What is Keratosis Pilaris?
By: Rene Sacchitella
Ah summer… A time for tank tops, shorts, flip flops and summer activities. Summer is the most anticipated season for so many Coloradans unless you don’t feel confident showing skin. So many of us are plagued with little bumps on our limbs that aren’t acne, just confusing and annoying. Colloquially called “chicken skin” or “gooseflesh” these itchy little red bumps found predominantly on the upper thighs or arms can make you feel like you need to cover up all summer long. Beat the heat this summer be gaining your confidence back by uncovering the truth about this annoying skin condition.
These pesky red bumps are known as “keratosis pilaris”. Although unsightly, these itchy red bumps are harmless. It is a skin condition that affects nearly 50-80% of adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. Commonly found on the upper arms and thighs, keratosis pilaris can also be found other places around the body as well. It is also commonly mistaken for acne but like acne the triggers for this skin condition are unknown. Research suggests that keratosis pilaris is more commonly found on individuals that live in dry climates and it is also found on frequent swimmers.
Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that is a buildup of keratin (dead skin cells) blocking the hair follicle creating irritation. Essentially, this condition is the overcompensation of the skin’s protective functions and this overcompensation is trying to hold in the moisture into the skin. So what is the best treatment for keratosis pilaris? Well we would need to exfoliate and hydrate the skin to normalize the protective functions. This is where lactic acid really shines. You may be familiar with this pioneering exfoliant from my “Legacy of Chemical Peels” blog. Lactic acid is not only the first known chemical exfoliant but it is also one of the most versatile. Since lactic acid is a natural human metabolite (it’s what makes your muscles sore), there is less chance of an allergic reaction with this type of peel; perfect for sensitive skin. Lactic Acid also pulls moisture into the skin treating keratosis pilaris (KP) from both angles. The Lactic acid dissolves the excess keratin and allows for a deeper penetration of moisture.
At Denver Laser Solutions we have formulated out own body lotion specifically to combat these pesky bumps- our LA-Hydra Lotion. It has 12% lactic acid, perfect for treating you KP in time for summer. But is also is packed with emollients that help prevent the itching sensation like allantoin and fruit enzymes to eat the excess dead skin cells. This product can also lighten skin discolorations, soften rough dry skin, stimulate cellular regeneration and is gentle enough for daily use on the entire body. Come by our office in the heart of downtown Denver to get your summer secret today!