Chicken Skin No More (aka Keratosis Pilaris)

Growing up I have a distinct memory where I was at my cousins’ house and they noticed that all of them (5 girls) had red bumps all over the back of their arms and I didn’t. It wasn’t anything super noticeable so I don’t know why this memory stands out in my mind, it’s just one of those weird things I actually remember…. and I have the worst memory of life.

I can’t remember how old I am.


As an adult, I started seeing it on myself too. It may have been after pregnancy actually (those hormones do crazy stuff to you, I’m telling you…) because my husband was the first one to notice it. See, it’s not insanely uncomfortable or disgusting and noticeable. It’s just, there.

What is it? Apparently people call it “chicken skin”. Because they couldn’t think of a more disgusting name for it. But honestly, it is kind of an accurate description.

Okay, but what is it really? It’s little red bumps that often appear on your upper arms, backside or thighs. Sometimes they itch. It’s a genetic skin disorder called keratosis pilaris. It affects more adolescents, but I’m one of the minority who gets it as an adult.

If you’re prone to eczema, asthma and allergies you are more likely to have “chicken skin”, so apparently I hit the trifecta. It also runs in the family, so thanks cousins. I kid 🙂

What should you do?


I tried using my absolute favorite scrub Tree Hut Body Scrub (best smell EVER, best textured scrub…. the best period) which I totally recommend… but maybe not for this. If your keratosis pilaris is very bad and irritated, I wouldn’t use a physical exfoliator, but for me it did help a bit without irritating it.


So, a scrub may have worked for me but I’ve found that it isn’t the best option out there for exfoliation.

paulas choice

The bodywash recommended by most resources is Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless 2% BHA Body Treatment because keratosis pilaris responds best to BHA’s as an exfoliate (instead of physical exfoliators) and also cleanses the area. Cleansing is important because these bumps are basically clogged pores that harden and become inflamed.

If you have this, that is a perfect description of the bumps and now it all makes sense….

So after exfoliating (preferably with a chemical exfoliator), I want to add some more moisture into my skin with an intense cream made for bumpy skin.


Cue Gold Bond Ultimate Rough & Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream, 8 oz. No awesome smell or gimicks. This stuff is plain old thick, moisturizing as f*** cream. I adore it and while it does not get rid of the bumps or redness (like moisturizing your face doesn’t clear out your pores) it keeps the area from drying out – which is important for “chicken skin”-  and makes the bumps feel significantly smoother.

IMG_2892 IMG_2895

There you have it! After years of wondering WTF is going on with the back of my arms, turns out all I had to do was do a bit of research and I would find some amazing information and products to try!


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