Can keratosis pilaris on my legs be completely removed? (photo)Skin, Hair & Nails
I have had them for years.
Although keratosis pilaris is harmless, to remove it completely or to prevent it from ever coming back again is difficult.
Depending on what you have tried before, and how much it bothers you, you might want to consider clinic treatments, or home care treatments.
Clinic based treatments include:
1) Prescription creams - retinoids. These are vitamin A derivatives, and help to normalise cell turnover, reducing the keratin plugging of the hair follicles. However, they can cause some initial irritation and skin photosensitivity, so be sure to apply sunblock to the areas of treatment as well.
2) Laser for skin discolouration. I see what appears to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in the photos. A gentle pigmentation laser can help to lighten those darker spots, and reduce the spotlight on the plugged pores.
3) Laser hair removal. This can help decrease the portion of the bumps caused by coils of short ingrown hair.
Home-based treatments include:
1) Over-the-counter creams that contain alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. These help to loosen and remove dead skin cells.
2) Prevent excessive skin dryness. Consider switching to a mild soapless cleanser (e.g. Cetaphil), and moisturize.
3) Regular exfoliation. Do not however be vigorous in trying to scrub the bumps off. Gentle exfoliation with a soft loofah would be helpful.
To achieve good control, a regular long-term skincare program that you can adhere to would be more beneficial. You might want to start with clinic-based treatments, and then maintain with home care treatments when the condition is controlled. The key is continuous treatment, as the condition can recur after temporary improvement.