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Chicken Skin: Causes, Signs and Treatment

Keratosis pilaris or chicken skin is a condition that causes rough-feeling bumps in the skin in patches. It is not contagious. Pimples are caused by dead skin cells that clog hair follicles. They can be red or brown. It usually gets worse in winter, when the skin dries out, and it may also worsen during pregnancy.It is common on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks. The bumps usually do not cause symptoms.

What causes chicken skin ?

  • The specific causes of chicken skin are unknown, but likely it is inherited. 
  • The pimples are caused by excessive keratin synthesis (Major protein of skin).The extra keratin produced gathers in the hair follicles and clogs them. As a result, the skin thickens and lumps become hard plugs.
  • Keratosis pilaris is not contagious.

What factors increase risks of getting keratosis pilaris?

  • Some conditions increase the risk of keratosis pilaris, such us:
    • Hay fever
    • Dry skin
    • Eczema
    • Asthma
    • Obesity
    • Ichtyosis
    • Melanoma treated by vemurafenib (Zelboraf®)

What are the signs of keratosis pilaris ?

  • The appearance of keratosis pilaris is the big problem for patient.

Chicken Skin

  • Visible bumps on the skin are similar to goosebumps or the skin of a plucked chicken. As a result, it is  commonly referred to as "chicken skin."
  • The bumps can appear anywhere on the skin where hair follicles exist. It can never be found on the soles of feet or the palms of hands.
  • It is also associated with the other signs.

Signs associated with Chicken Skin 

  • Around bumps, there may be some pinkness or redness.
  • Skin irritation and itching
  • Bumps with a sandpaper feel
  • Bumps that can vary in color (flesh-colored, white, red, pink, brown, or black).

How can you know if you have keratosis pilaris?

  • By examining skin, your dermatologisr will determine if you have keratosis pilaris.  
  • In some circumstances, to confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may need to perform a skin biopsy

Does chicken skin ever go away ? 

  • Keratosis pilaris usually resolves on its own over time.

How do you get rid of chicken like skin ?

  • Chicken Skin has no cure, but there are some ways to treat it. 
  • There are some treatments available to ameliorate the appearance, but keratosis pilaris is typically treatment-resistant. 

Dermatological treatments

Moisturizing treatment

  • Moisturizing treatment is used to relieve itchy, dry skin and improve the appearance of the keratosis rash. 
  • Urea and lactic acid are two common ingredients in moisturizing treatments. They work together to soften dry skin and loosen, but also to remove dead skin cells.

Topical Steroid 

  • topical steroid can be to reduce redness and itching.

Chemical peels

  • Chemical peels may quickly exfoliate chicken skin, remove congested layers, and smooth out your skin.

Retinol creams

  • Vitamin A derivatives (such as retinols and retinoids) increase skin cell turnover, preventing keratin accumulation.

Experimental treatment

  • Photopneumatic therapy and vascular laser treatment are actually experimental treatment for this pathology. 

Home remedies for keratosis pilaris

  • Self-care treatments can help to reduce bumps, itching, and irritation.

Hot Baths

  • Take hot baths can help unclogging and loosening of pores. 
  • To remove bumps, rub your skin with a stiff brush. 
  • Limit your bath time because longer wash times can remove the body's natural oils.


  • Exfoliation can help to improve the appearance of the skin. 
  • Dermatologists advise removing dead skin gently with a loofah or pumice stone.

Loose clothing

  • Tight clothing can cause friction, which can irritate the skin.


  • Humidifiers add moisture to the air in a room, which can help to keep your skin moisturized and prevent itchy flare-ups.


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