Since the exact cause behind keratosis pilaris is still unknown, there’s no surefire way to prevent it yet. What make this skin condition even harder to avoid is its numerous risk factors. Don’t lose hope, though, because there are ways to keep keratosis pilaris from completely ruining your appearance. It only takes a few simple lifestyle and dietary changes to control this unsightly condition and prevent it from causing embarrassment and anxiety.1
What to Avoid When You Have Keratosis Pilaris
Being aware of the factors that aggravate keratosis pilaris is one of the best ways to take control of this skin condition. Here are some of the habits that you should avoid to improve the appearance of your skin:2
- Scrubbing your skin with rough exfoliators: Vigorously scrubbing your skin with a harsh exfoliator won’t reduce keratosis pilaris. In fact, doing this may only worsen your condition since it further damages the skin. If you want to exfoliate your dead skin cells, it’s best to take the natural and gentler route. Create your own exfoliating scrub using organic oils and abrasive natural ingredients, such as sugar or oatmeal.
- Using harsh soaps and cleansers: Some body cleansers and soaps contain harsh chemicals that may dry out the skin, ultimately exacerbating keratosis pilaris. Steer clear of these harsh products, and stick to mild ones instead.
- Bathing in hot water: Using hot water during your baths and showers may rob your skin of its natural oils. To keep your skin well-hydrated, use warm water instead.
What Are the Things That You Should Do to Get a Bump-Free Skin?
Making a few changes to your lifestyle habits, along with preventing factors that exacerbate keratosis pilaris, puts you one step closer to getting clearer and smoother skin. Try out some of these tips to alleviate your skin problem:3,4
• Keep your skin moisturized: Dry skin not only aggravates keratosis pilaris but also gives the affected area a rough and scaly appearance. Make sure that you moisturize several times a day, especially if your skin feels itchy. Some of the natural moisturizers that you should try include coconut oil, calendula oil, olive oil and aloe vera.
• Use a humidifier: Humidifiers are particularly useful during the cold winter months or in dry climates, when the skin is prone to drying due to low humidity. They help maintain skin hydration by adding moisture to the air around you.
If you’re planning to use a humidifier, make sure that you don’t set the humidity level too high to keep mold from growing in your home and to prevent lung-related problems. You should also change its water daily and clean it at least once every three days using hydrogen peroxide to get rid of mineral deposits.
• Be gentle with your skin: Treating your skin with care helps prevent skin problems from becoming worse. Avoid scratching your skin vigorously since this may irritate keratosis pilaris. You should also avoid wearing tight clothes, as they cause friction that damages your skin.
• Limit your bathing time and frequency: Taking long showers or baths several times a day may strip away the natural oils from your skin and cause it to dry. To avoid this, limit your bathing time to 20 minutes or less.5
• Mind what you eat: The foods that you ingest have a significant impact on the condition of your skin, so you have to plan your diet carefully. Be sure to eat foods that contain omega 3, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc and vitamin D, since these nutrients help promote healthy skin.6,7
Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different. Some of the lifestyle recommendations mentioned above may work for you, while others may not. Identifying the best ways to manage keratosis pilaris may take many years of trial and error. Talk to a physician and make sure that you pay attention to your skin to figure out which prevention methods are best for your needs.