Any treatment including home remedies for keratosis pilaris (KP) may or may not be required as the condition usually improves with time, and by the age of 30 it generally disappears. Keratosis pilaris (keratosis pilaris rubra faceii) is a skin disorder with rough patches and small bumps formed on the arms, cheeks, thighs, legs, and buttocks .
Due to its appearance, keratosis pilaris is also referred to as chicken skin . The keratosis pilaris bumps are like acne bumps which can become red, inflamed, dry, or chapped. It runs in families, and it is also associated with dry skin and eczema which worsens during winter season.
Keratosis pilaris affects overweight and women during puberty, pregnancy, and childbirth and it is not contagious. Hormonal changes may have a role to play as it occurs during puberty and pregnancy. Keratosis pilaris occurs as a result of keratin in dead skin plugging the hair follicles. The reason for keratin buildup is not understood and any cure for it has also not yet been found.
The chicken skin-like appearance and roughness of the skin due to keratosis pilaris can be annoying for some people, but others may just ignore it. If you are the one who cares about the looks and comforts of the skin then you can use home remedies to improve your skin conditions caused by keratosis pilaris. There are a number of choices and some of them are explained below.
Home Remedies for Keratosis Pilaris
Most remedies are cosmetic in nature and will either be doing exfoliation or moisturizing or both. In fact most of the natural exfoliation or moisturizing methods can also be good remedies for keratosis pilaris.
1. Baking Soda
Generally every kitchen has baking soda in the store. Besides its many uses in the kitchen and outside, baking soda can also be used as a skin exfoliating agent. It is a natural, and inexpensive as compared to commercially available exfoliating agent to improve keratosis pilaris. As an exfoliating agent baking soda can remove the oils, makeup and dead skin cells. Our job here is to treat keratosis pilaris by removing the dead skin that is plugging the hair follicles.
Alkaline nature of baking soda helps in softening the dead skin of keratosis pilaris for easier removal. In fact it is easier to remove all sorts of derbies accumulated on the skin due to this softening effect of baking soda.
Baking soda has such high antiseptic properties, therefore, the granules that buff away the dead skin cells are safe and hygienic to use to get rid of keratosis pilaris. It will also deal with the bacteria on the skin, if any.
- Take 1 tablespoon of baking soda and add a few drops of water to make a thick enough paste
- Add a few drops of Vitamin E essential oil if you want
- Wash the affected skin with warm water
- Rub it on the affected skin in circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
- Add more baking soda paste if your keratosis pilaris affected area is large
- Rinse your skin with warm water and remove all traces of baking soda
- Splash cold water on the affected skin to ensure closing of pores
You can do this exfoliation 2-3 times a week for faster keratosis pilaris relief. If your skin is sensitive and gets irritated by baking soda then either do it once a week or do exfoliation with another method. Some sensitive skin may see redness of the skin after exfoliating with baking soda. This goes away after some time. It is best to do the exfoliation before going to bed for such sensitive skins with keratosis pilaris, so that the redness is not visible to others. Resting also reduces the redness fast.
2. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is very popular among athletes who soak their sore and tired muscles in the Epsom salt water to get soothing relief. However, Epsom salt offers multiple skin and beauty benefits including treating keratosis pilaris that it has become one of the most versatile salt for your health . Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate-a pure mineral compound.
In order to get rid of keratosis pilaris you can use Epsom salt as a body scrub or exfoliating agent. You can apply it directly on the wet skin or apply with some oil. Though there is really no need of adding any oil, you may prefer to add coconut oil if your keratosis pilaris affected skin is too dry.
Epsom salt is anti-inflammatory, therefore it works very well as a natural exfoliating agent to improve keratosis pilaris. It prevents irritation while scrubbing on the skin.
- Wash and clean your keratosis pilaris affected skin with warm water
- Keep the skin wet
- Rub a handful of Epsom salt crystals on the affected area for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse the skin with warm water
- Apply any natural moisturizing cream
You can add a few drops of coconut oil in Epsom salt before scrubbing on your skin, particularly if your keratosis pilaris affected infested skin is very dry.
3. Sugar, Lemon and Olive Oil
Sugar and lemon mixture is an excellent remedy for keratosis pilaris. It will not only remove dead skin but will also make your skin smooth and glowing. While it removes the dead skin, it tightens the skin. Olive oil contains Vitamin E that nourishes your skin affected by keratosis pilaris.
- Add one tablespoon of olive Oil to 3 tablespoons of sugar
- Add lemon juice of half lemon and mix it well
- Wash your skin with warm water
- Rub the sugar lemon and oil oil mixture on your keratosis pilaris affected skin
- You can make more mixture of sugar, lemon and olive oil if a lot more area of your skin is affected
- Rinse your skin with warm water and dry it with a towel
- Apply olive oil
Rub your skin with sugar, lemon and olive oil mixture daily to cure your keratosis pilaris.
4. Oatmeal and Honey
Honey and oatmeal scrub is much softer on the skin than all the above mentioned exfoliating agents for keratosis pilaris. So if you have sensitive skin then this is your best remedy for keratosis pilaris. It clears the pores, reduces inflammation and makes the skin healthier.
You can add Vitamin E essential oil for better aroma and more noninflammatory capabilities.
- Add 2 tablespoons of honey to two tablespoons of oatmeal flakes to make a thick paste
- Add a few drops of essential Vitamin E oil if you have ready available and you want to add
- Wash your skin with warm water
- Rub it on keratosis pilaris affected skin for 3-5 minutes
- Rinse your skin with warm water
You can make more oatmeal and honey mixture and store it in the refrigerator for further use upto 2 weeks.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with its astringent properties is a fabulous remedy for keratosis pilaris bumps. It helps to clean and unclog the skin pores. It is also good for your overall health. You have to dilute apple cider vinegar for use as it might give you a sting.
- Mix equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water in a cup
- Simply apply it on the keratosis pilaris affected area and leave it for 15-30 minutes
- Wash your skin clean with warm water
- Do it 3-4 times a day
If your skin finds 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar water mix too strong then add some more water to suit your skin.
Since Keratosis pilaris is not a very serious skin condition, the above simple methods will give you enough relief and help you to get rid of it fast.