As a pre-teen, I started to notice these rough, red bumps on my skin. They were all over the tops of my legs, a little on the backs of my calves and the tops of my arms.
It wasn't until I started high school that it started bothering me. I remember talking to my Mum and our neighbour about it. 'I've got spots on my arms and legs!' and the neighbour telling me she'd much rather have had spots there than on her face. But these were no teenage spots that came and went, these nasty little bumps didn't go anywhere!
My Mum took me to the doctors who just simply told me, 'It's normal, they'll disappear as you get older.'
That didn't help.
It really affected me as a teenager. I was so self-conscious. While all the other girls in my class were sporting the shortest gym skirts they could find, I was trying to find a way to wear them as long as I could, so nobody would see the tops of my legs. I would hide in the toilets during PE or fake illnesses so that I could go home. :( It affected my wellbeing massively and continued to do so as I got older. I would constantly wear black tights with my school uniform which would get a few comments on the hottest Summer days!
So, What is Keratosis Pilaris?
KP, or Chicken Skin, as it's often affectionately known as, is a harmless, painless dry skin condition giving the appearance of constant goose pimples.
Apparently, around 40-50% of the population suffer from it.
Although I haven't found many of them?! Everybody in the world expect me has gorgeous smooth skin, right?
It's genetic, simple as that. Another thing to thank the parents for! And there is no cure. But they do say it usually improves as you get older. But I'm 31 and it's still very much there!
It occurs when the skin produces excess keratin, the natural protein our skin produces.
So that lovely stuff we spend a fortune on and cake our hair in, to make it smooth and beautiful, well I have tons of the natural stuff on my skin, in fact it over-produces it, which along with dead skin cells, block the hair follicles and forms small red bumps all over the skin, making it the complete opposite of smooth and beautiful. Ironic!
KP can look like red goosebumps and often gets worse during cold weather and can look visibly inflamed, almost rash like. The main areas it can affect are the tops of the arms and legs, bottom, sometimes cheeks. As I mentioned before, I get it on the tops of my arms, tops of my legs and sometimes my calves. The tops of my arms are covered in freckles too, so sometimes looks a lot worse.
Unfortunately, I've passed it onto Bradley, my 11 year old. Luckily he hasn't seemed fussed by it as yet.
Goodbye Chicken Skin
Up until a few years ago, I didn't even know it had a name. But when I did come across it, it was such a relief to know that it was an actual skin condition and I wasn't the only person to be suffering with it. It was time to take a stand and find a way to get rid!
I know there is no cure, it's more about managing it and finding the right products to improve the look of your skin.
Before I fell pregnant with Taylor, I used to use sun beds regularly, which did my skin wonders. Of course, I don't recommend this, sun beds leave you at risk of many health risks and you could be doing your skin more harm than good.
So I've been doing a little research and I've found some great ideas, tips, DIY remedies and product recommendations. And I intend to follow them up and see what works. And share them with you, of course!
I'm looking forward to trying out these products from Ameliorate, which were specifically developed by a fellow KP sufferer, to provide a solution to KP prone skin.
Look out for my follow up blog posts for tips, advice and to see how I get on.