Beauty 101

All About Chicken Skin

Dr.Ingky Dermatologist
All About Chicken Skin

What is Chicken Skin?

If you have chicken skin, that is what we called Keratosis Pilaris. It is a common skin condition that causes patches of rough-feeling bumps to appear on the skin. These tiny bumps are dead skin cells plugging hair follicles. Keratosis pilaris is commonly found on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. It isn’t contagious, and these bumps don’t usually cause any discomfort or itching.This condition is known to worsen if you have dry skin and may also worsen during pregnancy. There’s no cure for this harmless, genetic skin condition, but there are some ways to treat it or prevent it from getting worse. Keratosis pilaris will usually clear up naturally by the time you reach 30 years old.

What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?

This benign skin condition is the result of a build-up of keratin, a hair protein, in the pores. If you have keratosis pilaris, the keratin of your body hair gets clogged in the pores, blocking the opening of growing hair follicles. As a result, a small bump forms over where a hair should be. If you were to pick at the bump, you may notice a small body hair emerge. The exact cause of keratin build-up is unknown, but doctors think it may be associated with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and genetic diseases.

How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris?

There’s no known cure for keratosis pilaris. It usually clears up on its own with age. There are some treatments you can try to keep it under control, but keratosis pilaris is typically treatment resistant. Improvement may take months if the condition improves at all. According to our dermatologist, here are two things that you can do to alleviate the look.

1. Hydrate

"Typically, for Keratosis Pilaris, I recommend a higher concentration of urea," Dr. Ingky says. Urea is used to treat dry and rough skin conditions, for instance, eczema, psoriasis, corns, callus and some nail problems. Urea is known as a keratolytic. It increases moisture in the skin by softening and dissolving the keratin substance that holding the top layer of skin cells together. This effect helps the dead skin cells fall off and helps the skin to retain more water. 

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliate gently. When you exfoliate your skin, you remove the dead skin cells from the surface. You can slough off these dead cells gently with a loofah, buff puff, or rough washcloth. Avoid scrubbing your skin, which tends to irritate the skin and worsen keratosis pilaris. Opt for any topical cream that contain lactic acid, vitamin A and retinoids. They would help to loosen and remove dead skin cells, and also moisturize and soften dry skin.

Products Recommendations

CERAVE SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin

As suggested by our dermatologist, one way to control Keratosis Pilaris is to ensure your skin is always hydrated. To keep your skin condition under control, use lotion that contains salicylic acid and lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, plus hydrating hyaluronic acid, and ceramides to restore your skin barrier. CeraVeSA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin is an exfoliating salicylic acid lotion that helps to smooth and soften dry skin on your legs, elbows, knees and other problem areas.

CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin is formulated to smooth and soothe dry skin. With a lightweight, non-greasy formula containing salicylic acid, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid, our lotion for rough skin is designed to improve your skin's texture by exfoliating and hydrating it, while using 3 essential ceramides that work together to lock in skins moisture and help restore your skin’s protective barrier. It also features patented MVE technology that encapsulates ceramides to ensure efficient delivery within the skin’s barrier and slow release over time.

Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA

Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA is unlike any body lotion you may have tried because of its unique skin-smoothing benefits that become visible from the first use. This lightweight yet moisturising leave-on body exfoliant is a completely non-abrasive, gentle way to shed built-up layers of dead skin, resulting in unbelievably smooth, younger-looking skin from the neck down. Works from the first application to visibly make rough, dry skin a thing of the past. Ongoing use banishes dullness and promotes resilient skin that’s touchably soft and ultimately smooth. This is a customer favorite, suitable even for skin prone to keratosis pilaris.

DOs and DON’Ts


Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ingky, always advise his clients to exfoliate, but he prefers an exfoliating lotion as a first line treatment for Keratosis Pilaris. Lotions tend to be gentler, giving an exfoliation that occurs over days to weeks. Therefore, he says if you do prefer to exfoliate with a body wash, pick a gentle, fragrance-free body wash is always a safe bet.
Physical exfoliators slough off dead skin and smooth out the outermost layer of those raised, red bumps. However physical exfoliation only targets the top of the buildup. Therefore, this only can work in the short term. You can exfoliate with a body buffer, loofah or organic body scrub.


Hot showers can dry out and irritate your skin. Hot water causes damage to the keratin cells that are located on the most outer layer of our skin. By disrupting these cells, it creates dry skin and prevents the cells from locking in moisture. This can make your skin condition worse.
When exfoliation is done right, it makes the skin much smoother andcleaner. But if you use an exfoliator that’s a bit rough on the skin, or apply it too much or too often, or, even if you combine two or more exfoliating agents, then it’s very likely that are going to over-exfoliate your skin. Over-exfoliation can cause irritation, swelling and puffiness. That makes it bad for the skin. When the exfoliating substance works a little too deep, it can damage your skin’s so-called lipid barrier. Using too much exfoliant also removes too much of the surface layer of the skin, taking away with it all the trapped moisture.

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