No matter how toned your arms and legs are, you still may find yourself avoiding sleeveless tops and short shorts. Why? A harmless skin condition called keratosis pilaris—commonly dubbed “KP” or “chicken skin”—can leave you feeling self-conscious about the look and feel of your arms, legs and butt.
Its symptoms include little patches of skin-colored bumps on the backsides and outer areas of the upper arms, and some may become red and inflamed, often resembling tiny pimples. KP is triggered by an overproduction of keratin, the protein that forms the outer layer of your skin. This excess buildup clogs hair follicles and results in the sandpaper-like rough patches that can have us hiding behind clothing.
Statistics suggest that almost half of all adults around the world suffer from this skin condition, many of whom are linked via their family history. Unfortunately there is no universal cure, but there are ways to ease the redness and inflammation for smoother, softer skin.
A topical treatment like DERMAdoctor KP Duty moisturizing therapy ($36), which uses a patent-pending blend of glycolic acid and urea, can aid in relief by calming the unattractive irritation. Complete with an exfoliating body wash, lotion and pouf, the Glytone KP Kit ($64) is another option that harnesses the power of glycolic acid to leave skin silky and smooth.
Remember, KP is a chronic condition so to see results, you’ll have to use products as directed routinely. Give it a few weeks and you’ll be ready for tank tops and shorts come summer.
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