs, and faces with it, let it sit a few minutes and wash off completely. We use Booths's 4 in 1 Multi-Action Lotion everyday and it's made a huge difference. There are AHA's and BHA's and other anit-oxidant type stuff in the lotion. I don't know why, but it has really helped us. There are several scents (we like vanilla) and a huge pump bottle is around $10 at Ulta and Kmart. It may be available at other places but that's where I've bought. Our bumps and redness have decreased dramatically. It's worth a shot.

    June 7, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jackie McClelland

    I have had this conditions for most of my life and I am over 40 years old. I ran across a intern that has a product that is organic and have been using it for over 2 months now and I must say that my bump have deminished and my skin is so smooth. He said his ingredience was givin to him from his grandmother. I will not use another product, this is the only product I have found that has given me these results and I have tried just about everything. I have it on my arms, legs, thighs and buttock and it was rough.

    June 7, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • adrienne

      What is the product and where may I get it? Thx!

      May 18, 2012 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
  32. Alison

    Castor Oil..............My mother in law was moving a couple years ago and gave me a bunch of stuff she did not use and one of those items was a big bottle of Castor Oil. One day last year I was out of lotion, I live in Alaska where it is dry ask heck in the winter and you really need your after shower lotion, and I saw the Castor Oil under the sink and put it on. Very gooey stuff, but worked for the dry skin. After a couple weeks of using it I realized that the KP was GONE! No joke! After years of trying different lotions, oils, scrubs, etc. the Castor Oil worked.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scarlett

      Hi Alison.
      thank you for the information. I also have KP really bad in my legs. what brand of castor oil you have used please? andhow bad your KP was?.x

      June 28, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  33. kristin

    I use DERMA Doctor KP Duty body scrub (it is expensive but lasts a long time). I use AM Lactin lotion after showering. I have found that it helps my skin feel smoother and the bumps appear smaller.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply

    OK. My whole family struggles with this condition. Here is what has helped up the most!
    Go to the dollar store and buy
    (1) foot scrubber stone
    (1) bottle of Vitamin E skin oil (its $2.00 at Family Dollar store)
    (1) bottle of Palmers SHEA BUTTER lotion

    Scrub your affected area daily (or every other day) with the foot stone (exfoliates without those nasty chemicals) (I use dove extreme moisture or oil of olay for severely dry skin applied to the foot stone – although I'm now thinking of going soapless after reading the comments here)
    After your shower, BEFORE YOU DRY OFF, apply the skin oil all over THEN dry off with a towell.
    SHEA butter lotion anytime skin gets dry between.

    Doctors don't tell you about his unless you ASK because there is no profit involved. Its not a cure but making this part of your daily routine is inexpensive and easy. You don't need all of that prescription stuff!!!

    June 8, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Julie

    I have had this condition for my whole life. My teenage daughter has it too! I too pick at it and now have redness that will not go away. The worst for me is the tops of my arms and now I refuse to show my arms in public. I find the sun helps dry it out during the Summer. I have seen two dermatologists and have just recently seen some relief. I use salicylic acid to wash it and use the Am-Lactin twice a day to keep it moist. Recently tried Topical retinoids and that seems to be the trick right now for me. I was also prescribed differin however this is not covered by my insurance since it is not FDA approved.

    June 9, 2011 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Merry

    Thank you to all who posted the DIY solutions and the different products! I've been wondering if my soap was to blame, I've had KP on and off over the years. It took me years to even find out what is was called; finally I googled "chicken skin on legs" to get the name of it. I've tried sunning my legs but that seems to work temporarily.

    I'm wondering if KP can also be caused by what I'm NOT eating; I'm lactose intolernt so no milk for me, yet lactic acid breaks up the keratin. I also ran out of my Vitamin D supplement for the past few weeks and noticed my KP got worse. I'll get some more Vit. D and see if that helps, and I'll try the cane sugar and olive oil.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

    August 27, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Monica

    Taking Vitamin E stops it immediately. I took a Vitamin E last night and it is pretty much gone now in the morning

    September 14, 2011 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Lisa

    I've had KP since I was a baby. Its on my upper legs, stomach, upper arms, lower arms... you name it. My mother explained how she brought me to a dermatologist and he had no real answers for her at the time other than keeping the skin moist. Every day I remember being rubbed head to toe with baby oil after my showers and baths. My skin only improved slightly. I still use body butters and sugar scrubs and nothing truly helps. Once however I found a bath scrub bar that worked AMAZING! I got it from an "all natural" shop in NYC named LUSH. The bar is called "Buffy" Its scented lavender and lemon and is made with ground rice, aduki beans, and almonds. Within 1 week my skin looked and most of all was beginning to feel smooth. Unfortunately for me I didn't know I was allergic to the aduki beans and broke out in hives not long after. I've never found anything since that did the job quite like that bar did. And although I can't use it personally i hope this can help someone out there get rid of Their KP.

    November 7, 2011 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Rin

    I have extremely severe kp. I have found that not exfoliating my kp areas and using a moisturising cream containing urea daily after a shower helps get rid of the spottiness. Swimming in the sea or pool also seems to get rid of the bumps for me, but it always comes back. I think taking some vitamins have helped too. I take vit a, b group, c, d, fish oil msm. I still have kp but it looks less obvious.

    March 20, 2012 at 04:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Marcie

    Just wondering..do any of you use a shower or bath filter?

    March 27, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Grace Mincy


    If you go all the way to 10 out of 10 on the slideshow there is a wonderful DIY exfoliating scrub that I found drastically smoothed the keratosis pilaris on my upper arms I've only done it once and have seen great results! I think that if I do this every so often then I could eventually have smooth skin again! One thing I do warn is make sure that if you just want to do it on your arms still maybe sit on the edge of the tub or a bench in the shower because excess sugar does tend to fall and it's handy to just be able to wash it down the drain. Hope this helps other people too!


    May 21, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. notyouraveragecog

    I've read around about taking Vitamin D just like some of the above commenters. It's only been day two so I have nothing to really report and I'm trying to avoid being psychosomatic about whether there really are any change or not. Anyways, I'm currently taking a multivitamin (1000 IU Vitamin D), and then 4000 IU of Vitamin D. I'm just going to wait and see how those things go for me. If I see desired results I'll probably back down to 3000 IU total instead of 5000 since I've read for adults Vitamin D is recommended at 4000 IU on Wiki. Although overdose levels were astronomical around 40000 IU daily. So no worries about pushing those limits. I've read a variety of articles reporting lower dose, but wiki is usually more up to date and trustworthy than a variety of sites that are self serving. I hope it works.

    My KP has gotten worse with time. Thankfully I don't get it on my face but I use to only have a bit on my arms, and now its increased on my arms, and is on my legs, calves, and even back side. So I'd like to get rid of it. I've tried a variety of creams, moisturizers, scrubs, etc. All with little effect. Things help, but like most people, I figure treating the source is better than treating the symptoms. I've read some interesting info talking about sun exposure and how it's related to Vitamin D, which is the connection I made my own awhile ago. But they did make the interesting point that usually as kids our KP is minimal but as we grow older, and by extension stay inside more due to school or work, our KP worsens. Seems like a pretty strong case for Vitamin D.

    Anyways I'll repost in a week or two depending on when I see results, thanks!

    June 5, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. lagne

    I've been a lifelong KP sufferer. I've tried it all – scrubbing, not scrubbing, chemical/manual exfoliators, AHA moisturizers, evvvverything.

    When I moved to Florida and started spending lots of time in the sun, my KP completely disappeared. It actually made me laugh – years of effort and hundreds of dollars, and all I had to do was get out in the sun. I usually spend a few hours in the sun with a little sunscreen; the benefits last about two months before I feel the bumps start to reoccur.

    July 9, 2012 at 02:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Johnathan

    Keratosis Pilaris is similar to hyperkeratosis which I had for quite some time. I found out that it was because my diet sufficiently lacked vitamin A, and after taking some supplements the condition went away.

    July 11, 2012 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Libertastic

    I've tried the expensive creams and scrubs marketed towards KP sufferers. I used them as directed faithfully for at least 6 months, but I found it only irritated my arms further (and was very expensive). I began taking 2000 i.u. of Vitamin D daily for a broken bone, and noticed a fantastic side effect – my KP got better and is now completely gone! I can't rule out other factors, but the Vitamin D certainly seemed like a miracle cure to me. I now take 1000 i.u. a day, and the KP has not returned.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Anna

    I'm 24 now, and have had KP on the back of my upper arms and both legs since I was about 4. Tried creams, exfoliating got rid of the "tops", but always left it more irritated and red than it was to start with.
    I started a "gluten/dairy free" diet about six months ago, all of them disappeared within a month and a half. I have not cut out all gluten and dairy products, just ones that I know make it show up for me. I cut out all dairy and gluten products for two weeks, then added foods back to my diet one by one. Personally, ranch dressing, macadamia nuts, any type of bread or oatmeal, and milk and yogurt products will cause it to come back within 3 to 4 days of eating the product. Since doing this my endometriosis has also became non-existant (I was having 2 surgeries a year for the last 8 years, no RX meds would control it), and I have more energy than ever). I've also noticed that using products that contain keratin (ie. hair treatments) and letting them come in contact with KP areas makes it worse, as does not getting enough protein in my diet (keratin is used in hair treatments to restore some of the lost protein, maybe KP is the bodie's way of holding on to some if there isn't enough protein in the system).

    September 14, 2012 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. tanya

    i have it my 7 year old and my 3 year old have it, exfoliating, the sun, and lotion helps that's about it. mine have gone away somewhat with age but they are still there. some say its an allergy, i don't think so i have done lots of work trying to figure it out and every body is not the same. with your children talk to there doc and always reassure them it doesn't change who they are. my daughter spends more time in the sun than my son so hers are less but i do notice the more carrots they eat the more bumps they have and of course because of the keratin in carrots. my son also has supper sensitive skin so to exfoliate i just use a kitchen sponge with the green scrubby on it DRY and in a circle motion. try it and let me know

    November 14, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. tanya

    i just wanted to add i use the kitchen sponge vs body brushes because my son at the age of 3 thinks its funny and trying to get him to sit for the amount of time it takes to exfoliate it has to be fun. you can even cut the sponge into fun shapes!!! my daughter likes it to!

    November 14, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jamaica

    I have spent hundreds of dollars on every product known to man! I have exfoliated/burned my skin on FIRE with glycolic acid.... I HAVE GREAT NEWS FOR YOU! STOP everything you are doing, including tanning. STEP 1) Dry brush your skin with a dry loofa STEP 2) Lather on refined organic coconut oil. THATS IT! I promise you.The glass jar of coconut oil will cost you $10 and it will last forever. At first your skin will be greasy but then it soaks in completely over say 5-10 mins. once to twice a week for an EXTRA exfoliation, i take my leftover warm coffee grounds with me in the shower, i combine with coconut oil and create a coffee scrub.... feels so good. wash up as usual... your skin will be like a newborn baby when you get out.... TRUST ME i have done it all and just want to help everyone....

    November 26, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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