I have had keratosis pilaris for as long as I can remember, and it has actually gotten worse as I have gotten older. I am 27 now, and I have searched for effective treatments on and off for over 10 years. Recently my KP has gotten so bad and has spread from my arms to my chest and back.
I can live with it on my arms, but it is embarrassing to have it covering my chest. I wanted to document my experience trying out different treatments. I will blog about what treatments I am using and whether the treatments are working.
Here are two pictures of what my KP looks like. It was not easy to get a clear picture, so I’m including two that show it in different lighting. My KP looks more red in certain lighting and more bumpy in other lighting, so I think I managed to capture both.
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My keratosis piliaris journey
I will share my story of how I found out about KP and basically diagnosed myself. When I was younger, I had asked a dermatologist if there was anything I could do about the bumps on my arms. He gave me a lactic acid lotion, and it never really worked for me. It was very thick and greasy, so I did not like using it, but I did anyway. It never cleared up the bumps on my arms, so I gave up on it.
I have always had mild acne, and I just assumed that I had acne on my chest and back. Every now and then I would get acne breakouts on my chest and back, so it was hard to differentiate between acne and KP in those areas.
All started about a year ago
A year ago, I started to get really bad acne, mostly on my lower face and neck. It would not go away, so I went on accutane. I was on a low dose of accutane for 5 months and it cleared up my acne. I still had the tiny bumps that I thought were little whiteheads on my chest and back. I told my dermatologist, and he gave me a sulfur wash to use to help clear them up. He never really looked at them though to diagnose them as KP.
I figured out on my own that they were KP because I started to notice that they were exactly like the bumps on my arm rather than whiteheads. Sometimes I would squeeze them and a plug would come out with an ingrown hair trapped underneath, but then they would become very irritated. It was not the same as when I would pop a whitehead.
It clicked that these bumps were KP, and I realized that I had them for a while but did not know what they were. It now made more sense to me why the accutane did not clear them up. The bumps were slightly reduced when I was on the accutane, but as soon as I went off it, they got worse again.
My research on keratosis piliaris
I started doing research on keratosis pilaris and looked into treatments, because I desperately want to clear up the bumps on my chest. They are actually worse than the bumps on my arms now, and they are really unsightly and embarrassing.
They look like tiny whiteheads and since I have very fair skin, they show up as little red dots. They are particularly bad on the outer sides of my breasts. This is the area that I want to clear up the most. Of course, I would love to clear up the bumps on the other parts of my body too, but they don’t bother me as much as the ones on my chest.
For the past year, I had been exfoliating with a loofah and using regular moisturizing lotion on my arms, legs, and butt. These were the areas that I knew I had KP, so I tried to keep them moisturized. This seems to keep my thighs and butt pretty smooth, although I do have some smaller bumps. It does not keep my arms smooth though. I suppose my arms could have been worse if I had not put the lotion on, but I will never know.
Now that I know the bumps on my chest and back are KP, I am going to start treating those areas. I am going to try non-prescription methods first, and if nothing works, I will go see my dermatologist again. I will document all the treatments that I try out in this blog, so you can follow my progress. I hope my story can help other people figure out what treatments work best for them.
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