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12th Jul 2023

What is ‘chicken skin’ and how can I effectively treat it?

Clear skin summer.

You may have heard of chicken skin before, and especially since it’s been trending on social media, it’s coming up in conversation a lot more.

But what actually is chicken skin? The condition is known as keratosis pilaris and it’s quite common. It is when there is a build-up of keratin at a pore on your skin.

Unlike strawberry legs which is usually as a result of shaving, chicken skin happens regardless of this but can be easily treated.

It appears in the form of little rough bumps that look like red goosebumps, and they occur when there is a build up of keratin over where the hair in the pore should be.

To find out if you have this, simply run your hand over the area – which is usually arms, legs, back or bum – that you think is affected and if you feel physical bumps, it’s likely KP.

Sometimes it will look like acne, but these bumps are much smaller in size and resemble chicken skin, which is where the nickname comes from.

How it’s treated

The best way to treat this is a combination of exfoliation and hydration. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs) are our best friends for this. By using products with lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid, it will smooth out the skin and ensure the bumps are kept to a minimum.

Anyone who suffers from this knows that it tends to clear up more in the summer months, with more flare ups in winter. This is due to a lack of moisture and our skin becoming drier in the winter.

It’s important to remember that there is no cure for this, only ways to reduce it and as we get older, it proves to be more difficult to do.

Speaking to, Eavanna Breen of Akina Beauty said: “That can be treated very well with lactic acid, vitamin A and retinol.

“Simple things like doing a body brushing on a daily basis, and using a moisturiser that contains a little bit of lactic acid can really help that.

“That’s a condition that can be easily treated. Taking an omega oil supplement can help, or even a vitamin A supplement can help clear that up.”