9 Ways To Get Rid Of The Small Bumps On Your Skin (AKA Keratosis Pilaris)

I’ve been dealing with the effects of Keratosis Pilaris (those small bumps on the back of your arms) since long before I even knew what it was — or how to fix it. I even have vivid memories of sitting in my second grade classroom, when the boy behind me asked why I had little 'balloons' on the backs of my arms, and if he could pop them. Kids can be so cruel.

Keratosis Pilaris (also known as 'chicken skin') is a harmless skin condition that usually appears on the backs of arms, upper thighs, butt, and sometimes the lower part of the face. It affects a large percentage of people (some sources say up to 50 percent), and while it doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort, people are often bothered by its rough feel and red appearance. It’s caused by a build-up of keratin in your body that attaches itself to the hair follicles and clogs pores, creating little bumps all over the skin. Fortunately, however, there are ways to hydrate your skin and jump-start its natural exfoliation of keratin, resulting in arms and legs that feel smooth and remain bump-free, no matter how extreme your KP might be.

Prompt Natural Exfoliation With pH Balance-Restoring Lotion

Amlactin Moisturizing Lotion (Pack of 2), $22, Amazon

This Amlactin lotion is more than just your average moisturizer. It exfoliates the outer layers of skin, boosting the rate of growth and moisturizing the new skin underneath. It’s a best-seller for Keratosis Pilaris and eczema alike, and has a 12 percent lactic acid formula to restore skin’s natural pH balance. Reviewers say that they’re done spending money on other expensive lotions and formulas, because this did the trick once and for all.

Exfoliate Chemically & Physically With Hydroxy Acids & Smoothing Beads

KP Duty Exfoliation, $46, Amazon

Exfoliation helps to remove the built-up keratin under the skin, and this KP Duty Exfoliant does just that. It’s formulated for both chemical and physical exfoliation for silky smooth skin, without fragrances, dyes, or oils. It’s infused with willow bark and green tea to calm bumps and lessen redness. A little goes a long way, and users say it's greatly improved the appearance and feel of those small bumps on their skin.

Buff Away Old Keratin With A Machine-Washable Mitt

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt, $20, Amazon

For the particularly stubborn Keratosis Pilaris, some serious exfoliation might be in order. This Deep Exfoliating Mitt makes it convenient and easy to scrub away dead skin cells, allowing for the keratin under the surface to emerge and shed. The rayon-made fabric buffs away bumps and impurities, revealing new, glowing skin underneath. It’s also machine-washer safe to make sure your mitt stays clean and bacteria-free.

Gently Extract Neck & Face KP Impurities With Charcoal

Exfoliating Charcoal Bamboo Sponge, $13, Amazon

Charcoal is known for pulling skin impurities up to the surface and out, and that’s why this Exfoliating Charcoal Sponge is a must-have for those with Keratosis Pilaris. It’s made to be gentle, so this is for those of you whose KP is detectable on the face and neck. This sponge was created with konjac root fibers that are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and D, as well as minerals and antioxidants that help absorb unwanted oils and bacteria. Reviewers love it because it’s gentle, safe for all skin types, and helps all areas of the body feel smooth and moisturized.

Vitamin A Deficient? Fight Excess Keratin Production With Liver Oil

Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil, $28, Amazon

Lots of sources believe that skin issues like this are greatly impacted by what we eat, and if you’re not getting enough Vitamin A in your diet, skin starts to excrete an excess of keratin. These Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil Supplements are my own personal solution to my Keratosis Pilaris problem. They’re a wonderful source of Vitamin A, and they’re from a whole and natural source. These are some of the most highly recommended liver supplements because they’re fermented, easy to take, made without gelatin, and formulated in such a way that preserves the natural health-giving qualities of the supplement. Best of all, they heal KP from the inside-out.

Regulate Keratin Function With Exfoliating Antifungal Soap

SAL3 Salicylic and Sulfur Soap, $7, Amazon

SAL3 Advanced Cleansing Bar is antibacterial, antifungal, and supports natural keratin function with its built-in exfoliants. It hydrates the top layer and allows skin to shed more easily with its gentle acid, coconut oil, and sulfur formula that (when wet) activates healthy skin cell growth. Users say that their lifelong 'chicken skin' was no longer an issue after this one bar of soap, and — don’t worry — they say that the sulfur smell is barely detectable.

Dry Skin-Induced KP? Replenish Skin With Crushed Olive Soap

Moroccan Black Soap, $30, Amazon

This 100 percent pure and natural soap is made from a mixture of oil and crushed olives to rejuvenate your skin with vitamin E. Instead of foaming, it becomes creamy and hydrating when you add water, so skin is cleaned and detoxified without drying out. (Dry skin is a major cause of Keratosis Pilaris, as pores are clogged with flaking skin). It’s highly moisturizing and wonderful for even the most sensitive skin, and it has a buttery, earthy scent that’s subtle and fresh at the same time.

Organic Coconut Oil's Lauric Acid Breaks Down Keratin Build-Up

All Good Coconut Oil Skin Food, $15, Amazon

Add Keratosis Pilaris to that huge, constantly growing list of things that can be improved with all-natural coconut oil. This brand, called All Good Skin Food, utilizes the natural benefits of coconut oil in a convenient, mess-free rub. It’s great for post-shower massages, and because it’s got that magic ingredient, it provides loads of lauric acid, which helps break down the build-up of keratin. It’s also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so skin stays clean and sanitary all throughout the day.

For Sensitive Skin KP, Gently Exfoliate With Honey & Oak Scrub

Honey and Oat Scrub Mask, $17, Amazon

This Honey and Oat Scrub Mask allows you to buff away dryness to reveal smoother skin and smaller pores. The oatmeal acts as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and built-up keratin, while the honey moisturizes and reduces the pores underneath. It’s a great solution for those with extra sensitive skin because it’s gentle and soothing, and reviewers say you’ll see a drastic difference in your skin’s appearance after just one use.

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Images: Silentmind8/ Flickr; Amazon (9)