Saturday, March 19, 2011

Keratosis Pilaris

I have suffered from keratosis pilaris (KP) for as long as I can remember.   For those who do not know what KP is, helpforkp.com states:

While  KP resembles goosebumps, it is characterized by the appearance of  small, rough bumps on the skin. Primarily, it appears on the back and  outer sides of the upper arms, but can also occur on thighs and buttocks  or any body part except palms or soles. (Often confused with acne.)

Pubmed says that KP does not worsen over time, but for me that is not true at all.  No one in my family has this as far as I am aware of  I found out my sister has it too... and most sites suggest it is genetic follicular disorder.
 
When I was a young kid (5), I used to get so upset because my knees were covered in bumps.  I would find a needle in my house (without my mom's permission of course LOL) and pick at them.  Inside I found a hard white substance and a small hair all wound up.  Even though it bothered me, no one could really see the bumps unless they got really close.  At age 5 no one was getting that close to me! haha  Looking back, I did not know how good I had it.

Around 6th grade when I started to shave my legs, my legs went from being pretty smooth looking, to atrocious in a few weeks.  As soon as I started to shave, all of those hair follicles began to plug up, turn red and eventually get infected if I didn't dig out the hair.  I had a huge problem with ingrown hairs on my legs and could not figure out what was wrong.  Some of my friends thought it was razor burn, but I knew that was not it at all.  KP is not razor burn. 

For years I avoided wearing shorts because of how awful my legs looked.  I hated wearing a bathing suit because they were all bumpy and nasty.  Shaving the bikini area is not fun for someone with KP...  As I got older and began dating people, I was soooooooo self-conscious of my legs.  It was downright embarrassing because it looked like I had chicken pox or some other type of rash.  To this day, I don't know how anyone could find my legs attractive... 

Eventually I started to look into it more and thankfully my husband found the answer.  (He is so much better using Google than me).  Sure enough he sent me a website that talks about keratosis pilaris and that was when I finally had the answer to my troubles.  All those years it was KP causing the nasty ingrown hairs, bumps and reddness on my legs.  If you do not have KP, be very thankful.  I told my husband, I'd spend a million dollars to get rid of this...lol That might seem completely insane to those of you who do not have it, but for those of us who do, it seems quite logical.

KP effects your self-esteem on so many levels.  You buy a nice sexy black dress and if you dare wear it without stockings of some sort, your bumpy legs will be the talk of the evening rather than your outfit.  Wearing shorts is only for extreme weather conditions, otherwise it is too embarrassing to be seen in public with the bumps.  Over the years, it has gotten much much worse.  I gawk over ladies who have nice, smooth legs.  I will never have that, ever.

Now it is not only on my legs, but the back of my arms, buttocks and anywhere else where I attempt to wax or shave hair. As soon as I do this, the KP bumps, ingrown hairs and reddness begins.  Once a patch starts to do this, it will NEVER again be normal. 


I have included in this post a few pictures of the back of my arm.  I want to figure out how to get rid of this crap.  Not many people have been successful within the KP community.  All of the things I have tried never worked very well...

Exfoliating and every day shaving seems to be the most helpful.  I have to scrap out the outer layers of my skin.  It is like my body is unable to shed skin properly so it begins to build up on the outside.  It is truly odd.

Let me know if any of you have KP too.   We can moan and bitch and complain about it together.  haha!

11 comments:

Lindsay said...

Just found your blog today....contemplating starting my own as I have my own health nightmare going on....but I also have KP on the upper part of my arms, upper thighs, bikini line and buttocks. Fun stuff, lemme tell ya. Tried it all - KP specialized soap and lotions, diaper rash cream, dermatologist Rx creams, baby powder to reduce friction, etc, etc, etc...yeah nothing works for me either so I feel you pain, girl!

Birdlady said...

Oh Lindsay I am so sorry to hear you have KP. It has to be one of the most frustrating cosmetic problems I've ever encountered. I really get so jealous over ladies with sexy smooth legs. I'm sure you do too.

You should start a blog. It can be really good therapy as well. If you start one let me know and I will link to you! :)

Tasha437 said...

Finally someone put there is going threw what im going threw I'm 14 and I won't show my legs cuss I have it my dream was to always be a cheerleader I really wanted to try out and the uniforms was cure but I refuse to cause that meant I would have to wear a skirt I wanted to do track couldn't cus I would of had to wear shorts only but please let me know if there's a cure please!! :(

Sinead said...

I have this too, although I've just realized what it is, I used the skin doctors ingrow go, an anstringent to use all over your body to help ingrown hairs and that definately helped.

Birdlady said...

AHA and Salicylic Acid can be very helpful for some people. Then for others, it does nothing. KP is peculiar like that. :) You just have to be careful with it because it is very strong and drying. I unfortunately can't use Salicylic Acid because I have a sensitivity to aspirin. It makes my ears ring uncontrollably.

I'm so glad to hear your KP is better.

Cathy Kutka said...

The only thing I have ever found to successfully treat my KP is AmLactin, a lotion with 12% AHA. When I use it regularly I feel as if I actually have normal, nice looking skin. Without it I have the bumps all over my legs, butt, entire arm, and even my stomach, chest, and face at times. I have found that if I shave too frequently the condition is irritated, but too little and it gets out of hand as well. I spent much of my life hiding my legs away from chicken skin jokes, and didn't even know what this was until I was in my 40's. I have to admit that the AmLactin is pricey, but a little bit goes a long way. That and a loofah makes my skin smooth and makes me happy. :)

Delaina Tinker said...

I just took my 18 month old baby for this and they told me to use amlactin or cerave lotion. SO far, so good. We will see.

kp lady said...

I just figured out I had this for years. Thought I was just having acne issues. Its so sad bc I feel so unattractive and dont want my husband to see my butt. I have a tendanacy to pick making it worse and painful. I wish I knew what to do. You could read brail from ass.

Rumiana Kisyova said...

Hello ladies,

Whish is the best way for epilation if yoy have KP?

Delaney Scott said...

I've had KP for my entire life (I'm 19) and have had a tendency to pick at my skin which has caused scarring over a lot of my body and been horrible for my self esteem. Lately though I've been using Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin lotion and I swear by it!! This stuff feels great and after a month of consistently using it my skin felt so much more smooth and amazing! For bikini area, i shave and then immediately rinse with cold water and pat dry - exfoliate that area if bumps appear and if it gets itchy, Aloe Vera works well if you rub a small amount on the affected area. i really hope this helps some of you who are going through the same thing as me!

Delaney Scott said...
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