A Skin Shammy Will Treat Your Keratosis Pilaris
There ain't many 50 year olds with Keratosis Pilaris which is a positive sign for the future, however it doesn't mean this prickly little skin condition otherwise known as KP can drive you up the wall until you get to that age.
Developing as young as 12 months old, even before and lasting until your mid 40's KP is widely misdiagnosed or untreated which doesn't help the person dealing with it.
We are lucky as new beauty knowledge means there are some awesome skincare products to help settle the symptoms and we are seeing both skin therapist and product brands come out with information that helps treat this skin condition more readily now than ever before
So What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a very common, dry skin condition caused by keratin accumulation in the hair follicles. The accumulation builds up causing inflammation of the hair follicle leaving the skin rough, red at the base of the follicle and creating often small blemish like infections
Commonly found on the sides of the face, jawline, outer upper arm and thigh area.
When touched often feels dry and rough, worse over winter time KP is a genetic skin conditions but as mentioned above does tend to get better mid 40's - 50's.
Can you treat this holistically?
100% the small things matter! Many links towards inflammatory skin markers and gut health support improvement of KP, the correct nourishment from the inside out is also to be considered - Omega and Essential Fatty Acids improve skin texture, Turmeric and Evening Primrose Oil help settle imbalances in inflammation. There have been loads of discussions about limited dairy intake and improving circulation as there are some connected links with these two areas.
What really helps topically?
First things first - you can not eliminate Keratosis Pilaris but instead treat the symptoms and minimise the irritation as best as possible - some suggestions are
- Exfoliation of the skin cells is essential as this is the reason why the skin cascades to cause irritation to the hair follicle. Best option is chemical forms of exfoliation with loads of Lactic Acid. There are some great products on the market that help with this, both body and face
- Cleansing with the correct shower gel (body) or cleanser (face) to help reduce redness and encourage healthy hydrated cells. As a skin therapist of 25 years I have personally seen a remarkable difference in using a Cleansing Cloth and treating KP - the shammy like material glides easily over the skin keeping inflammation down but grippy enough to lift the dead cell away leaving the skin happy and healthy
- Some KP responds really well to Vitamin A exfoliation - this can be a script based product from your doctors or a clinical skincare product. Be aware you need the right type of Vitamin A derivative to ensure success
- Increase hydration with moisituriser that locks in water content. This again will help with skin integrity which is essential in the attack against KP
- Clinical Skin Treatments such as peels and ablative lasers help to encourage better formation of cells and reduce the dead cell build up. Carbon Peel facials, Q-switch lasers that plume dead cells and Erbium lasers to resurface work well. Peels can be great and also some clinical medical microneedling too if needed.
The key is to ensure your homecare and maintenance is optimal first. Consider the basics
- Skin Shammy (from The Cleansing Cloth of course)
- Lactic Acid Exfoliant (face or body
- Moisturiser for hydration
Use these for 3-6 months and watch for improvement within weeks
The Cleansing Cloth
Put in simple terms TEWL is the process of water moving through the deep cells to the surface and evaporating in an accelerated rate. Why is this a bad thing, you may ask?
It not only leaves your skin depleted, it shows tell tale signs of a disfunctional cleansing and hydration routine.