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keratosis pilaris chicken skin skincare

Got Skin Bumps? Here's How to Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris

Have pesky bumps on the back of your arms? Though this “chicken skin” is far from harmful, it can make anyone feel self-conscious, uncomfortable, or wary of sleeveless tops – and that’s no fun for anyone!

What’s worse, these bumps can often be hard to get rid of, and a standard body care regimen may not seem to get the job done.

Here’s how to get rid of keratosis pilaris once and for all.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a benign issue with hair follicles that leads to small, goosebump-like red bumps on the backs of arms, upper thighs, buttocks, or cheeks.

It’s usually caused by a buildup of keratin – the primary protein that makes up hair – that can block hair follicle openings, leading to the tiny bumps. There is also a genetic component to keratosis pilaris. Some people are simply predisposed to developing these bumps, which makes them somewhat difficult to address completely.

How Do You Get Rid of Keratosis Pilaris?

Though you may not be able to get rid of these skin bumps once and for all, there are certain products you can apply that will make them better.

Unlike acne, keratosis pilaris is best treated by a combination of hydration and exfoliation.Specifically, we recommend:

AHAs and BHAs

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid work by dissolving the bonds that hold dead cells to the surface of the skin. This ultimately:

  • Encourages cell turnover
  • Balances skin tone
  • Evenly exfoliates the skin
  • Reduces signs of sun damage
  • Improves skin texture

Vitamin A Derivatives

Creams with vitamin A derivatives, or topical retinoids, also work to promote cell turnover, and they can be applied sparingly to treat keratosis pilaris (KP). That said, vitamin A derivatives are also known to dry and irritate the skin, so we recommend that you test to see how your skin reacts and you don’t apply too frequently.

Physical Exfoliants

We also recommend that you physically exfoliate your skin. Here, it’s important not to be too rough, as irritating your skin with harsh scrubbing can make keratosis pilaris worse. Instead, gently use a gentle cane sugar scrub to slough away dead cells and lock in moisture. This will help your keratosis pilaris.


Using physical and chemical exfoliants will always dry the skin. Applying a moisturizer with humectant and emollient ingredients will help prevent excessive dryness and protect your skin’s natural barrier.

Be sure to find a moisturizer that contains ingredients like:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Glycerine or petroleum jelly
  • Shea butter
  • Vitamin E

This combination of ingredients will moisturize, nourish, protect, and hydrate the skin.

At the end of the day, though, it’s important to keep in mind that keratosis pilaris can never be cured completely, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this condition. You will have to pay attention, then, to the combination of ingredients that makes a difference to you.

Here’s to happy, healthy skin days ahead!