What is keratosis pilaris?
Behind this little-known term of “keratosis pilaris” hides a skin disorder which is however very common, which affects nearly 1 in 3 people.
The epidermis, which is the outermost part of the skin, has a horny layer on its surface, formed from the production of keratin. Keratin being the protein that makes up most of our nails and hair.
We speak of keratosis pilaris when there is excess production of keratin, which prevents the hairs from piercing the skin and which creates a grainy and unsightly skin surface.
Keratosis pilaris is usually found on the back of the arms and sometimes in the thighs or buttocks, and in some cases even on the face. Often, the pilosebaceous follicles then tend to inflame, resulting in red or purplish dots on the skin.
Another consequence of this thickening of the horny layer of the skin is skin dryness, caused by blocking the outflow of sebum from the pilosebaceous follicles.
Who is affected by this skin condition?
Both men and women can be affected by this benign skin condition, but keratosis pilaris usually appears during adolescence and usually disappears after age 30, although in some cases it may persist.
Natural solutions to test against keratosis pilaris
The treatment against keratosis pilaris consists on the one hand in properly hydrating the skin to soften this horny layer, and on the other hand in a gentle exfoliation.
Using Aleppo soap in the shower
When you wash yourself, use an ultra-rich soap (Aleppo soap for example), then make circular movements with a washcloth on the affected area.
The ideal is to precede this exfoliation with a sauna or a hammam at least once a month.
Immerse in an oatmeal bath
For those who have a bathtub, nothing like an oatmeal bath to benefit from the softening, calming and exfoliating effect of oats.
For this, let infuse in the tub about a coffee cup of oatmeal (placed in a closed compress).
Another solution: infuse the oatmeal for 10 minutes in hot water, filter, then pour the preparation into your bath water.
Hydrate with castor oil
For hydration of the skin, you can use castor oil which contains ricinoleic acid, a molecule with strong moisturizing power.
Castor oil can be used on the face and will help both against keratosis pilaris, but also against wrinkles, by stimulating the production of collagen. This oil also has an interesting action against acne thanks to its antibacterial power of ricinoleic acid.
You can also alternate with coconut oil which also has a good moisturizing power.
Massage yourself with rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil with verbenone or camphor has keratolytic, purifying, repairing and calming properties, which makes it an ally in the event of keratosis pilaris problems.
It can be used for example 2 to 3 times a week, as a massage in the shower, for 2 minutes.
- a teaspoon (5ml) of baking soda
- 1 ml (about 20 to 35 drops) essential oil of rosemary with camphor or verbenone
- a teaspoon (5ml) of argan oil, or black seed oil, or olive oil
Be careful not to use Rosemary verbenone or camphor essential oil in pregnant women, children under 12 years old, and in people who suffer from epilepsy.
Daniel Caroff, general practitioner and Founder of the Academy of Essential Naturopathy, www.anae-naturopathie.com