Today, I am blogging about Keratosis Pilaris (or KP) - a condition that affects many people to different degrees.
For those of you who are unaware, Keratosis Pilaris usually manifests itself as a rash or series of small red bumps on the surface of the skin, often on the arms and thighs, although it can appear elsewhere on the body too. Along with the rash, another symptom is multiple hairs growing from a single follicle, which can mean that those who suffer with it often have excess body hair.
|Typical appearance of KP (not mine!)|
For years, I was unaware of what the red rashes on my upper arms and thighs were. All I knew was that I was extremely self-conscious of them as they were very unsightly, and I used to do anything to avoid wearing sleeveless tops, always covering up with a scarf or cardie.
Finally, a couple of years ago, I decided enough was enough and decided to do some reading online to see if anyone else had my mysterious skin complaint. I felt as though I was the only person putting up with it, and upon seeing my doctor, he was extremely unhelpful and told me it would disappear and clear up over time.
KP is essentially caused by the build up of keratin on the surface of the skin, which causes the raised, bumpy appearance. To combat this, I have been using a couple of simple but effective products in my daily routine:
1) I exfoliate my upper arms daily with a course-grained scrub.
The problem with many scrubs are that they are not scrubby enough and you do need something that is quite abrasive to smooth the skin effectively. I find the scrub I use in the areas with KP would probably be too harsh for other areas of my body, but on the areas with KP, it works well.
Recently, I have been very impressed with The Body Shop's Chocomania scrub. If you can get past the sweet, chocolately scent first thing in a morning, it is both moisturising and exfoliating , and I have certainly seen an improvement in my skin tone over the period I have been using it. Other scrubs I have enjoyed using and have found effective at combatting my KP have been Korres Watermelon scrub and the Elemis Lime and Ginger Scrub, although this one is rather on the pricey side, but it does feel very luxurious.
2) Following my daily exfoliation of the affected areas, I always moisturise, usually using a lotion rather than a body butter as it is lighter and less likely to clog pores. You may prefer unscented lotions if you have sensitive skin . I have been using the Vaseline Intensive Care lotion recently and have been pleased with its performance, but any regular body lotion will do.
3) I don't tend make a conscious effort to tan, but during the Summer I do find that the appearance of my KP diminishes somewhat when my skin is a little darker.
The sun seems to clear it up a little, and the darker skintone helps to disguise it. Of course, you can always pick up a fake tanning product and this will camouflage the rashes somewhat.
I hope this post has been of some help to those of you who suffer with KP and has given you some ideas for how to treat it.
Do you use any products which help treat your KP?