My relationship with keratosis pilaris

I have Keratosis Pilaris. What the hell is that you say? That’s what I thought the first time I heard it around 25 years of age. KP is:

Keratosis pilaris (KP, also follicular keratosis, lichen pilaris) is a common, autosomal dominant, genetic follicular condition that is manifested by the appearance of rough, slightly red, bumps on the skin. [source Wikipedia]

When I was around 25 years old I started to get these red bumps on my upper arms, covering the back of my arms. It didn’t go away and started to annoy me so I went to a dermatologist that instantly knew what it was and said „Oh.. it’s just Keratosis Pilaris.“ As if it didn’t matter at all. But it mattered to me. „So what do I do?“ I asked. „Nothing. You can’t do anything. It won’t leave. Though you can exfoliate to keep it down but that’s it.“ I later asked another dermatologist and he said the former one was correct. In advance he said the sun helps and going to tanning salons (in moderation) would also help to keep it down.

Source: Wikipedia
Keratosis Pilaris

I was more devastated when my daughter started to get this, only 1 years of age. Her upper arm is full of red bumps, and she is even worse than me. It broke me that I couldn’t do anything about it. When my son was seeing a dermatologist (for another problem) I asked her (the third doctor) if there was anything I could do about this for my daughter. „No not really, I wouldn’t worry about this until she reaches that self conscious age (a teenager) and starts bitching about it“. Wow.. what a great answer [I say this in irony]. Sorry about my language, but Fuck! I was not happy. But still I didn’t do anything about it – at the time my mind was more on my sons skin problems (another story).

Ok. The KP has had it’s good days and bad days. That is, sometimes my arms are full of big red bumps that make me feel ugly. Other days is’t less red, less bumpy and I feel I can show my arms. I have mostly avoided wearing short sleeves or sleeveless. Always wearing long sleeves or quarter sleeves. I also have KP on my feet, around my knees but that hasn’t bothered me as much and is not as red and bumpy as on the arms. And my daughter just has big red bumps all over her upper arm. She hasn’t noticed them yet, but she will eventually.

The other day the sun was shining and it was pretty hot. I was wearing a sleeveless dress and a cardigan over it. Due to the warm weather I took the cardigan off. Then I noticed my arm. It was bad. And ugly. And I quickly put the cardigan back on. Then back off since I wasn’t going to let this define me anymore. I got determined to find a solution. This is a pretty common thing, more common than you would think so there has to be some solution out there that can at least keep it down. I have been lazy with that exfoliating stuff but mainly because I didn’t think it was really helping. And I also thought of my daughter – I need to have some solution, some answers for her when she starts asking about this.

So I asked my dear friend, the internet. What can I do about Keratosis Pilaris? (ok this was not my search string, just plain „Keratosis Pilaris“). The first thing I read was the Wikipedia article. Nothing new there. Browsing further down I ran into this one: How I Fixed My Keratosis Pilaris (AKA „Chicken Skin“) And Got Awesome Hair To Boot. What she is basically telling you in her article is that she has tried several remedies, cremes and stuff. Nothing helped until she finally found a solution that worked for her.

I have been trying out her solution for a few weeks now and my arms are totally different. Just in the first week I saw a difference. My arms are so much better. AND my often dried elbows have never been so soft. I actually also use this magical stuff as a makeup remover (specially for the eyes). I am no longer shy to show my arms. I have also started to use this on my legs and they just look so much more radiant as well (can you say that about legs?). So I’m going to start using this on my daughter too and see how this works on her (I would guess like magic).

So what is this magical stuff? It’s actually something that you can eat as well and is really good for you in so many ways. Coconut oil! I didn’t go and buy the most expensive one. I actually went to a local food store and found the biggest jar with the lowest unit prize. Coconut oil is healthy, it moisturizes the skin, it’s just awesome stuff.

Coconut oil – it will melt in your hand

For the KP I just take a small amount and apply to my skin just after shower (in the blog she put’s it on in the shower and then rinses off). For make up removal, I take a really small amount and rub on my eyes. You will look really 3 o’clock-ish but then I take a damp cotton pad and rinse everything away. It leaves my face clean and moisturized.

I’ve started to search for more ways to use coconut oil, maybe I’ll post more of them here later.

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