The Keratosis Pilaris (AKA Chicken Skin) Fixes You've Been Waiting For

Small, rough bumps have popped up on the surface of your skin. They’re bumpy, almost like acne, but dry and itchy like eczema! What are they? We’re here to tell you. 

This condition is called keratosis pilaris and it’s often mistaken for a number of different things. After reading this though, you’ll be able to alleviate those symptoms and will be on your way to smoother skin, for sure.

How does keratosis pilaris form?

First of all, if you think that you have  Keratosis pilaris — know that it is super common, not contagious, and not life threatening. 30% to 50% of people in the US are also experiencing some form of it on their bodies. You’ve got company!

It’s hard to specifically pinpoint who gets it and why  studies have suggested that young kids and teens are more prone to it, but people of all ages are affected by it. Physically, it comes about when too much keratin (a protective skin protein) builds up on the surface of your skin and hardens on top of your pores. This grouping of keratin cells create these rough patches that feel like sandpaper on the skin.

How to treat keratosis pilaris?

In order to smooth out those dry, rough patches, you’ll need to break up the build up of keratin clogging your pores. Below, is a graphic of what a clogged KP pore looks like.


The best way to take action? Regular exfoliation. Exfoliating should be incorporated regularly into skincare routines because it benefits all skin types, beyond those experiencing KP. It clears away dead skin cells that have gathered on the surface of the skin, which can lead to dullness, dryness, and clogged pores. Our favorite exfoliating ingredients are glycolic acid and lactic acid. 

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is a chemical exfoliator (don’t let the word chemical scare you!) that  is the easiest and most effective way to treat keratosis pilaris. It’s more gentle than a physical scrubber and it’s an alpha hydroxy acid meaning it has a small molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate the skin’s surface to effectively break up all those rough, dry cells. It’s safe enough to use every day and it’s a humectant — so it also retains moisture in the skin, great for those that are prone to dryness.

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is another AHA that is great at gently exfoliating and improving skin texture. It builds up lipid barriers in the outer layers of skin, which are able to work overtime when it comes to fighting off anything trying to irritate your skin. It boosts cell turnover and increases collagen production, making it another powerhouse for treating rough, bumpy skin like KP. 

In terms of deciding which one to use to treat your KP — you don’t have to. A lot of skincare products are formulated with both because they work so well together. Our recommendation? SLMD's Glycolic Acid Body Scrub and Glycolic Acid Body Lotion. Test them out individually, or together in the Body Smoothing System

Knowing which ingredients and products that have been known to improve the look and feel of rough, bumpy, skin — treating it should be smooth sailing. 


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