Beauty

Those Red Bumps All Over Your Arms and Legs? They're Called Keratosis Pilaris, and We Have a Solution

Those Red Bumps All Over Your Arms and Legs? They're Called Keratosis Pilaris, and We Have a Solution
Andreas Kuehn/Getty Images
Shop This Post

I was 12 years old when I first noticed the little red bumps that sprinkled my thighs and crept down my calves. I thought almost nothing of them at the time, writing them off as insignificant. They were annoying, yes, but my mom also had them, so I carried on with my Arthur- and Dunkaroo-filled days instead of worrying. Until, that is, I got to high school. At that point, I grew increasingly aware of and insecure about the rough patches, and immediately turned to a strict wardrobe of band tees (I was a really big MCR fan) and jeans to keep the attention off my lower half, which helps explain the neon-white hue my legs have taken on through the years. There was no way I would be showcasing my stems in flirty dresses or miniskirts sans tights.

RELATED: Like an Eraser for Dead Cells, Gommage Exfoliators Will Transform Your Skin

Although I had done my fair amount of amateur research in high school and college, it wasn't until recently (read: one month ago) that I officially got the diagnosis: Keratosis pilaris.

So, what is keratosis pilaris (KP) exactly? According to Dr. Jody Levine, N.Y.C.-based dermatologist and national medical director for AOB Med Spa, KP starts to form when there is a build-up of keratin, a protein that protects the skin from harmful stressors.

"When there is too much keratin, a scaly plug is formed that blocks the opening of hair follicles, which can cause patches of rough and bumpy skin," Levine tells InStyle. The skin condition is common among women, tends to run in families, and can show up on the legs, arms, back, and cheeks. Since people with dry, sensitive skin are more prone to KP, Levine advises to keep showers short and lukewarm, and to avoid over exfoliating, which can lead to irritation.

RELATED: The Extremely Allergic Girl's Guide to Beauty Products

Although there is no cure for KP, there are skin-care products on the market that may help diminish the appearance of those red bumps, thanks to topical treatments that boast lactic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid, salicyclic acid, and urea. With these winning ingredients in mind, I scoured the web to find the most effective products that promote smoother skin, just in time for no-tights season. Thigh-grazing gingham dresses, here I come!

DERMAdoctor KP Duty Body Scrub ($46; sephora.com)

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Courtesy

Akerat Smoothing Exfoliating Cream ($31; dermstore.com)

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Courtesy

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration ($30; sephora.com)

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Courtesy

Riivia Skincare MD Keratosis Pilaris Cream ($39; riivia.com)

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Courtesy

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads ($40; ulta.com)

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?
Courtesy

PHOTOS: 11 Stars Share How They Wash Their Faces

The Latest in Video

Priyanka Chopra Gives Us the Scoop on Her Prom Dress and Clothes-Stealing Habits
See More Videos

More Skin

See All Latest News

Sponsored Stories


 
Back to Top