Keratosis Pilaris Treatment Guide

Official Guide to Keratosis Pilaris (KP)

(Last Updated: 2014)

keratosis-pilaris-featured-homepageOverview: Keratosis Pilaris (also known as “KP”, “Chicken Skin”, “Follicular Keratosis” and “Lichen Pilaris) is a common skincare condition that more often than not is overlooked. KP is characterized by appearance of red, rough, bumps on the surface of skin. It most commonly appears on the arms, shoulders and forearms however it can affect other body parts just as easily such as the buttocks, thighs and legs. Often KP is mistaken for acne or “goose bumps” but it is not related, it is in fact the result of excess keratin within the skin clogging the hair follicles within our pores.

Prescription medications are unnecesary for KP due to it’s harmless nature. In order to seek treatment, there are a variety of cosmetic skincare products that can relieve the issue. Treatments consisting of urea, lactic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin d or retinoids can be particularly effective in use for Keratosis Pilaris. Certain body washes and exfoliating creams can work in unison to relieve stubborn KP recurrences.

The following guide is designed with you in mind, to provide a simple, clear and concise routine and to help prevent and get rid of KP for good. KP is pretty basic and thus if you follow this method closely we believe this routine will prove to be 99.9 percent effective in the removal and treatment of KP. After following these detailed steps, please refer to Choosing a Treatment that is safe, effective and approved for the treatment of KP. Afterwards, please browse our Product Comparisons and leave any feedback you may have based on previous experiences or feel free to ask questions.

Be Proactive and Take Action


We all want to wear short sleeves and shorts without the anxiety of KP… Maybe you just want to restore your skins natural clarity before things get worse? Follow this in depth guide with persistence and patience (do not get lazy and skip a day) and you will restore blemish free, clear skin. Sometimes, this process may take a few short weeks, however, your efforts will be rewarded with clear, confident skin.

Time Required: Depending on the seriousness of your KP and your choice of treatment, KP could take as long as 60 days in some cases to see the full effect. Periodic use of the treatment method mentioned in this guide is recommended to prevent future outbreaks as recurrences are very common.

Step One: Understanding Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin within our skin. Keratin is the primary fibrous protein that found in the outermost layer of our skin. KP is a result of excess keratin build up that plugs our hair follicles and creates a small bump on the skins surface. Overtime, if multiple follicles become blocked, it creates rough skin that is covered in pink, red, brown or white hard bumps. Keratosis Pilaris is usually found on the backs of our arms and legs, but can also be found on the back, buttocks or face.

Keratosis pilaris is a very common, benign skin disorder that affects both adolescents and adults, however, it may be slightly more common among females. Keratosis pilaris tends to be genetic, it is often inherited through families. Luckily, it is a minor skin condition that can be easily controlled in most cases with a simple, consistent regimen such as the one we provide in our guide.

Step Two: Preparation

Not much preparation is required for treating KP other than the commitment to the routine and acquiring an exfoliating cream and/or body scrub of your choice. We will review what ingredients might work best for you later on in this guide.

You will need the following items:

    • Body Wash for moisturizing and exfoliating the skin. Exfoliating beads although environmentally questionable can prove very effective in unclogging pore when used in conjunction with an exfoliating ingredient.
    • Exfoliating Treatment. There are many treatments designed specifically for KP which are recommended. However, many other moisturizers and ingredients with exfoliating properties can prove effective in relieving KP as well. We recommend topical solutions containing Glycolic acid, Urea, and Lactic acid.  Choosing Treatments with effective ingredients is vital to your success.
    • Loofah or Body Sponge (optional) If using a body wash we recommend use of a loofah for lathering affected areas thoroughly..

Step Three: Choosing the Right Treatment for You


We recommend treating keratosis pilaris with daily lubrication, gentle exfoliation, and glycolic or lactic acids. Retinoids are also a popularly marketed ingredient in products designed specifically for KP.

Generally, KP products will feature either an exfoliant or body scrub. Certain systems involve both a body wash or exfoliating cream to be used together for optimal effect. However, depending on your lifestyle and commitment to the routine it may be easier to just adapt to a simple body wash or vice versa.

    • Remember to maintain daily hygiene, showering each day and eating healthy. If using a body scrub, when showering it is popularly believed that using a loofah or wash cloth to lather the affected area thoroughly for 20-30 seconds proves more effective. We simply recommend following the instructions on the bottle of the product of your choice.
    • If using an exfoliating cream, best time to apply is usually post shower and at night prior to bed. Allow a minute for the exfoliating cream to dry before putting on clothes to allow for proper absorption.
    • In some cases after exhausting topical methods, people may resort to laser or microdermabrasion as a possible treatment but typically as a last resort.

Step Four: Diet and Hygeine

Healthy diet is beneficial in general, however, we don’t necessarily believe that KP is associated with improper diet. Some people claim eliminating red meat from their diet has had a positive effect on their KP. This is due to the build of Casein (type of protein) that your body may be unable to effectively breakdown.

We do suggest supplementing your diet with Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These can be found easily in food like nuts, flax, pumpkin, oils and hemp. It may be easier to take a daily vitamin or supplement for Omega 3’s for most people. Some people also believe Vitamin A and C are beneficial for minimizing the amount of Keratin your body produces and as a result minimizing the severity of KP.

In terms of hygiene, basic principles apply. Bathe daily and keep skin moisturized throughout the day.

Step Four: Maintaining Your Results

You’ve followed our guide and you’re restoring that blemish free skin you once had. What happens more often than not is we fall off the bandwagon. If you aren’t seeing the results you expected, you may want to refer to our Product Comparison guide for a suggestion (please leave comments or feedback on any products you’ve tried in the past).

Keratosis pilaris generally requires ongoing maintenance therapy. This simply means adhering to the routine, if you’re using the recommend body wash and exfoliating cream system, you may be able to transition to just use one or the other. We personally recommend adhering to both and slowly dialing back overtime based on your own preferences.

The good news is you have the right information. It’s not a difficult skincare ailment to treat. In short, adhere to good hygiene and substitute your soap for a body wash with Glycolic or Lactic Acids designed specifically for KP for best results. If you aren’t using a product specifically for KP, try to load up on Omega 3’s and consider lowering your red meat intake temporarily and gauge your results.

The most important aspect of the routine is to stay consistent. The bad news is that KP does require ongoing maintenance in most cases, the good news is that you can live life KP free.



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