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.
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.
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!