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At-Home Treatment Recommendations for Keratosis Pilaris


The AAD has provided various at-home treatments for keratosis pilaris that physicians can recommend to their patients.

Dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) have provided various home treatments of keratosis pilaris (KP) that dermatologists can recommend to their patients and the public.1 This skin condition, though harmless, affects all ages and races of people and is caused by dead skin cells clogging the pores. 

“Some people say the bumps look like goosebumps, chicken skin, or strawberry skin, while others mistake the bumps for acne,” said Mona Gohara, MD, FAAD, Hamden, Connecticut. “While treatment isn’t necessary for keratosis pilaris, if the itch, dryness, or appearance is bothersome, there are things you can do at home to help.”

Gohara recommends:

  • Five- to 10-minute-long baths or showers with lukewarm water. This will prevent the skin from drying out and causing a flare-up of KP.
  • Use a cleanser that is mild or fragrance-free to avoid irritation.
  • Gently exfoliate skin with KP once a week with an exfoliator called a keratolytic, according to the product directions, containing one of the following: alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, a retinoid, salicylic acid, or urea.
  • Moisturize the skin with a thick, pol-free moisturizing cream or ointment that contains urea or lactic acid immediately after showering while the skin is still damp or whenever it feels dry.
  • Avoid shaving or waxing skin with KP as it may cause more bumps to appear. If shaving is necessary, use a single-blade razor. 

“For many people, keratosis pilaris goes away with time,” said Gohara. “However, clearing tends to happen gradually over many years. If the bumps still bother you after trying these tips, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist for a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.”

The tips can be found and demonstrated in this video.


1. Keratosis pilaris: Self-care. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/keratosis-pilaris-self-care

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