Keratosis Pilaris

Who even knows what this is?! I know I did know the actual name of this skin condition until I was an adult. For my entire life I always had rough bumpy skin on my upper arms, upper legs and my cheeks. It’s nick named “chicken skin” but it’s actual name is Keratosis Polaris. This is when your body makes an over production of Keratin and it clogs your hair follicles. It occurs mostly in those under 30 and is supposed to subside in your 30’s but for me it got worse.

As a kid I was extremely self conscious of this and always wanted to sit in the back of the class so no one could see the back of my arms. I didn’t want to wear shorts and would constantly pick at the bumps and pour on lotion and sticky vitamin E hoping it would go away. As an adult it has mostly faded from my legs only leaving scattered bumps under the surface that really aren’t visible . They have completely faded from my cheeks. But they are worse than ever on my arms. It’s really hard on my self esteem. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I visited my first Dermatologist in hopes of finding a cure. My dreams of smooth skin would soon be dashed as I came to realize that it is genetic and there is no cure as of yet. My life since has been trial and error of different products that claim to help. I have asked different dermatologists what I should use and almost always get a different response. Some claim they have an in-house product while others refer out. Here are the products I have used and my experience along with a few tips and natural remedies. My search isn’t over so expect to see more blog posts on this subject along the way.


The first is this body wash recommended by my derm. It is $15 but so far I haven’t seen any different results. According to her, you aren’t supposed to exfoliate like normal and are only to use gentle products. I have been using this for 2 months now and probably wont continue if things don’t get better. I will say that it is recommended to use a body wash containing glytone. 



The next is this AmLactin lotion that’s priced at $12. I have been using it for 2 months and feel like my skin is dryer than ever! Though Amlactin is helpful in preventing the bumps, this lotion isn’t doing the trick for me.


I found this lotion to be a little more helpful. It is very gentle and moisturizing on the skin and has no scent. The salicylic acid is the main helper in this which has worked for me in the past.


If you’re more of a natural path then here is a great recipe for you. Mix shea butter, a little jojoba oil and this Myrrh essential oil that honestly works wonders for me. Myrrh has been used for centuries and has many skin healing properties. If you believe in Jesus then you would know that it was one of the gifts given to him by the 3 wise men. The smell is something to get used to but it’s a great natural remedy to help reduce the appearance of KP.


Lastly I have yet to try this but I hear Differin Gel great. I haven’t taken the plunge yet because I hear it can be very harsh on the skin. I already have sensitive skin so I’m not sure how to approach this strong product.

I know that being in the sun too much isn’t healthy, but I do notice that my KP disappears with the more sun I get. It also get’s worse in the winter months when the air gets cold and dry. These are just some options for you to try that I have already done the leg work on. Do you experience these bums as well? What do you do? I will be out there continuing to explore options for KP and sharing them on my blog. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

~ Love Felicia

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A 34 year old shopping enthusiast living in Huntington Beach, CA. I have a B.S. in Speech Pathology and an M.E. in Special Education. I am passionate about sharing my mental health story and finding all natural alternatives to alleviate symptoms. I am also a lover of beauty and clothes.... but not at the price everyone else pays. Stick with me and ill help you find good deals AND your zen!

11 thoughts on “Keratosis Pilaris

  1. I am sorry that you struggle with that skin condition. I have milia all over my eyelids that I can’t remove and my dermatologist suggested ROC sensitive eye cream which has retinol in it. Perhaps that would be less harsh than Differen gel? So far, nothing has worked for me but I am not consistent. Good luck on your search.


  2. I worked in dermatology for several years as a medical assistant. Exfoliation is key but there has also been studies that show links to KP and gut health and hormones. I struggled with KP for years until I changed my diet to real foods and take a regular probiotic. Vitamin A and D also help alot. Differin is a retinoid which a synthetic vit A. The sun helps because it has anti inflammatory properties and of course Vit d. Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am in my 30s and have had KP ever since I can remember. It’s heavy on the back of my arms, mild on the tops of my legs, and I don’t have it on my cheeks at all. Dermatologists haven’t been able to offer much help except for applying various lotions. After a while I kind of just forgot about it since I can’t see the back of my arms anyway and it doesn’t cause me any itching or discomfort.

    One thing I noticed in your profile photo, it looks like your arm is heavily tattooed. Right now I have my forearms tattooed but would like to eventually get my upper arm done. So you have tattooed over your KP it looks like? Did that turn out well?


    1. I was actually worried about getting it tattood over my KP and to my surprise it worked out fine. It wasn’t as heavy during that time but it has gotten awful over the last couple months. Im totally at a loss for what to do know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad it turned out okay after the tattoo – that gives me hope for mine. Thanks for sharing all that you’ve tried. I’m interested in what Nerdy Mommy had to say about there being a link to gut health and hormones. I know I have some room for improvement in those departments so it’s a route worth looking into.


  4. Aw, I’m sorry you have KP! I do too, actually, along with eczema, which sucks. I’m hoping it’ll go away though since it did with my brother. 🙂



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