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A Guide to Managing Keratosis Pilaris This Season

Keratosis Pilaris on thighs

 

For as long as I can remember, the notion of Jergens lotion ad-worthy skin—impossibly smooth, virtually poreless, and preternaturally glowing—has evaded me. As a 20-year sufferer of keratosis pilaris, I’ve grown accustomed to the tell-tale permanent goosebumps on the back of my arms and legs, as well as accepted the fact that there is no cure for this common skin condition. That being said, I’ve also relished doing what I can do to manage it, and know that while nothing can banish the bumps forever (at least not yet), there are plenty of ways to lessen symptoms, particular in the winter when the elements can make things worse. Here, two experts break down what KP is, along with the best ways to treat it, from gentle exfoliation to supercharged moisture.

What is keratosis pilaris, otherwise known as KP?

Keratosis Pilaris, or KP, is an incredibly common skin condition that affects 40% of adults. It typically manifests as small, hard bumps, usually surrounded by red areas of skin, on the upper arms, legs, or buttocks. In simplest terms, KP is a blockage of the hair follicles. “The skin just creates a buildup of a protein called keratin—the same building block for hair, skin and nails—and the keratin creates a plug that blocks the hair follicle, which leads to the little bumps,” explains explains New York City dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology. “The plug can also trigger inflammation in the skin, which is what causes the redness around each hair follicle.” Despite how prevalent KP is, and that it tends to run in families, it’s unknown why some people experience it and others don’t, though Nazarian says it’s often found with people who have very sensitive skin, or alongside conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis.

 

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Source : Vogue – A Guide to Managing Keratosis Pilaris This Season Edited By, Lauren Valenti

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