We all have protective proteins in our skin, nails, and hair which are called “keratins.” We depend on these proteins to protect our skin from the dangerous toxins and germs which exist in our environment. If you didn’t have these proteins in the skin, then you would suffer from sickness on a regular basis and have lots of skin inflammatory issues. However, if you have an excessive buildup of keratins in the skin, it will cause a condition known as keratosis pilaris.
The symptoms of keratosis pilaris include patches of tiny white or red bumps on the skin and a blockage of the hair follicle openings in the skin. The most common areas where the patches of bumps occur are on the thighs, arms, and buttocks. A lot of people who get keratosis pilaris will mistake it for acne and try to apply topical acne treatments on the affected skin. Sometimes they’ll even go as far as to pick at the bumps in order to squeeze out the pus. Unfortunately, this can make the symptoms worse instead of better.
The Consequences of Picking and Popping Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is not a physically harmful skin condition and it will usually go away on its own over time. Meanwhile, you still need to deal with the aesthetically displeasing symptoms of having keratosis pilaris. If you are someone who usually wears t-shirts or shows off their arms in public, then you might be embarrassed with having this condition. This embarrassment may cause you to feel frustrated enough to the point where you’ll want to pop the bumps as if they were pimples. Do not do this because it will make the symptoms worse instead of better. Below are a few reasons as to why this is the case.
1) More Bumps and Redness – Instead of getting rid of the bumps by popping them, you will actually cause more pumps to form beyond the existing patchy area. Popping makes the infection spread to the surrounding areas of the skin and cause new pumps to form there, which means the patchiness will grow too. Not only that, the patch of bumps will turn redder.
2) Scarring – Eventually, when the bumps and redness have finally cleared up from the condition, you will still be left with scars in those areas where you picked at the bumps. Don’t forget that those bumps are inflamed areas of your skin, so picking open the skin is only causing it permanent damage.
The Best Treatment Solution
No one knows exactly what causes keratins to build up excessively in the skin and form the keratosis pilaris condition. But what is known is that dry skin and/or dirty skin is more susceptible to getting it. This means that if you have sensitive skin, then you should take extra precautions in keeping your skin healthy. Make sure you use light moisturizers that are designed for people with sensitive skin. As for cleaning your skin, only use soaps and shampoos that do not have strong chemicals and ingredients in them. This means that anything with fragrances or alcohol should not be used.
Now it is not necessary a bad thing to use over-the-counter topical acne treatments. After all, keratosis pilaris and acne both follow the same pattern of blocking the open hair follicles of the skin. So, if you were to use acne treatment which assists the skin in opening the pores and follicles, then you would be able to successfully treat keratosis pilaris just as well as you would acne. The best treatments will contain chemicals like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. You should see the inflammation be reduced significantly after applying those treatments.