How I Deal with Keratosis Pilaris


Today, let us delve in to the oh-so-fun world of KP!

But first! A disclaimer.

I am not a dermatologist or scientist. I am simply a girl with KP. What works for me may or may not work for you and by no means am I an expert. Ok? PROCEED.

Keratosis Pilaris or chicken skin as I sometimes call it, is defined by Google as, “a condition that develops when the skin produces too much of a protein called keratin, which can block hair follicles and cause bumps to develop”.

Tons of people have KP and the severity ranges. The areas that typically get affected are the thighs, arms and cheeks. Unfortunately, it is hereditary and I have my Dad to thank for mine. THANKS GARE.

So, you get it.

I’ve tried LOTS of treatments for KP and I am here today to report my findings…what worked, what didn’t and all that I have learned.


Handle your KP as you would a newborn baby or quilted Chanel purse. Be super gentle. Contrary to what one might think, exfoliation and scrubbing only irritate the area and can make the bumps worse. Also – DO NOT use super-hot water on KP, exfoliating loofahs or body scrubs. Believe me, it only makes the bumps uglier! Even when I take a bath, I keep my lower thighs out of the water…also because I’m TEN FEET TALL.



Lots of common lotions contain ingredients like glycerin, mineral oil and alcohol and while these things are not bad for your skin, they certainly are not good for KP. Steer clear of using lotions with a scent, as hard as that is, and instead go for a more medicinal option. A dermatologist can look at your KP and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, recommend a lotion that is best for you.

What I like to do is use a menagerie of lotions when I get out of the shower. I’ll use a KP lotion on the affected areas and then use smelly or firming lotions other places.

The same rules apply to body wash, powders or just about anything else that touches those areas.

If you’re more of a visual learner, I’ve made this handy graphic for you!

Here are some of the treatments/creams I have used:

Prescription Urea Lotion

Urea is basically a tissue softener, which can help soften the build-up of keratin around the hair follicle. My issue with this cream was that it felt so chalky and gross. I couldn’t stand to have it on my body.

Derma Doctor KP Duty Lotion

4 ounces of this stuff is $38 which is the main draw-back. It has a glycolic acid base but contains a bunch of other good ingredients (like urea). I did notice a difference with this lotion but you have to make sure and use it every day or even twice a day. I would keep purchasing it to have on hand but it’s almost $40 and I need other things like 348975 liquid lipsticks.

Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream

This formula does contain urea as well as salicylic  acid but the concentration must not be high enough because I didn’t really notice a difference with this.


I recently saw a new dermatologist for a skin cancer screening (which every one of you needs to go do!) and also asked about my KP. He took a look and based on the size and severity of the affected areas, he has recommended  salycilic acid and gave me this lotion to try out. Salycilic acid is a beta-hydroxy often used as an acne treatment. According to an article I read on,  “Salicylic acid is considered a keratolytic medication, which means that it’s perfect for supreme exfoliation. ‘Keratolytic medications cause softening and sloughing of the top layer of skin cells,'”. TOTALLY PERFECT for KP too!

He also mentioned that I could use a body wash with salycilic acid, but that using the lotion on it’s own might make a big improvement.

I’ll keep y’all updated and let you know how my KP is doing because I know you’re all dying to know.

Do you have KP? What do you use (if anything!) on it?


4 thoughts on “How I Deal with Keratosis Pilaris

  1. Pingback: My 2017 Favorites!
  2. kittyp0p says:

    I don’t have this, but I know one or two of my friends back in high school did. They didn’t talk about it much, so this was super informative! Thanks for sharing (:


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