Hello and welcome to another edition of: Ashlee’s body is weird, and here’s why. Keratosis Pilaris or “Chicken Skin” is a fairly common skin disorder among humans (40% of adults worldwide, WTF). It is described as a genetic follicular condition that is manifested by the appearance of rough, red bumps on the skin. It most commonly can be found on the backs of the arm and thighs, although many other places on the body may become affected. It occurs when the body produces excess keratin (a natural skin protein) that then becomes trapped in the hair follicles, and causes the formation of hard plugs (read: rough, red bumps).
ANYWAY. It’s unsightly. And I don’t wear shorts because of it. And there is seemingly nothing that can be done about it. Mine waxes and wanes, but I can’t seem to figure out any triggers that make it worse. When I initially asked a dermatologist what it was, she was like, oh yeah, Keratosis Pilaris, just exfoliate and moisturize. So you mean, just keep acting like a human woman, is what you are saying. Thanks doc.
It wasn’t until today when I stumbled upon a little something something that suggested coconut oil for the treatment of Keratosis Pilaris. Oh, coconut oil, what CAN’T you do?! The site claims that coconut oil accomplishes the following: soothes inflammation, reduces redness, moisturizes and sanitizes. All the things that are good for treating ya chicken skin.
The author of this article also had a few other tidbits to share in things that may aid in the treatment:
- Exfoliate – Just like the doctor ordered, you can loofah the coconut oil right in to your skin in the shower.
- Moisturize – Apply small amounts of coconut oil to damp skin after shower and wipe away excess.
- Avoid Trans Fats – This is a no brainer, because you should be avoiding excessively oily foods anyway. Also eating foods that are lower on the glycemic index have been shown to improve KP.
- Take Omega-3 Supplements – Omega-3 deficiency can apparently worsen KP, additionally the author suggests ingesting 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. And honestly, that’s super easy to do because the shit is delicious. I put it on some toast with a little bit of salt, oh yeah, so good.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals – Basically avoid all the nasty chemicals in soaps and body washes, you know the things that we yell about in this blog. Personally, I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile soap in Rose. I have definitely noticed an improvement since I made the switch to it a few months back.
So looking at all of the above, I do essentially all of them. Except where coconut oil is concerned. Perhaps it is the missing link towards turning my chicken skin, into lady skin. I would like to wear shorts. I hear they’re in fashion during some of the warmer months.
You can use coconut oil straight up without a chaser, or you can whip it up into something fun. I made a “lotion”.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- one tsp of honey (as an emulsifier)
Here’s What You’ll Do:
- Furiously mix together until you inevitably give up and angrily put in whatever container you can find.
This ended in disaster because I could not for the life of me get it to blend. Like I tried most things, whisk, hand mixer, fork, coddling. The only thing I didn’t bust out was the stick blender, and honestly that’s because I was just really lazy and didn’t want to clean it. Given that the coconut oil is basically fine on it’s own, and by the smell of it some of the vinegar joined the party I just dumped the excess vinegar and used it as is.
I rubbed it into the affected areas after my shower, and I must say they look better already. I’ll include a before picture below, and follow up in a couple weeks after having used the concoction everyday and employing some of the other tips as well.
Also, to anyone who reads this and CAN get the ingredients listed above to emulsify into one homogeneous substance, please document, and share. I will send you a prize. Really, because I don’t think it can be done.