Keratosis Pilaris is identified as tiny hard bumps that mostly appear on the upper arms and on the back of thighs. It is completely harmless. Except for sometimes feeling itchy the condition does not cause any pain or develop into anything more serious.
Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, the protein that protects skin from infections and other harmful things. The buildup forms a plug that blocks the opening of a hair follicle, but there is no known cause as to what triggers this build up in the first place.
People with dry skin are more likely to develop the condition. For some people it is usually worse in the winter months as there is less moisture in the air, and then may clear up in the summer.
It often affects people with certain skin conditions, including eczema or psoriasis.
Their are many tried and tested treatments for improving the appearance of the condition. At MEDISKIN we recommend the use of a retinoid to speed up cell turnover and gently break down the hardened, thickened keratin cells. It is important to introduce any retinoid product into your routine slowly to avoid a ‘retinoid reaction’. This is irritation and dryness caused by overusing retinol.
Products to treat Keratosis Pilaris
Our favourite retinol products to use are listed below. Click on the item to be re-directed to our online shop.
Renew Serum from Glo-Therapeutics.
This multi acid serum is exceptional at breaking down keratin buildup and giving your skin the boost it needs to turnover more effectively. It contains 1% retinol, 1% salicylic acid and 7% glycolic acid, this is the ”work horse of all serum’s”, and results are almost guaranteed. Use it at night and apply an SPF of at least 30 to the area every morning. We recommend using the renew serum just once every 3rd night starting off, gradually increasing usage as you go. Usually after approx 4-5 weeks you should be able to use it every night.
Retinol 3TR from Medik8
This serum is the perfect choice for someone who is new to retinols. Suitable for sensitive skin, this product has a time release system which as a result helps to reduce irritation. Light and fast-absorbing, the results are quite dramatic with continued use. As with the Renew Serum, this product should be phased in gradually, and the daily use of an SPF 30+ is essential.
There are treatments available at MEDISKIN to further reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris. We recommend a course of salicylic acid peels to break down the thickened skin cells and penetrate deep into the hair follicle where the condition originates. Our peels start at €89 and our course includes 6 treatments for the price of 5. A full skin consultation and patch test is advised before starting a chemical exfoliation treatment.