Get Rid of Chicken Skin | 5 Ways to Treat Keratosis Pilaris

Updated January 2019

So what is keratosis pilaris and why does it have the nickname "chicken skin"! Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition caused by the build up of keratin, a protein in the body that protects the skin. When keratin is not naturally exfoliated, it can form a hard plug that clogs hair follicles and creates inflamed bumps on the skin. Learn the best skin products to prevent or lessen the appearance of chicken skin. These 5 easy skincare steps will bring back your confidence and get you showing off your beautiful skin again.

1. Gently exfoliate

The keyword here is, “gently". If you use an exfoliator that is too rough or abrasive you can worsen keratosis pilaris, inflaming the bumps, making them more noticeable. Loofahs are great for exfoliation but make sure to soak them before using.

2. Find the right products for you

Look for products with glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid to help smooth the area and break down the buildup of excess keratin. We recommend  Obagi KèraPhine Body Smoothing Lotion for keratosis pilaris. This product contains 15% glycolic acid.

3. Try vitamins & supplements

Take a daily fish oil supplement. A diet rich in omega-3's can aide the skin in shedding dead skin cells, preventing them from sticking in hair follicles.

4. Prescription retinoids

As if Tretinoin (Retin-A) wasn't amazing enough for its effectiveness on acne and aging skin, you can also use it to treat keratosis pilaris! This vitamin A derivative increases the cell turnover rate which may flatten those annoying bumps. Tretinoin is available in 3 prescription strengths .025% tretinoin, .05% tretinoin, and .100% tretinoin.


Rejuvenate your skin with Obagi tretinoin!

5. Moisturize!

Keratosis pilaris is caused by dry skin. It’s more noticeable in the winter months when the weather is drier. Use a good moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.

Your reward? Sleeveless shirts!

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