Chicken Skin and Picking

lauraloolauraloo Registered Users Posts: 2,121
I've got chicken skin on the backs of my arms that looks similar to this (not me, just a pic I found on the interwebs):

keratosis_pilaris_up_close.jpg

I saw a dermatologist about it a long time ago and she basically said there's not much you can do about it but offered me this lotion that I would have to use for years before I would see any results. The consistency reminded me of maple syrup. :pukeright: Needless to say, I stopped using it.

Anyways, I've pretty much come to terms with it, except I have a problem: I pick at it ALL. THE. TIME., especially when I'm stressed out. It's sort of embarrassing to admit... I think it's a psychological thing.

Any suggestions on techniques for how to stop picking? I'm causing myself scars but I just can't stop! Is there anything I can put on it to help smooth it out and make the irritation I'm causing stop? I really just want my arms to look better as nicer weather approaches.
Not all who wander are lost.

Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls

Comments

  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    That is called keratosis pilaris. I don't have it, but it comes up pretty frequently on these boards. You can exfoliate chemically with an acidic BHA or AHA lotion. However, the lotion will probably sting if you apply it to any areas that are raw from picking.

    According to what you wrote, you continue to pick at your skin, despite causing significant damage to yourself. I'm no expert, but that sounds like dermatillomania, which is, well, a compulsion to pick at your own skin.
  • linzarglinzarg Registered Users Posts: 3
    I have the same bumps! I stopped picking, but I used to be obsessed. I use an alpha-hydroxy acid moisturiser on the bumps and scrub with a natural bristle brush. It looks pretty good, but I have only been using the A.H.A. lotion for about 2 weeks. From what I understand it's just dead skin cells that aren't exfoliating properly.
    2C/3A
    Trying to accept my natural volume!
    Mostly CO wash w/ Giovanni or other natural condish.
    Growing out chemical hair color and damage...which has messed up my curls.
    Becoming a bit of a henna addict.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    You know, I think that since the OP compulsively picks at her skin, manual exfoliation would be a really bad idea. There's a very high chance that she'd scrub too hard and too long, and damage her skin.
  • lauraloolauraloo Registered Users Posts: 2,121
    Uh, maybe I made it sound a little more extreme than it is... I do pick at my chicken skin, but I'm fairly certain most people with chicken skin do-- both my sisters have it and I know they also pick.

    I definitely don't have any sores or compulsion to scrub my skin raw; I just pick at it sometimes, and do it off-handedly like when I'm doing homework or something. If anyone has any tips to help me stop picking, I'd be appreciative.

    Like I said, I was given a lotion many years ago that I think was acidic to get rid of it-- it was prescription and I'm really not interested in having to see a doctor and pay for a regular Rx, or even a costly otc acid. Now I don't care so much about getting rid of it as just making it look not so bad and to help make the parts I mess with prettier.
    Not all who wander are lost.

    Fine and thin 3a. PW: curls
  • ZinniaZinnia Registered Users Posts: 7,339
    How about daily or every other day brushing lightly with a natural bristle brush?
    Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    lauraloo wrote: »
    I'm really not interested in having to see a doctor and pay for a regular Rx, or even a costly otc acid.

    It's just OTC BHA lotion, and there are inexpensive options. All effective skincare products are acidic. I just included the word "acidic" because there are a lot of products out there with high pH.

    Get the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydtrating Acne Treatment. It's got a really long name, but it works and costs about $8. It's a fairly thin liquid, has a very light texture, and dries on contact.
  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Registered Users Posts: 1,814 Curl Neophyte
    I have it on my arms as well and like you, I tend to pick at it too even though I shouldn't. I have been to the derm several times about it because I am always looking for something better. They tend to want to give Salex (it's a salicylic acid lotion). It works but I feel kind of greasy when I use it so I don't use it all the time. Retin-A also works too and I don't get prescriptions for that, they just give me samples because you use such a small amount.

    For over the counter stuff, I use a scrub in the shower. It's called Soap and Glory Scrub of your Life. You can get it at Target. It's a little pricey (maybe $15 I think) but it's the only scrub I have found that doesn't aggravate my skin further. When you have KP you have to be careful what you use (especially with exfoliating) because you can aggravate the condition.

    I will also tell you that acne products don't work. This stuff is not acne. The skin does not exfoliate properly and it causes a plug to form which looks similar to acne but acne medication will not clear it up.

    Eucerin lotion is supposed to be good for this too but I don't care for it. Also I have seen at Walgreens that you can get a cream called Amlactin. That helps too and it's over the counter.
    Hair Type: mix of 3's, growing out an angled bob, color-treated red.
    Current products: GVP conditioning balm for co-wash and leave in, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Pattern Pusha and Garnier Anti-humidity hairspray
    Location:Sunny Florida
    Hair idol: Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    My husband has this on the back of his arms, and while he doesn't pick at it, *I* will pick at it if I feel rough edges. It helps a lot if he exfoliates daily with a washcloth or microfiber cloth with just soap and water. I can tell when he's slacking off and I'll start picking again.
  • jigfeetjigfeet Registered Users Posts: 31
    Hey this condition is keratosis pilaris (as someone already mentioned) and I have had it severely since birth on my arms, cheeks, butt, thighs and lower back.
    It completely sucks.
    And I am a compulsive picker as well...even though I know I shouldn't be. I just can't stop...I tend to do it when I am upset or stressed...and I am always stressed so..

    Anyways, www.keratosispilaris.org has been a Godsend for me. It's similiar to NC.com except with millions of people all over the globe that write in their own success and failure stories.

    To help myself from picking, I keep a thing of body butter in my car and by computer (I tend to pick at it the most there) and whenever I start to pick I SLATHER it on my skin so I can't do it anymore and it smoothes my skin in the process.

    I have found the Elidel cream (prescription, but SLOWLY takes away redness) is slightly helping with redness, and thousands of people have had success with AmLactin lotion (no Rx needed) which can drastically help with smoothness.

    Do not scrub at them. People who don't really know the condition may say that it works (I don't mean this offensively by any means btw), but I have found very very few people who say that this helps for a long time. KP is caused by a buildup of keratin in your skin, which causes the red inflamed bumps. For some reason fair skinned people seem to have it the most often. Picking and scrubbing temporarily relieves it and make it seem like its going away, but what it is really doing is damaging your skin and scarring it...you just can't tell because of all of the clogged folicles. The best remedy is to leave them alone and apply the cremes and such.

    Lazer treatments are quite effective for redness, but they are extremely expensive--I've never tried it--but some people are desperate enough.

    Maaaany people have tried Sea Buckthorne bar soaps, and for some reason (there's a thread about it on kp.com) those seem to help immensely. You can get them from whole foods stores or online. I have not personally tried them because I am cheap, but I know much success has been found w/ those.

    I'm can't even remember what your question was anymore haha so sorry if this is completely off topic. But I figured I would enlighten you a little bit and steer you to some helpful sites.

    Let me know how it goes!
  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Registered Users Posts: 1,814 Curl Neophyte
    I have another derm appt scheduled on Thursday. I will of course be bringing up my arms again although I am going in for a different reason. I will let you know what their suggestion is this time. KP tends to be a trial and error type thing. Some things works for some and not for others. One thing I can tell you is be cautious of using any type of lotion that has a fragrance. I find that tends to aggravate me alot worse.
    Hair Type: mix of 3's, growing out an angled bob, color-treated red.
    Current products: GVP conditioning balm for co-wash and leave in, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Pattern Pusha and Garnier Anti-humidity hairspray
    Location:Sunny Florida
    Hair idol: Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town
  • smo6767smo6767 Registered Users Posts: 409
    You guys are lucky. I have it on the back of both arms and all over my left arm, then all over both of my legs. It makes me feel gross and awful because my skin also looks kind of red/purple-y... plus I have a LOT of it.
    ICONATOR_bb56511c0b5e53f5d21289611d11a822.gif
  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Registered Users Posts: 1,814 Curl Neophyte
    smo6767 wrote: »
    You guys are lucky. I have it on the back of both arms and all over my left arm, then all over both of my legs. It makes me feel gross and awful because my skin also looks kind of red/purple-y... plus I have a LOT of it.

    Don't feel alone, I am right there with you. It covers both of my arms completely, not just the backs and both of my thighs with just a tiny bit on the lower part of my legs. The only reason I can think of that it isn't as bad on my legs is because I shave regularly so it is causing them to exfoliate more. I can't stand it either because I used to have really nice looking arms and now I won't wear anything sleeveless or with super short sleeves (it's worse on the upper part of my arms). It looks awful and with my super pale skin the reddness of it really stands out. I totally feel your pain.
    Hair Type: mix of 3's, growing out an angled bob, color-treated red.
    Current products: GVP conditioning balm for co-wash and leave in, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Pattern Pusha and Garnier Anti-humidity hairspray
    Location:Sunny Florida
    Hair idol: Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town
  • EilonwyEilonwy Registered Users Posts: 12,391 Curl Connoisseur
    lauraloo wrote: »
    I pick at it ALL. THE. TIME., especially when I'm stressed out...I think it's a psychological thing...I'm causing myself scars but I just can't stop!

    Also I guess what I wrote about compulsive picking didn't apply to you, but I hope you can see where I got that notion from.
  • shycurlshycurl Registered Users Posts: 197
    I have this same issue on my legs except I don't pick at them. Anyway, has anyone tried the Dermadoctor products that supposedly help with KP?

    I found the products on the Sephora web site:
    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P73509&categoryId=C16330

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P147925&categoryId=C16330

    I'm thinking about trying them.

  • KookyCurlKookyCurl Registered Users Posts: 1,980
    I have this problem too. Since I switched from regular soaps to Dr. Bronner's Hemp Almond castille soap it's become MUCH less noticeable on my arms. I have freckles that do hide it but in general I don't pick at it because there is less to pick! I also try and keep it well moisturized. It's more noticeable on my thighs but that's because they are so stinkin pale. I do scrub, mostly with a sisal (I think that's what it is anyway, I've had it so long I've forgotten) washcloth, not hard but gently and give it a good rub with the towel after to slough off the dead skin. I don't shower every day either, it dries my skin out too much and in the cold weather I'd be scratching my skin raw.
  • tctc Registered Users Posts: 986
    vitamin A helps with this sometimes. but be careful about the source of vitamin A if it's a supplement. retinol can be toxic if you take too much. beta carotene is better because your body converts what it needs to retinol and then flushes the rest.

    carrot juice!
  • jigfeetjigfeet Registered Users Posts: 31
    shycurl wrote: »
    I have this same issue on my legs except I don't pick at them. Anyway, has anyone tried the Dermadoctor products that supposedly help with KP?

    I found the products on the Sephora web site:
    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P73509&categoryId=C16330

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P147925&categoryId=C16330

    I'm thinking about trying them.

    Hey, I used the KP cream for 6 months (it lasts about 6 months if you use a nickel size amount once a day) on my cheeks, because I have keratosis pilaris rubra faceii there. Basically I have really red cheeks and slight bumps. I have completely severe (30x worse than the OP's pic) all over my limbs, but the cream is way too expensive for me to use everywhere. I found that it did help my cheeks, probably decreased the bumps a good 40%, but didn't do anything for the redness.
    I think it would help reduce severe KP (on arms and such) like 10%, but if you have moderate KP I think it could help reduce it at least 30%.
  • shycurlshycurl Registered Users Posts: 197
    jigfeet, thanks for posting about the dermdoctor. I think I'll hold off on that purchase.

    I'll probably try out a routine similar to KookyCurl's and taking supplements like beta carotene recommended by tmmy_cat. I think those are less expensive to try and may actually give better results.

  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Registered Users Posts: 1,814 Curl Neophyte
    shycurl wrote: »
    I have this same issue on my legs except I don't pick at them. Anyway, has anyone tried the Dermadoctor products that supposedly help with KP?

    I found the products on the Sephora web site:
    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P73509&categoryId=C16330

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P147925&categoryId=C16330

    I'm thinking about trying them.

    I tried the KP Duty and it was awful. It actually made my arms look worse. More red and irritated looking.
    Hair Type: mix of 3's, growing out an angled bob, color-treated red.
    Current products: GVP conditioning balm for co-wash and leave in, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Pattern Pusha and Garnier Anti-humidity hairspray
    Location:Sunny Florida
    Hair idol: Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town
  • JLeighsJLeighs Registered Users Posts: 904 Curl Novice
    I had this badly, and I finally went to a doctor about it. He told me to go lay out in the sun. Apparently, direct sunlight helps a lot. It worked for me. I get it back just a LITTLE bit in the winter, but once I can lay out in the sun again, it all goes away. Hope that helps! :)
    2C/3A, fine, higher porosity.
  • RednaturalcurlsRednaturalcurls Registered Users Posts: 1,814 Curl Neophyte
    I have been told the same thing too about the sun but you have to be careful with how much sun exposure you get. I can't lay out in the summer because I burn super easy so it's not an option for me.
    Hair Type: mix of 3's, growing out an angled bob, color-treated red.
    Current products: GVP conditioning balm for co-wash and leave in, Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle, Pattern Pusha and Garnier Anti-humidity hairspray
    Location:Sunny Florida
    Hair idol: Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file