The bumpiness and breakouts are caused by a condition called Keratosis Pilaris, or as its commonly referred to, “KP”.
What exactly is KP?
During the lifetime of normally functioning skin cells, they’re born, live for a while at the bottom of the outermost layer of our skin, and just when more new cells now start to push older cells up and out of the way to form the next layer, these cells slowly start to produce and accumulate keratin protein granules. As more and more protein granules accumulate inside older cells, they take on a slightly bumpy exterior.
Continuing to move up closer to the surface, these protein-stuffed cells start to flatten and smooth out, and various waxes, fats, and sugars glue all these cells together to form the brick-and-mortar-wall-like top layers that make up the protective, slightly acidic barrier we call the Acid Mantle. These days, you might hear it referred to as “the skin’s natural barrier”.
Now, KP occurs when skin cells accumulate more keratin protein granules than they are supposed to. Since lipids and waxes are still gluing them together, the result is a prickly mess. Here’s where the classic “chicken skin” comes in.
The same cells that make up the surface of your skin is exactly the same that lines your pores, which means pores start getting stuffed with the same prickly mess.
Making things worse, many of the hairs that grow out of these pores actually get kinked up by all this, and these kinked up hairs with the prickly mess irritate pore linings.
Way #1 – Exfoliate Inside & Outside Pores (links)
Another peculiar feature of KP creates major problems – skin with KP has a tendency to be deficient in a particular type of lipids called “ceramides”. This makes the skin extremely dry, which creates the kind of sensitivity that partly causes the typical bumpiness with occasional pimples that resemble acne. This is why the first go-to for many people is body lotion, to try and treat the problem. Even dermatologists recommend this.
Related : 7 Ways to Clear Adult Backne
The catch is that here, prickly dead skin cells are mixing with lipids and waxes, stuffing already irritated pores; the last thing these pores need is to now be stuffed from the outside by pore clogging ingredients that the vast majority of body lotions are made with.
Way #2 – Exfoliate Inside & Outside Pores, Replenish Moisture (links)
On the buttocks and thighs, the pressure from sitting and friction from textured clothing (like jeans) pushes more dead skin cells and oils in, causing even more clogging and irritation. In the case of inflamed breakouts, prickliness, and especially when there is no significant dryness, a body lotion may not be the best option, even a non-clogging one.
Way #3 – Exfoliate Inside & Outside Pores, Calm Skin
& Absorb Excess Moisture (links)
Another assault on one’s self esteem with this condition is that in darker skin tones, hair follicles on the legs show inflammation from inside as dark dots on the legs. Skin like this is extremely dry, which can make the inflammation inside pores worse, especially if it causes a lot of scratching from itchiness, and can make the skin in general just look unhealthy. In this case, exfoliation needs to be a little more gentle, and good miniaturization becomes even more important.
Way #4 – Exfoliate Inside Pores, Replenish Moisture (links)
A few parting tips:
- Dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners clog pores like crazy. If you have body acne together with KP, ditching these will help a lot.
- Whatever body wash you use, avoid ones that are heavily fragranced. Fragrance potentially increases inflammation.
- Always shower immediately after working out, to prevent the salt of your sweat from irritating pores. This is especially important if you drive home from your gym. The last thing KP skin needs is irritating salt plus friction from clothes with too much moisture.
- I’ve seen too many people with KP on their arms ending up with persistent red marks and dark marks from picking. Do whatever you can to STOP PICKING!
Any questions you have at all about your particular body skin issues, please reach out either by commenting below or you can contact me through my website!
Your adult acne problem has a source, and clearing your skin requires finding that source and either eliminating it or healing it. You can start right now by filling out my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation Form created specially for ages Gen-Y to Baby Boom!
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