Let's talk about to treat/cure chicken skin/ strawberry skin - Keratosis Pilaris. Many Blacks/African American men and women struggle with it, however, very few realize there are treatments available from home to provide a little bit of relief.
With today's blog post I will be shedding some light on Keratosis Pilaris - Is there a cause? Can it be the treatment? Because I've been there as well. I will also share with you what I've tried in the past and what I'm currently doing. Being a black woman myself, I understand how delicate our skin can be. Since all treatments aren't created equally... I will also share what to avoid. Are you ready to get started yet? let's going ahead and start from the beginning.
It can't be permanently cured or prevented. But you can treat it to get some relief with scrubs, moisturizers, and prescription creams to help improve the overall appearance of the skin. Keratosis Pilaris is often referred to as Chicken skin or Strawberry skin. Can you see why?
The condition usually disappears by age 30. Speaking from personal experience. I'm currently 31years old, although I've noticed a significant change in the appearance of my skin. It's not completely cured yet. There was a time where you could not see the color of my skin, now you mainly notice it when you are looking really close.
Keratosis pilaris (ker-uh-TOE-sis pih-LAIR-is) is a common, harmless skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks. The pumps generally don't hurt or itch.
Keratosis pilaris can occur at any age, but it's more common in young children. Signs and symptoms include:
- Painless tiny bumps, typically on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks
- Dry, rough skin in the areas with bumps
- Worsening when seasonal changes cause low humidity and skin tends to be drier
- Sandpaper-like bumps resembling gooseflesh
I didn't really notice them until late 2007 after graduating high school. They started light and barely noticeable. Back then I wasn't really exfoliating the way that I do now. Back in 2010 while in beauty school, we were practicing waxing full legs... Although I was highly embarrassed by the appearance of my legs I still decided to show them to my instructor and the other-other students anyways.
One of the girls in the class thought I had some type of skin disease. She was scared to touch my legs. I will call her Nancy Henderson to protect her identity. I must admit, even I was scared of my own skin.
When to See a Dermatologist/Doctor
Back then I visited this Dermatologist and he wrote me a prescription for Amlactin - The product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to sunburn. Wear a Broad Spectrum SPF to protect your skin from the harmful sun rays.
Treatment for keratosis pilaris usually isn't necessary. But if you're concerned about the appearance of your or your melanin skin, consult your dermatologist. Your Derm can diagnose and properly examine your skin.
No one knows exactly why keratin builds up. But it may occur in association with genetic diseases or with other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis. Dry skin tends to worsen this condition.
Keratosis pilaris results from the buildup of keratin — a hard protein that protects your beautiful melanin skin from harmful substances and infection. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually, many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin.
This is where the term Chicken Skin and/or Strawberry Skin comes from.
I'm a licensed esthetician, not a dermatologist, therefore, diagnosing skin conditions is beyond what my license covers. What I'm sharing is mainly my personal experience having dealt with what felt and looked like the absolute worse case for Keratosis pilaris.
You generally won't need to see your doctor for keratosis pilaris. If you do visit your doctor/dermatologist here in Tampa, Florida (FL), he or she will be able to diagnose the condition by looking at the affected skin. No testing is needed. He or she may also send you home with a moisturizing lotion that also has some Alpha Hydroxy-Acid (AHA) -Alpha hydroxy acids seem to work by removing the top layers of dead skin cells.
Gradually, keratosis pilaris usually clears up on its own. In the meantime, you might want or need some relief... You may want to use products to help improve the appearance of affected skin. If moisturizing and other self-care measures don't help, your doctor may prescribe medicated creams.
Below I will be sharing some useful tips you may want to dig a little further into... If you found this blog useful please be sure to leave a comment below and/or share this blog.
Using medicated cream regularly may improve the appearance of the skin. But if you stop, the condition returns. And even with treatment, keratosis pilaris tends to persist for years...
- Creams to remove dead skin cells. Creams containing alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Depending on their strength, these creams (topical exfoliants) are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. Your doctor can advise you on the best option and how often to apply. The acids in these creams may cause redness, stinging or skin irritation, so they aren't recommended for young children.
- Creams to prevent plugged follicles. Creams derived from vitamin A (topical retinoids) work by promoting cell turnover and preventing plugged hair follicles. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac) are examples of topical retinoids. These products can irritate and dry the skin. Also, if you're pregnant or nursing, your doctor may suggest delaying topical retinoid therapy or choosing another treatment
Lifestyle and home remedies
Self-help measures won't prevent keratosis pilaris or make it go away. But they may improve the appearance of the affected skin.
- Use warm water and limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from the skin. Limit your bath or shower time to about 10 minutes or less. Use warm, not hot, water.
- Be gentle to your beautiful brown skin. Avoid harsh, drying soaps, and over scrubbing the skin. Gently remove dead skin by exfoliating with a washcloth or loofah. Vigorous scrubbing or removal of hair follicle plugs may irritate the skin and aggravate the condition. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot the skin with a towel so that some moisture remains.
- Try medicated creams. Apply an over-the-counter cream that contains urea (Nutraplus, Eucerin), lactic acid (AmLactin, Lac-Hydrin), alpha hydroxy acid or salicylic acid. These creams help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Put on this product before you apply your moisturizer. **you may feel a tingling sensation when you use a medicated cream.
- Moisturize. While the skin is still moist from bathing, apply a moisturizer that contains lanolin (Lansinoh, Medela), petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or glycerin (Glysolid). These ingredients soothe dry skin and help trap/lock-in moisture. Thicker moisturizers work best, such as Eucerin and Cetaphil. Reapply the product to the affected skin several times a day.
- Use a humidifier. Low humidity dries out the skin. A portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace will add moisture to the air inside your home.
- Avoid friction from tight clothes. Protect the affected skin from the friction caused by wearing tight clothes.
I hope today's blog post has helped out. If you have any skincare questions... please don't hesitate to DM me post them below this post. The health of your skin is in your hands. Take action in the right direction today.