This article was written by my great friend Andrea Taylor and her personal experiences 🙂
Keratosis Pilaris is a very common skin condition that affects people of all ages and races. The condition is not serious, however it creates insecurity in many people where they will avoid wearing sleeveless shirts, shorts or skirts, swimsuits, etc. that expose the skin. Often times, people with keratosis pilaris (and often mothers with small children with keratosis pilaris) will exhaust themselves with every lotion, cream, treatment, therapy option created to find relief from this issue.
I am one of those people, and mothers, that have tried it ALL! Crazy skin regimens that I’ve followed religiously, the newest lotion or cream, dermatologic procedures promised to help, etc. that have all left me less than impressed. Since having children my philosophy on health has changed dramatically, and I now know that even though there is not a solid answer as to what causes keratosis pilaris, often times to heal the bumps on the outside it is necessary to heal our bodies on the inside.
From my experience, those with keratosis pilaris find success in getting rid of these bumps in a lot of different ways. For some, exfoliation with a topical cream works. However if you look to the internet to point you in the right direction you will find hundreds of lotions to try, and then lists upon lists of at-home remedies using products such as tea tree oil, witch hazel, chemical peels, etc.
But there is a very large percentage of those with keratosis pilaris, where none of these products/remedies/treatments have worked. And so I hope that my experiences could possibly give you a few more options to try before you lose hope! In my search for treatment for my son and I, I have learned that to really combat these annoying bumps, you have to heal your body from within. I have also learned (as I mentioned before) that two people may have completely different causes for keratosis pilaris- meaning what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.
- Food Allergies- Food allergies can cause keratosis pilaris, and with a process of elimination, you may find relief from eliminating a certain food group. For my son, he has an allergy (or sensitivity) to cow’s milk. My son has always had a limited supply of cow’s milk products, because our family drinks almond milk. However, he was still getting cow’s milk through greek yogurt and cheese. Once we started cutting out these foods, his keratosis pilaris started to disappear!! Some other types of food allergies/sensitivities that you should consider that could be causing your keratosis pilaris is processed foods, artificial additives, gluten, and foods that are high in sugar. These are just some of the possibilities.
- Vitamin A Deficiency- Being deficient in Vitamin A can cause keratosis pilaris. (It can also cause light and sound sensitivity.) When I was discussing with our family doctor about my sensitivity to light/dark and my sensitivity to loud sounds, she quickly asked if I suffered from “chicken skin”, or keratosis pilaris. Shocked that she would ask this, I pulled up my shirt sleeve and showed her! Then she asked if I took a cod liver oil supplement. Cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin A and can aid in the prevention and treatment of all kinds of diseases and conditions. She recommended that I invest in a good quality cod liver oil supplement and to see how my keratosis pilaris, light and sound sensitivity responded. Within 2-3 weeks I could not believe what I was seeing! Those annoying bumps on my arms were fading away!! And my sensitivity to light and sound was improving, however not quite as quickly.
- Heavy Metals- Heavy metals in the body can lead to keratosis pilaris. Although I do not have as much experience with this one, my doctor had recommended a heavy metal detox if the cod liver oil was not successful for me, and I could not find relief for my son either. There are several natural heavy metal detox options that might work for you!
- Healthy Gut Flora- If you are not on a probiotic, you should be. This is probably the #1 supplement in my stash! It keeps my digestive system happy and healthy. A healthy digestive system aids a strong immune system! Your gut flora is connected to so many health issues I could go on for days! (But I’ll save that for another blog post, wink wink.) For some, a gut flora imbalance can cause keratosis pilaris! There are so many great probiotic supplement options out there. I use Alpine Sports Products Probiotic Select, and I have seen numerous health benefits from this product.
The options I have listed are just the tip of the iceberg. As I mentioned before, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Often times it is not just one method that gives the best results. In addition to my son cutting out cow’s milk and me taking cod liver oil, we also take probiotics daily (and have for years), eat an organic and whole food diet (avoiding processed foods, foods high in sugar, and artificial sweeteners and colors), and drink primarily water all day long! I mention this because it may be necessary to make a few lifestyle changes to find the results you are looking for. Good luck and remember, we love feedback from you!!!
*I am not a doctor or licensed medical professional. This blog post is based on my own personal experiences.