What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris (also known as follicular keratosis, “chicken skin”, or simply KP) is a common cosmetic skin condition that affects 50% of adults and 80% of adolescents, both male and female. Most people with KP may be unaware that the skin condition has a designated medical term or even that it is treatable. KP is often quite noticeable – numerous small, rough, red bumps cover the upper arms, legs, buttocks, and sometimes cheeks. KP creates a “goose bumps”, “gooseflesh”, or “chicken skin” appearance on the skin. The cheese grater-like skin and irritation is unsightly and can be embarrassing.

Common Symptoms of KP:

  • Rough, red patches and inflamed pores.
  • Resembles irritated goose bumps or acne.
  • Typically located on the upper arms and thighs.

What does KP Look like?

Red Bumps on Back of ArmsTypically, people with KP have a scattered, patchy rash made of very small red or tan bumps. Often, 10-100 very small rough bumps are scattered in an area. The affected area may have a fine, sandpaper-like texture, and the bumps are often red and inflamed. KP Elements products are formulated to smooth bumps, calm irritation, and reduce redness.Rough bumps


Some KP bumps contain an ingrown hair that has coiled. This is a result of the keratinized skin “capping off” the hair follicle, preventing the hair from exiting. The hair can be removed, much like an ingrown hair, though removal can lead to scarring.


KP appears most often on the back and outside of the upper arms and thighs, although certain types of KP can occur on the buttocks, the back and the face and cheeks.


Learn how KP Elements products treat KP »



What Causes KP?

Keratosis pilaris occurs when the human body produces excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin. The excess keratin, which is cream colored, surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in the pore. This causes the formation of hard plugs (a process known as hyperkeratinization). The alpha hydroxy acids in KP Elements Exfoliating Skin Cream dissolve this excess keratin and clears the follicles. In addition, our KP Elements Body Scrub helps break up the keratin that’s clogging your follicles to relieve redness and irritation.


KP is a genetic condition – some people are more prone to developing it due to skin type and family history. If your parents have KP, you are more likely to develop symptoms. Because KP is genetic it cannot be cured, but continual treatment with KP Elements can keep your skin clear indefinitely.


KP is Not:

  • Acne
  • Goose bumps
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis


Continue reading to learn how KP Elements treats KP »