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How to Get Rid of Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

A dry skin is a very common condition that you must have heard of or even experienced it before. Keratosis Pilaris is a common condition as well, but not many people have heard of it. In the following, we will explain what is Keratosis Pilaris, what causes it and how it is treated.

Have you ever heard about Keratosis Pilaris?

Dry skin is a common condition, usually caused by cold weather, dehydration, sun exposure and certain skin conditions. Keratosis Pilaris is a common, yet harmless skin condition, which is often treated as a normal skin condition. It causes small, hard bumps on the skin. These bumps are actually plugs of dead skin cells. The bumps usually appear on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks and buttocks.

What are the causes for dry skin and Keratosis Pilaris?

Causes for dry skin

  • Weather – Dry skin most commonly occurs in winter, due to the cold weather.
  • Steam – Taking long hot baths and showers can cause dry skin, due to the presence of the steam.
  • Beauty products – Many beauty products, e.g. soaps, deodorant, shampoos and etc. can cause dry skin to occur.
  • Sun exposure – The ultraviolet radiation from the sun penetrates far into the skin, causing dry skin and later in life – wrinkles.
  • Certain skin conditions – People who are suffering from certain skin conditions, e.g. atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis, have an increased risk for dry skin to occur.

Causes for Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris occurs as a result of build up keratin, a protein that is normally found in our body, with its function to protect* the skin from infections. This builds up blocks the opening of the hair follicle, causing the characteristic bumps to appear on the skin. Although there have been many types of research, the doctors still do not know what is the cause of the build up of keratin. People with dry skin have an increased risk for Keratosis Pilaris.

Are there any complications that you need to be aware of?

If left untreated, dry skin can lead to a few complications that can cause a difficulty in your everyday life. But, do not be scared, these are not conditions which you cannot prevent with a few changes in your lifestyle.

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) – Untreated dry skin can lead to redness, cracking and inflammation of the skin – symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema).
  • Infections – Scratching of the skin caused by dryness, can lead to open wounds. The open wounds are a source for infections to occur.

When to Schedule an Appointment at your Dermatologist?

These conditions, although harmless, can cause itching that at some point can be unbearable. You can contact your doctor to schedule an appointment if:

  • Your condition does not improve*, even when you have tried the known ways of relievement.
  • Your condition worsens, e.g. if the itching worsens, your skin starts to peel, or if the number of visible bumps multiplies.
  • There are open wounds caused by scratching.
  • The scratching is followed by redness.

How to get rid of Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris?

We would like to share some tips to improve* dry skin and Keratosis Pilaris

Dry skin and Keratosis Pilaris are conditions that do not have a known cure* yet. However, there are tips that many dermatologists have shared with us. These conditions can prove as difficult, due to the itching that usually occurs. Although there is no cure* for these conditions, there are some ways that can cause relievement.

  • Avoid Hot Showers and Baths – You can still enjoy a nice warm bath and/or shower, but keep in mind to control* the warmth of the water.
  • Moisturize and cleanse gently – Avoid any beauty products that contain alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause dry skin. Use a cleanser that contains ceramides, which are normally present in the skin, helping it to hold in the moisture. If you are using an exfoliator, remember to exfoliate gently. Scrubbing too hard can cause irritability and thickening of the skin. Remember to moisturize your skin at least 10 to 20 minutes after a bath/shower.
  • Shave in the shower – By shaving you are not only removing* the unwanted hair, but also all the natural oils on the surface of the skin. The best time to shave is considered to be after the shower, when the hairs are softer, making them easier to be removed.
  • Limit the time you spend in the sun – When exposed to the sun, remember to apply a sun screen with a high protective factor, wear light clothing and drink water. Dehydration is one of the main causes for dry skin.
  • Drink Water – It is essential to drink the recommended amount of water – eight glasses water – through the day. It will keep you hydrated and it will help prevent dehydration.

Conclusion

There is no need to be ashamed if you are suffering from either dry skin or Keratosis Pilaris. These are common conditions for which there is still no cure*, but your dermatologist can suggest a few ways to improve* your condition. Dry skin and Keratosis Pilaris are conditions which require a change in your lifestyle – a change that can improve* your condition.

References

  • https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/bumps-and-growths/keratosis-pilaris
  • http://www.wederm.com/Dry-Skin–Keratosis-Pilaris
  • http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/keratosis-pilaris