Keratosis pilaris is a harmless condition that produces tiny bumps on the skin. The bumps most often appear on the upper arms and thighs.
People who live with keratosis often refer to it as chicken skin because the reddish bumps feel rough to the touch and look like goosebumps or the skin of a plucked chicken.
While not a dangerous condition, keratosis pilaris can be annoying, which often motivates people to search for a cure.
The good news? For some people, it may improve in the summer, only to return to its normal state in the winter.
The not-so-good news? Doctors say there's no cure for it. That includes 'miracle cure' diets you may have read about on the internet.
Keep reading to learn why diets can neither cure nor cause keratosis pilaris, as well as tried-and-true methods you can use to manage your symptoms.
Keratosis pilaris happens from a buildup of keratin in the pores. A quick search on the internet reveals blogs of people who have cleared up their keratosis pilaris by altering their diet. Some eliminate gluten from their diet. Others avoid spices, oils, and milk.
While the anecdotal evidence is compelling, there's no scientific or medical evidence to support this theory.
The research proving a link between food allergies and intolerances to keratosis pilaris is scarce. Some people believe that eliminating gluten from their diet caused their keratosis pilaris to improve. However, there's no evidence that everyone would benefit from avoiding foods containing gluten.
That said, if you think you or your child may have an intolerance or insensitivity to gluten, milk, or other food, you should see a doctor. It's important to properly diagnose and treat any food intolerances or allergies.
Despite what you might see on the internet, your diet does not cause keratosis pilaris. While doctors point to several reasons why someone might develop this skin condition, your diet is typically not one of them.
Some of the more common triggers for developing keratosis pilaris include:
Your diet does not cause keratosis pilaris. But eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can support overall health, which includes good skin health.
Since keratosis pilaris is harmless, many people ignore it and wait for the patches to fade. However, if you're experiencing dry, itchy skin, or you're bothered by the appearance of your arms and legs, there are a few things you can do to help manage your symptoms.
Your doctor may also suggests a topical prescription medication. This can help remove dead skin cells and reduce itch and dry skin. Some of the more common ingredients in these medications include:
Finally, if over-the-counter remedies or prescription medications aren't working, your doctor may suggest a laser or light treatment. While this may be effective in reducing the appearance of keratosis pilaris, it's not a cure.
Keratosis pilaris is a common but harmless skin condition. Treatment may improve the appearance of the skin, but there's no cure for this condition.
If you're bothered by the patches of rough skin or you have concerns, see your doctor for treatment recommendations.