While sundresses and shorts are out for summer, my patients often notice rough, dry patches on elbows and heels, or complain of ‘bumpy skin’ on the backs of their arms and legs. Build up of skin cells can be genetic, or caused by chronic rubbing, and can be improved by a combination of skin smoothing topical treatments and microdermabrasion.
Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a genetic condition of increased skin surrounding hair follicles. It presents as red or skin colored bumps, frequently on the backs of arms and legs. Mild (not harsh) exfoliating can help. Don’t pick at the bumps as this can cause red, brown, or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) work by breaking down the keratin to smooth skin. We like Aqua Glycolic and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Smoothing Body Products. We also like SkinCeuticals Retexturing Treatment which smoothes rough body surfaces and reduces the appearance of dry skin.
- Topical Retinoids (tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene) are another option to smooth these bumps out.
- If you have an event, microdermabrasion or a light glycolic peel will offer immediate improvement. Try Glytone’s Retexturizing KP Kit for at home daily use.
Hyperkeratosis occurs on areas of friction like elbows, heels, and knees.