Keratosis pilaris, more popularly known as chicken skin, can be a bothersome condition. It doesn’t hurt or itch, yet itdoesn’t look flattering. For those who have it, experts say the condition usually disappears after reaching the age of 30. But, why wait until then if you can get rid of it now?
Chicken skin is a genetic condition that is more likely to affect women than men. According to the Department of Dermatology at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, women are “inherently programmed” to overproduce keratin, a structural protein that is one of the building blocks of skin. Keratin overproduction in women is said to be caused by hormones. When excess keratin is trapped inside hair follicles, this brings about chicken skin. Likewise, hair removal by plucking, shaving, or waxing can sometimes irritate or block hair follicles, resulting in ingrown hair and excess keratin. Characterized by rough, pink bumps, chicken skin usually appears on the arms, thighs, and buttocks. It can also occur on the face, which is why some people might mistake it for acne. In the physiological sense, chicken skin is not associated with any serious skin problems. People with this condition may mainly seek treatment for aesthetic purposes. There are ways to keep chicken skin from worsening or developing altogether. The most common treatment options usually involve substances with moisturizing and keratolytic effects. Keratolytic treatment makes use of devices and chemicals that causes dry, old skin to thin, loosen, and shed off. In addition, keratolytics such as lactic acid soften keratin and increase the skin’s ability to maintain moisture. Many aestheticians in dermatologial clinics also remind their clients to exfoliate in between waxing sessions to prevent the skin from forming bumps. The key is to always keep the skin hydrated because dryness only aggravates chicken skin, especially during drier and colder months.
Words by Lian Buan