What is Chicken Skin, and Why Do You Have It?

Black skin

Has anyone ever told you that you have ?chicken skin?? This is a term often used to describe Keratosis pilaris, which is a skin condition that causes red bumps to appear on the skin. Most commonly these bumps will pop up on the cheeks, thighs, or the back of your arms. So what exactly is keratosis pilaris?

A Buildup of Keratin

Though they may look like pimples (which are buildups of oil and dead skin cells), keratosis pilaris is actually a buildup of keratin in the hair follicles of your skin, essentially forming a bit of a ?plug? that blocks the follicle?s opening. Normally, keratin helps to protect your skin. This happens more frequently in winter as dry air can irritate the skin more.

That Dry, Itchy Sensation

Children experience keratosis pilaris more than adults, and it can often cause a sensation of itchy, scaly skin along with the visible red bumps. Keratosis pilaris itchy legs is a common complaining among those who experience it. Luckily, most instances of this skin condition go away by age 30.

Is There Treatment?

According to the renowned Mayo Clinic, keratosis pilaris may look strange — and itch a little — but it?s essentially a ?normal variant? of human skin and thus, does not really require treatment or necessarily a doctor?s visit. If you are experiencing something like keratosis pilaris itchy legs, however, there are various moisturizers and topical creams that could potentially bring you belief.

A dermatologist clinic might recommend exfoliation for this condition — some people respond well to manual or chemical exfoliation, while others find it only irritates their skin more. It?s also quite possible that a dermatologist doctor will recommend retinoids (these help with skin turnover, and can also help eliminate the scars left from any picking of the pilaris that has happened).

As a Last Resort

Though most people won?t need to resort to extreme methods to treat their ongoing keratosis pilaris, some people have found laser treatments to be very effective at reducing the effect of their symptoms. In this case, it would be best to ask a dermatologist whether your case qualifies, and whether you?d be likely to actually benefit from the procedure.

What Should You NOT Do?

If you’re fed up with your skin, don’t start scrubbing it with harsh soaps and cleaners — this can actually irritate it more and worsen the condition. Try scrubbing with a moisturizing soap, then book an appointment with your trusted dermatologist.