14 Keratosis Pilaris Self-Care Treatments 2024, According to Derms

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Dr. Robinson is also a fan of the Exfoliating Body Wash, in particular. Its “8.8 free acid value of glycolic acid is mild enough for sensitive skin but effective enough for dry, rough, bumpy, or flaky skin on the body,” she says of the body polish, which can be used to treat dry or scaly feet and legs — as well as the rest of the body. In addition to recommending this wash for KP, Dr. Robinson says the brightening formula also helps reduce hyperpigmentation, too.

Editor Tip: The kit includes a loofah for gentle scrubbing.

Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid, vitamin E, glycerin

Best Body Butter: Bliss Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter

Bliss Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter

Why It’s Worth It: With a formula so velvety, it’s surprising that Bliss’s Texture Takedown Skin Smoothing Body Butter packs an impressive 10% blend of alpha hydroxy acids, including glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids. It also uses squalane as an emollient — meaning it fortifies the skin barrier — so you can use this as both a KP treatment and your everyday moisturizer. While it’s meant for KP, it can also handle rough, dry areas like the knees and elbows.

Editor Tip: The tube and cap are recyclable through Terracycle.

Key Ingredients: Glycolic acid, lactic acid, squalane

Frequently Asked Questions

What is keratosis pilaris or KP?

“Keratosis pilaris is a buildup of keratin — a hair protein — in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles,” New York City board-certified dermatologist Doris Day, MD, previously told Allure. “As a result, small bumps form over where the hair should be. Birmingham-based board-certified dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, MD, notes that “KP differs from dark pores (or “strawberry legs“), which represent shaved dark hairs and keratin that turn dark when exposed to oxygen.” So, if you run your hands over your skin and don’t feel physical bumps, it’s most likely not KP.

To add on, Texas-based board-certified dermatologist Heidi Prather, MD, of Westlake Dermatology, says KP occurs due to a dysfunction in the hair follicle. Symptoms of keratosis pilaris include “small bumps resembling ‘chicken skin’ that can occur on arms, legs, or even your face.”

How do you treat keratosis pilaris?

As KP can look similar to acne, the approach to reducing it is similar to that of acne. “Treatment of KP responds best to a combination of exfoliation and hydration,” Dr. Prather explains.

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