Just as a side note, this is not my arm...
I suffered from mild keratosis pilaris on my upper arms throughout my teen years. It used to really get me down, because I thought I was the only person that had this and none of my friends did. I would hate wearing short sleeved tops and showing the tops of my arms. I used to have to wear a sleeveless leotard when I did ballet and I remember always being so paranoid that people were staring at my arms throughout the lessons, especially since it seemed like no-one else suffered from KP. It was a few years before I googled 'red spots on my arms' and found out that I was suffering from KP. I really wish I'd researched it sooner! Since turning 20 this year, I've noticed that the number of bumps on my upper arms has massively decreased to virtually none and have also reduced in redness.
I've seen very few products on the market aimed at KP sufferers. The only products I can think of at the moment are by Dermadoctor and rather expensive. So, I wanted to share some of the things that I did to help get rid of it and/or improve the appearance. Please note: These tips aren't scientifically proved, just my experience, so they are not guarenteed to work for everyone.
1) Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! I cannot recommend this enough. I used to exfoliate with exfoliating gloves and my current shower gel every day. This was probably a little excessive, but I found that it really did the trick. Exfoliation shifts the cells which have built up in the follicle, resulting in a smoother surface. Nowadays, I only do it every few days. When I suffered from more severe KP, I would sometimes use my a little of my acne face cleanser (Which contained salicylic acid) to give my arms an extra polish.
2) Moisturise! Remember to moisturise every time you step out of the shower, especially if you have exfoliated. I would advise avoiding heavily scented moisturisers. I used a moisturiser by Eucerin (I can't remember the name, but I do remember it was part of their dry skin range) which contained urea. Urea is skin softening and there are claims that it helps KP.
3) Get some sun. I always found that my KP improved during the summer. So the weather is nice, bare your arms and get some vitamin D. Even if it's only 10 minutes, it will help make a difference. I have heard of people using sun beds, especially in the winter when there is no sun. I have personally never tried this, so I can't say how effective this is. Also by spending time in the sun, you build up a tan, which makes the appearance of KP look less red.
4) Don't pick at the bumps! As gross as it is, I used to do this to the biggest bumps. (Argh, so embarrassing!). I would definitely advise against this, because it makes them look even redder than before and it can potentially leave scarring.
5) Age. As you get older, the symptoms seem to disappear and ease off. My KP was worst when I was aged 15-18, but as I've gotten older, I've found that it has improved a lot.
I hope this has been helpful to you! I'm sorry that it's quite a boring, wordy post. Please remember that these things worked for me, but may not work for you. Also remember that you're not alone, because so many people all over the world suffer from KP with varying severities.
Do any of you suffer from KP? What do/did you do to treat it?
Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy