14 Home Remedies To Treat Keratosis Pilaris (Bumps On The Skin) July 15, 2016

You have random bumps on the skin of your arms and other parts of your body over the past few months. You initially thought they were acne, but these bumps are not budging at all. You may be suffering from Keratosis Pilaris, which is commonly referred to as chicken skin. It is mostly inherited, and there is no sure shot cure for treating this condition (1).

However, using proper methods can reduce its severity. Would you like to know more? Keep reading.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that occurs when the keratin component of the skin forms hard plugs in your hair follicles. This chicken skin-like appearance does not lead to any serious health complications, but it can be annoying and can affect your confidence. It is usually seen in people with very dry skin or eczema. Sometimes, especially in the winter months, it can cause itching. However, it is not contagious (2).

How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris?

While chicken skin or keratosis pilaris cannot be eliminated altogether, you can reduce the severity and make the red marks fade away with the right methods. You will need to opt for both internal and external solutions.

[ Read: Ways To Remove Red Spots On Skin ]

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Diet
  4. Cod Liver Oil
  5. Glycolic Acid
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Tea Tree Oil
  8. Aloe Vera
  9. Argan Oil
  10. Baking Soda
  11. Scrub
  12. Lactic Acid
  13. Witch Hazel
  14. Oatmeal Bath

Below listed are the top methods to combat this skin condition:

1. Coconut Oil For Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
What You Have To Do
  1. Warm the oil slightly and mix the sugar in it.
  1. Massage this on the affected areas for two to three minutes.
  1. Rinse with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Do this every day.

Why This Works

Coconut oil acts as an excellent keratosis pilaris home remedy, and it is good not only for your hair but for your skin as well (3). Its unique fatty acids soften the skin and provide nourishment from within. The strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil help heal skin inflammation over time (4).

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2. Essential Oils For Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix all the oils and massage on the skin for a few minutes.
  1. Let it air dry.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Lemon oil contains antioxidants that will keep your skin healthy (5). It also has antifungal properties that will keep the skin infection-free (6). Lavender oil aids the lemon oil in keeping the skin healthy with its antibacterial properties (7). It also soothes the skin and the mind (8).

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3. Diet To Help Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

To combat keratosis pilaris and its symptoms, merely applying products and extracts externally is not enough. You also need to eat the right kind of foods. This will offer your body the required nutrients and antioxidants to battle skin conditions like Keratosis Pilaris better. Include these in your diet to improve skin health:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Have at least five servings in a day.
  • Vitamin A and E-rich foods such as mangoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, etc.
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean meat.

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4. Cod Liver Oil For Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Cod liver oil capsules

What You Have To Do

Take two capsules in a day.

How Often You Need To Do This

Continue taking the liver oil capsules for a few weeks to heal the keratosis pilaris.

Why This Works

Cod liver oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory and healing properties (9). Cod liver oil is often recommended for a healthy body and skin.

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5. Glycolic Acid For Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Cream or lotion containing glycolic acid

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply this on the affected area and massage for a few minutes.
  1. Rinse with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Do this twice a day till the keratosis pilaris is gone.

Why This Works

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid. It has skin exfoliating properties. It will remove the dead skin cell build-up and exfoliate the accumulated keratin (10). It also reduces the skin inflammation (11).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Painful Armpit Lumps ]

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6. Apple Cider Vinegar For Keratosis Pilaris

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the ingredients well and apply on the affected area.
  1. Let it dry. Then, rinse with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this every day for best results.

Why This Works

ACV, on topical application, acts as a chemical exfoliant. It will remove the dead skin cells and excess keratin that are causing the formation of the bumps on the skin. It also doesn’t allow any infections to develop (12). Coconut oil and honey act as emollients and moisturizers (4, 13).

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7. Tea Tree Oil

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two oils and massage onto the affected area.
  1. Leave it on.
How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil purifies the skin, making it clear and healthy. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties will aid in giving you quick relief from keratosis pilaris, without developing any infections (14).

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8. Aloe Vera

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Fresh aloe vera gel
  • Cotton pad
What You Have To Do
  1. Take out fresh gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it on the affected area.
  1. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes. After this, gently massage the gel for a few minutes.
  1. Wipe off the excess gel using a cotton pad.

You can use organic aloe vera gels available in the market.

How Often You Need To Do This

You can repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel is not only soothing for the skin, but it also has healing and moisturizing effects. Topical gel application is very beneficial for the skin (15).

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9. Argan Oil

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Argan oil

What You Have To Do

Massage the oil on the affected area and leave it on.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day and you will start seeing results in a few days.

Why This Works

Argan oil is a non-greasy oil that nourishes the skin. It contains vitamin E that helps in maintaining a healthy and blemish-free skin. Argan oil is also effective in healing wounds and scars (16).

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10. Baking Soda

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 tablespoons baking soda
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix enough water with the soda to make a paste of medium consistency.
  1. Apply this on the affected area and gently massage in circular motions for three to five minutes.
  1. Rinse with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Do this every day before taking a shower.

Why This Works

Baking soda removes dead skin cells and improves blood circulation to give the skin a smooth and polished appearance (17). It also reduces the skin inflammation (18).

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11. Scrub

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two ingredients well and apply on the affected area.
  1. Gently massage in small circular motions for four to five minutes.
  1. Rinse with water. Pat dry and moisturize well.
How Often You Need To Do This

Use this gentle exfoliating scrub every alternate day.

Why This Works

The lactic acid content of sour cream is an effective solution to remove the bumps of keratosis pilaris (19). The scrubbing motion with sugar will also remove dead skin cells (20).

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12. Lactic Acid

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Cream with at least 10% lactic acid

What You Have To Do

Apply this all over the affected area and massage for a minute or two so that it is absorbed easily by the skin.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply this cream twice a day for best results.

Why This Works

Like glycolic acid, lactic acid is also a type of alpha hydroxy acid. It exfoliates and hydrates the skin, and helps in getting rid of keratosis pilaris (10).

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13. Witch Hazel

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A few witch hazel leaves
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the leaves and add water to form a paste.
  1. Spread this evenly on the affected area and let it dry for five to 10 minutes.
  1. Rinse with water.

Use witch hazel lotion/tincture if you cannot find fresh leaves.

How Often You Need To Do This

Apply this pack every day until the bumps go away.

Why This Works

Witch hazel is a potent herb when it comes to treating skin problems. When the bumps on the skin are due to dry skin or hair removal, witch hazel is an excellent home remedy. It soothes the skin, reduces inflammation, and kills any bacteria that may be present (21).

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14. Oatmeal Bath

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A handful of oatmeal powder
  • Lukewarm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill the bath tub with the lukewarm water and add the oatmeal to it.
  1. Soak your body in that water and remain in the bathtub for 15 minutes.
  1. Then, take a shower and pat your skin dry. Moisturize well.
How Often You Need To Do This

Do this at least thrice a week to cope with the condition.

Why This Works

To make your skin nourished and reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris, take oatmeal baths from time to time. Oatmeal has soothing effects on dry and itchy skin. The saponins present in oatmeal cleanse the skin. It also reduces inflammation and moisturizes the skin naturally (22).

[ Read: Cystic Acne – What Is It And How To Cure It? ]

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Keratosis Pilaris Causes

The only cause of keratosis pilaris is the keratin build-up in the hair follicles. Keratin protects the skin from infections and other harmful things. Dry skin and atopic dermatitis can trigger the development of these bumps. However, no underlying cause for the body to form these bumps on the skin has been discovered (23).

FAQs

  • What foods to avoid if you have keratosis pilaris?

Consuming excessive dairy products and meat can sometimes aggravate the condition. It is best to avoid these if they are your trigger foods to developing keratosis pilaris. Also, avoid food items that contain gluten.

  • How long does keratosis pilaris last?

Keratosis pilaris may develop at any age and on any part of the body. It may vanish by itself or last forever. It is usually seen that the bumps fade away over time, but the length of this period is not consistent. It differs from person to person.

Keep your skin well hydrated always to reduce the severity of keratosis pilaris and prevent its recurrence. Use the home remedies listed above to help your body heal these bumps and fade them away.

Now that you know how to get rid of keratosis pilaris effectively, start using these natural remedies at the earliest. Has this post helped you? Tell us by commenting in the box below.

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