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If you have patches of raised or red bumps on the backs of the upper arms and outer thighs that feels rough to the touch, it’s likely keratosis pilaris (KP). With an appearance that resembles chicken skin, KP is caused by the build-up of a skin protein called keratin that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. This harmless skin condition is more of a cosmetic annoyance than anything serious, but there are a variety of ways to clear KP and restore soft, smooth, touchable skin.
Glycolix Glyco-Urea 15-15 Cream ($48)
The first line of defense against keratosis pilaris is an intensely moisturizing exfoliating lotion or cream, and this potent product is up for the task. Formulated with 15% urea and 15% glycolic acid, this combination of powerful ingredients works double-duty to provide skin-softening hydration while smoothing rough, dry spots. With additional exfoliating ingredients like papain and bromelain enzymes, along with a blend of 19 amino acids that mimic the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, this highly concentrated cream reveals fresh skin—and helps keep it that way. P.S. This treatment is also effective for eczema, psoriasis and all your other rough spots like the feet, elbows, and knees.
Stubborn keratosis pilaris may require professional intervention, and the JetPeel is a gentle yet effective option. According to New York City dermatologist Dr. Judith Hellman, “JetPeel is a secret weapon for the treatment of KP because it uses a supersonic jet-stream of water to exfoliate the skin without any trauma, pain or downtime. Adding alpha-hydroxy glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy salicylic acid to the mix not only smooths the skin but promotes the production of healthy, new skin as a result of the treatment as well.” In addition to smoothing KP, JetPeel treatments can be customized with different “infusions” to address fine lines and wrinkles, oily and congested skin, enlarged pores, loss of elasticity, sun damage, uneven skin tone, and acne.
NeoSkin by Aerolase
Laser and light-based treatments are another effective way to improve persistent keratosis pilaris. Dermatologist and director of New York City’s JUVA Skin & Laser Center, Dr. Bruce Katz explains, “The NeoSkin laser uses 6650-microsecond technology to resurface the skin and smooth the raised bumps around the hair follicles, and just three to four treatments can improve keratosis pilaris.” Safe for all skin tones and skin types, NeoSkin treatments are downtime-free and can be tailored for fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and other visible signs of aging as well.
NOTE: All opinions are my own.