How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris

Have you been diagnosed with this incurable skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris (also known for its less scientific names 'chicken skin' or Strawberry skin')?

Keratosis Pilaris characteristics of dry, rough, tiny red bumps either in the upper arm, thighs or buttocks are what earned this skin condition the two funny names it often goes by.

The cause of Keratosis Pilaris


The cause of Keratosis Pilaris is the overproduction of the protein called keratin in the skin.

You have certainly heard about keratin being important for your hair's health. The keratin present in your skin is very similar to the keratin in your hair - it is a hard protein that protects our skin from infection, bacteria, and fungus.

However, when your skin produces too much keratin, your pores can become clogged, forming a plug that blocks the hair follicles and causes those little bumps.

This overproduction of keratin is considered a genetic predisposition.

Other symptoms associated with Keratosis Pilaris include:

  • Redness around blocked pores or hair follicles
  • Itchy, irritable skin
  • Dry skin
  • Bumps that feel and look like sandpaper

Skin with Kerastosis Pilaris

How to treat Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a condition we need to address internally and externally.

Looking into our diet may help to eliminate the recurrence of the condition, although it will not eliminate the condition itself.

Treating Keratosis Pilaris internally with Vitamins and Nutrients

You may be deficient in certain nutrients and supplementing your diet with the nutrients you need can help your body to address the condition.

  • ZINC - Supplementing your diet with zinc can aid in the production of healthy protein structure and cell membrane. It also addresses inflammation of the skin. Moreover, Zinc support our stress response and immunity. When you are stressed you can pre-long or bring on the condition.

    Foods rich in zinc: Oysters, legumes, chickpeas, pumpkin, flaxseeds, pine nuts, cashews, eggs, potatoes, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Vitamin C - This vitamin is an amazing antioxidant that promotes healthy immune system, collagen, and elastin structure. It also prevents any DNA damage from free radical damage, and provides support to the red bumpy skin from Keratosis Pilaris.

    Foods rich in Vitamin C: Citric fruits, fermented vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes.

  • Essential Fatty Acids - Help relieve the dryness of this condition by providing a natural oil barrier and cell membrane protector. It will help in the winter months when this condition can flare-up.

    Foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids: Hemp seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, extra virgin oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines.

    Always consult a health practitioner for the correct dosage of vitamins and always source a good quality organic brand of vitamins.

Nutrients and vitamins to treat Kerastosis Pilaris - Zinc, Vitamin C and Essential Fatty Acids

Treating Keratosis Pilaris externally with skincare

When it comes to the external treatments for Keratosis Pilaris using skincare, I would recommend:

  • The use of a regular AHA exfoliator or resurface peel on the affected area to remove the dead skin build up from the surface of the skin and promote skin cell renewal.

  • Weekly AHA/BHA mask on the affected are can help the deeper layers of the skin to remove any blocked hair follicles.
  • Topical Niacinamide (B3) serum can support the skin barrier (the outer surface of the skin), increases its strength, and improves texture by balancing oil production.

Be patient and consistent!

Keratosis Pilaris can be hard to treat and you will need to be patient.

Your skin renews itself every 28 days, so it can take up to 6-12 months to see a difference. Remember, consistency and patience are the key factors here!

My product recommendations are:

Mesoestetic Purifying Mousse

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Daily cleansing mousse to purify and cleanse acne-prone and seborrhoeic skin.

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Micro-exfoliating treatment that exerts a smooth renewing action on the skin surface to remove dead cells, refine texture, smooth out imperfections and immediately enhance facial radiance.

Mesoestetic Pure Renewing Mask

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Exfoliating and purifying facial mask for acne-prone and seborrhoeic skin for weekly use.

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Containing three potent actives: 10% niacinamide which calms and soothes redness, blotchy skin and blemishes, Crystalide peptide which adds light reflection for a translucent skin effect, and Zinc PCA that minimises sebum production and balances skin bacteria to tackle blemishes. Achieve visibly perfected, luminous skin when you need it most.

If you would like to know more about this persistent skin condition, at Skinmart we offer over the phone, zoom, or face to face Complimentary Skin Consultation, book yours now for personalised skin advice.

About The Author

My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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