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Keratosis Pilaris Tips | Allure

Get Rid of Those Annoying Arm Bumps Once and For All

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Suffering from chicken skin, or keratosis pilaris? Allure reveals the secret to getting rid of those pesky bumps once and for all!

Real talk: I've had bumpy arms for as long as I can remember. Despite having tried every treatment under the sun — really, I even tried the sun — my red, patchy keratosis pilaris (or "chicken skin," as my grandmother so sweetly calls it) plagued my younger years. I wore cardigans to school year-round, I methodically coated the backs of my arms in Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs spray, and I spent a decade wondering why every boy I dated insisted on swaddling me in blankets, until I realized they mistook my KP for perpetual goose bumps. Even now, I'm still dreading the summer months when I'll be forced to bare my arms and abandon the comfort of sleeves. So instead of spending another season hating on my skin, I decided to go to the pros to find out exactly how to eradicate keratosis pilaris once and for all.

"You can't eradicate keratosis pilaris," says dermatologist Doris Day. (Editorial note: Bummer.) "It's a genetic condition where, for some reason, the follicles on the outer arms and thighs get clogged and don't naturally exfoliate," she explains. But that doesn't mean you should run out and buy a loofah. "We used to think if you exfoliated enough, you'd be able to undo KP," says Day. "But exfoliating can actually irritate the bumps and make them much worse." Instead, she suggests swapping your body scrub for a Clarisonic facial brush and a salicylic acid cleanser, like Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Body Wash ($8), which has two-percent salicylic acid to penetrate follicles and chamomile to soothe skin. Post-shower, Day recommends applying AmLactin Body Lotion ($23), which has 12-percent lactic acid. "Lactic acid is great for KP because it loosens cells over time to gently exfoliate skin," she says. "It's also a humectant, which means it will add moisture and minimize irritation." Make sure to slather it on every day and you should notice smoother skin within a week or two, she notes.

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If at-home treatments still aren't cutting it, make an appointment with your derm. "Your dermatologist can greatly reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris with just a few in-office laser treatments, which help to exfoliate the deepest layers of your skin," says Day.

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Keratosis Pilaris Tips | Allure
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