Coping with Keratosis Pilaris For people with keratosis pilaris, even simple everyday things like a day on the beach or an event where photos will be taken can be off putting. Constantly worrying about people seeing those red tiny bumps on your skin, and thinking about how you can cover them up. Will it be cakes of makeup today, or a light shirt that'll cover my upper arms and shoulders?
This gets to be quite a pain real fast, especially when you're having to think like this nearly everyday for long periods of time. Learning to cope with KP and hopefully lessen the amount and frequency of outbreaks, and to try to keep your skin clear of all of those KP bumps can be really time consuming. There are however, many options for people who'd like to clear their skin of KP at least for most of the time. Firstly, there are general things that should work for all people with keratosis pilaris to improve their overall skin condition, and possibly lessen the severity or their symptoms and outbreaks. Then there are various other treatments that only tend to work for other people, who can completely clear up their red bumps and itchy dry skin permanently, as long as they keep using these treatments on a regular basis.
The main skin care rituals that anyone who has KP should be following are:
Daily exfoliation, either once or twice per day using a common loofah in the shower has shown to help improve keratosis pilaris symptoms. Some people even recommend using a wet loofah sponge in the shower and a dry one, after drying your skin off. Exfoliation is not only beneficial to keep your skin healthy in general, but it can really lessen the amount of KP outbreaks that you experience, and reduce the overall severity of your symptoms.
A Healthy Diet
Not only is this always recommended for your overall general health, it has been show in many studies to improve keratosis pilaris. In a recent study, people with KP were split
into two groups, one was told to continue living as they normally would, the other was given a well rounded, healthy diet to stick to. The people that followed the diet strictly were shown to have a 33% improvement over the people that lived and ate as they normally would. Avoid overly salty or sugary foods, and eat more fruit and vegetables. Also, you should avoid processed food, and stay with more natural unprocessed meats and fresh produce. A general and well rounded diet should be high in protein and always include some fresh vegetables and whole wheat grains.
Most people who have KP notice that the affected areas of their skin tend to be more dry and rough, as opposed to the rest of their skin which can be normal or even quite smooth. Moisturizing every day with a gentle, all natural moisturizer can help. Try to choose a moisturizing cream or lotion that's not oily and won't leave any oily build up on your skin. Oily skin can lead to increased bumpiness or redness on the skin. Some of the more specific treatments that may work for some people to lessen (or in some cases completely get rid of) keratosis pilaris are as follows:
Avoiding foods that contain gluten such as pastas, breads and others has helped many people with KP to have normal skin again. This may be because they either are allergic or somewhat allergic to gluten, and the gluten that they were eating everyday was actually causing their KP outbreaks. You should first see your doctor to get an allergy test which should show you anything that you are allergic to that you might not have been aware of before. Then ask if the test covers allergies to gluten or dairy, if not be sure to be tested for these as well. If you are allergic to gluten (even slightly), removing it from your diet may help clear up your skin and get rid of those red bumps. Give it at least two to three weeks to see if cutting gluten out of your diet has helped at all.
Allergies to dairy products have been known to cause KP symptoms and worsen KP outbreaks in quite a few people. Again, you should have your doctor run a test to see if you're at all allergic to any dairy products. If you are, try not to eat or drink anything that contains any dairy products for at least a few weeks and see if your KP bumps start to go away and if your skin clears up.
Other Alternative Treatments
There are many 'alternative' treatments out there for keratosis pilaris today. In fact, there are so many that it would be in the scope of this booklet to list them all here. A few of them are all natural treatments like oil pulling, applying coconut oil to your skin and many KP specific diets. While some of these seem to have some merit and do deserve further medical study, many of them, for example oil pulling, just seem to be a bit to "out there". Nevertheless, you'll still find people online swearing that they've worked for them personally. Try to use your best judgment when reading such claims, and always ask your doctor before trying any new alternative treatment. Other treatments, like supplementing your diet with various vitamins are also popular. Vitamin D, for example, is one that's gaining a lot of followers who say that it's helped to reduce their keratosis pilaris overall, and gotten rid of their KP bumps. Again, serious medical research needs to be done before we can actually conclude if these are reliable, proven treatments or not. While there is no direct evidence that a deficiency in vitamin D causes KP or it's symptoms, there's no way to say for sure. All in all, there are as many treatment options out there as there are people writing online today, the most important thing to do if you have KP is to follow the proven steps to improving your skin everyday. Beyond that, if you and your doctor feel an additional treatment is safe and you want to try it, go ahead and do so. Just be sure that safety and your overall health are always the first things in your mind.
For Further Reading: http://keratosistreatments.com/
Extensive information about both keratosis pilaris as well as it's various treatment methods. Also, general information, health tips and common questions and answers
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/ A Harvard published guide to healthy eating, covers lots of useful information on eating a proper diet, not only for KP, but also for your overall skin health.
http://www.dermadoctor.com/blog/keratosis-pilaris More information on KP, some suggestions of products to treat the condition and some discussion from people on what methods they prefer.