Keratosis pilaris is a common, benign skin condition, often referred to as “gooseflesh”—or just KP for short. It most often shows up like small scaly bumps on the upper arms and thighs “due to retention of keratin at the follicular opening,” explains Maya K. Thosani, M.D., F.A.A.D., an Arizona-based dermatologist. In other words, it’s a buildup of keratin that blocks the opening of hair follicles—this said, it’s no surprise that the best keratosis pilaris treatments are in demand.
In typical cases, pinhead-sizes follicular papules show up around the upper arms or thighs—and sometimes your (facial) cheeks and buttocks. The affected areas are often rough to the touch. While there is a genetic component of KP, it’s also more common in those with dry skin or eczema.
“Most of the time KP is asymptomatic, but sometimes the texture or appearance of it can lead someone to seek treatment,” Dr. Thosani adds. “Complete cure is not possible, but the bothersome symptoms can be addressed with targeted skin care.”
Meet the Experts: Maya K. Thosani, M.D., F.A.A.D. is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, and the owner of Modern Dermatology. Dr. Rebecca Marcus is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei M.D. Dr. Marisa Garshick, is a board certified dermatologist.
Our top picks
To that end, these are the best keratosis pilaris treatments, according to dermatologists.