Is the skin on your arms and thighs covered in small, red, itchy bumps? If so, it’s probably keratosis pilaris—a non-threatening condition that affects about 40% of the population.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Keratosis pilaris is most commonly due to genetic factors and is more prevalent among women than men. It usually starts in adolescence or early adulthood and mostly affects those with sensitive skin. It’s also more common in the winter when humidity levels are low.
You can recognize it by the rough, almost scaly, texture it gives to the back of your arms and thighs. The small pimples are mostly dry but can sometimes contain a little pus (sounds lovely, doesn’t it?). They’re caused by an excessive accumulation of keratin (the ‘base material’ of hair) or dead skin cells in the hair follicles, which cause inflammation, hence the redness.
While often painless, keratosis pilaris can cause discomfort. Since the skin is drier, it may become tight. Some people may also be somewhat embarrassed by how it looks.
HOW TO REMEDY IT
To eliminate the unpleasantness associated with keratosis pilaris, just make a few adjustments to your beauty routine. Moisturizing and exfoliating are key.
- First, choose a soapless body cleanser with a high oil content, which will gently treat your skin and deeply nourish it. Goodbye, dryness and irritation!
- Scrub your body in the shower once or twice a week with a loofah glove. By regularly removing dead skin cells, you prevent their accumulation — and the appearance pimples. You can also use a lotion that contains glycolic or uric acid, two proven exfoliating agents.
- Regularly apply a moisturizing cream, day and night, preferably one that’s anti-inflammatory to soothe any itching.
A FEW GOOD HABITS:
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes (especially synthetics like polyester, nylon, acrylic, Lycra, etc.). Contact with your skin can cause irritation.
- Don’t use so-called “aggressive” soaps: treat your skin gently!
- Make sure you drink enough water and maintain a balanced diet. Minerals like zinc and magnesium (found mostly in cashews, cocoa and whole grains) are great allies for your skin.
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