Real talk: I've had stun gun as long as I can remember. Even though I tried every treatment under the sun – I even tried the sun – my painful keratospilaris (or "chicken skin", as my grandmother so cute calls it) plagued my younger years. I carried cardigans to school all year round, I methodically coated my arms in Sally Hansen's Airbrush Leg spray and I spent a decade wondering why every boy I dated insisted on putting me in blankets until I realized they suspected my KP for eternal walking strikes.
Still, I'm still terrible summer months when I have to carry my arms and abandon the comfort of my sleeves. So instead of spending another season hating on my skin to have KP, I decided to go to the professionals to find out exactly how to eradicate keratosis pilaris once and for all.
1. Understand that you can not "cure" keratospilaris.
"You can not eradicate keratosis pilaris," says dermatologist Doris Day. (Editorial Note: Bummer.) "It's a genetic condition where, for some reason, the follicles on the outer arms and thighs become clogged and do not exfoliate naturally," she explains. But that does not mean you should run and buy a loofah. "We used to think if you exfoliated enough, could you regret KP," says Day. "But exfoliation can actually annoy the shocks and make them much worse."
2. Start with chemical exfoliators.
"There is no permanent fix, but you can take a break with glycolic acid and lactic acid treatments, which will reduce the build-up and make your skin softer," says Kenneth Beer, a Palm Beach dermatologist. We like Skinfix's Renewing Body Scrub & Cream combo.
3. Insert a cleaning brush into your routine.
Instead, Day suggests replacing body scrubs for a Clarisonic facial brush and a salicylic acid cleanser, such as Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Body Wash, which has 2 percent salicylic acid to penetrate follicles and chamomile to calm the skin.
4. Upload on lotion.
After a shower, Day recommends that AmLactin body fluid is used containing 12 percent lactic acid. "Lactic acid is good for KP because it dissolves cells over time to gently exfoliate the skin," she says. "It's also a humectant, which means it will add moisture and minimize irritation." Make sure to slather it on every day and you should notice softer skin within a week or two, she notes.
5. Visit your dermatologist.
If home treatments still do not cut it, make an appointment with your doctor. "Your dermatologist can greatly reduce the appearance of keratospilaris with just a few in-office laser treatments, which helps to exfoliate the deepest layers of your skin," says Day.
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