Your Most Embarrassing Beauty Problems - Decoded
Too mortified to talk to your friends or derm about your gross beauty issues? Here's the ugly truth on what's causing them -- and how to lose them for good
What it actually is: Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a usually painless (but annoying) skin condition that can range from a few rough patches on the back of your upper arms to rough, red, irritated skin on your arms, thighs, back and face. It's caused by a build up in keratin (similar to milia development).
How you get it: Doctors don't know the specific cause of KP, but find that it runs in families.
How you get rid of it: Moisturizers with lactic acid or urea (try Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion) can help eliminate KP. If that doesn't work, Dr. Krant suggests seeing your dermatologist for a prescription cream. "Also worth checking, though their relationship is currently at rumor level only, is whether you have gluten sensitivity, low vitamin D, or not enough beta carotene in your diet," she adds.
How you prevent it: There's no way to avoid KP, since it's not a disease that's "caught," but rather a genetic predisposition. Keeping your showers short and lukewarm and existing over-exfoliation will help discourage KP, since those practices just irritate hair folicles.