How To Get Rid Of Uneven Skin Texture According To A Derm
For skin that’s smooth as silk.
PLUME CREATIVE/ GETTY IMAGES / Design by Michela Buttignol
If you’re a skincare devotee, you probably have your regimen down to a science and have found a good groove with your skin routine, finally. After years of familiarizing yourself with your complexion, you know which products and treatments to rely on when any familiar skin predicament arises, be it breakouts, wrinkles, discoloration, or something else entirely. But sometimes skin has a way of presenting new issues you didn’t even know existedfor instance, uneven skin texture. Nope, we’re not talking about uneven skin tone, which deals with the pigmentation of your skin, but rather the feel or smoothness of your overall complexion. And although it might not be as well-known or talked about, uneven skin texture is just as common as uneven skin tone.
“Uneven skin texture is commonly a result of excess dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin,” explains Frank. “This can make areas of the skin feel rough or bumpy to the touch and can also give the skin a dull appearance.” As for how it happens, there are a number of potential causes.
Addressing Skin Texture Concerns With Drunk Elephant
Keep reading for a seven-step guide to smoothing out your face once and for all.
Address Your Existing Scars
Part of tackling uneven skin texture is maintenance. Whether you have a new or existing scar, it’s important to diminish its appearanceespecially those pesky ones that have a raised, discolored texture. Patience is key here, and you have to be diligent to see results. Use a product that is geared toward scar treatment, follow the directions carefully, and you’ll likely notice an improvement over the next few months.
With regular use, Derma E’s refreshing, oil-free Scar Gel, which is filled with good-for-skin botanical extracts, actually helps soften, smooth, and diminish the appearance of scars.
How To Treat Keratosis Pilaris
Theres no cure for KP other than time, says Dr. Vij. However, there are ways to make your time with the condition a little better and the bumps a little less noticeable.
The best approach to try and smooth over a KP problem? Moisturize. Dr. Vij recommends looking for over-the-counter skin lotions and creams that feature any of the following three ingredients:
Take extra steps to avoid dry skin
Dry skin can make KP symptoms worse. Here are two ways aside from moisturizing to keep your skin hydrated:
Avoid tight clothes
Friction is not a friend of your skin and thats especially true if youre dealing with KP. Tight-fitting clothes can irritate skin and amp up KP symptoms. Try to avoid wearing garments that rub and aggravate the bumps.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Keratosis Pilaris
The most notable symptom of keratosis pilaris is its appearance. The visible bumps appearing on the skin resemble that of goosebumps or the skin of a plucked chicken. For this reason, its commonly known as chicken skin.
The bumps can appear anywhere on the skin where hair follicles exist and, therefore, will never appear on the soles of your feet or palms of your hands. Keratosis pilaris is commonly found on the upper arms and thighs. In excess, it can extend to the forearms and lower legs.
Other symptoms associated with it include:
- slight pinkness or redness around bumps
- itchy, irritable skin
Any Advice On How To Get Rid Of This Bumps On My Upper Abdomen Not Sure What It Is
Seems like KP – exfoliate – moisturize – do not shave area. Its ingrown hair or compacted keratin
Keratosis pilaris. You need to use both physical and chemical exfoliation for this.
Use a BHA such as salicylic acid to break up the plugs. Cérame SA ointment is amazing for this . You can also use some kind of physical exfoliate to massage it in a circular motion twice daily
Ill try this. Thank you! Do you by chance know what causes this?
Not sure if its available to you, but First Aid Beauty has a bump eraser product that Ive heard is good for KP. I used to have it pretty badly. I used panoxyl body wash , exfoliated regularly, and moisturized super well.
Ive always wondered what the KP on the tube stands for. Thank you lol. Im just dumb. On the real though, that scrub is AMAZING. A little pricy but very reasonable for how well it works.
The winter dryness has been wrecking me. Found a miracle cure. I did a warm soak for a while and then scrubbed my whole body with it. I even called my boyfriend into the bathroom to get my back for me lol. I covered myself with coconut oil afterwards and shaved. My skin was so happy for days afterwards. I have hEDS so Im already quite soft but this was a whole other level.
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Check If You Have Keratosis Pilaris
Symptoms of keratosis pilaris may include:
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You usually get patches of small bumps on your arms, thighs or bottom, but they can appear in other places.
The bumps are usually the colour of your skin. They can also be red on white skin or brownish-black on darker skin.
The skin can sometimes feel itchy, and may be better in summer and worse in winter.
Keratosis pilaris can affect people of any age. If your child has a rash and you’re not sure it’s keratosis pilaris, see more about rashes in babies and children.
Use Salicylic Acid If You’re Acne
“If you tend to have enlarged pores and are prone to blemishes, that can also lead to clogged pores and skin texture issues,” Dr. Ingleton notes. Mild exfoliation, even during summer months, is key for uneven skin texture, and if you’re acne-prone, Dr. Ciraldo recommends exfoliating with salicylic acid to help unblock the clogged pores and blackheads that could be making your pores look bigger and more textured.
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What Causes Rough Skin Texture
Before we discuss the best ways to manage rough skin, its important you understand what causes bumpy skin in the first place. Like most skin concerns, several factors can trigger changes in your skin texture, but overall, rough and bumpy skin has two primary causes: dryness and an over-accumulation of dead skin cells.
Dryness results from a lack of natural moisture in the skin. If you have a dry skin type, your body doesnt produce enough sebum to keep your skin smooth and adequately moisturized. Your skin may feel rough or develop visible symptoms of dryness, like dullness. Dry skin can also result from damage to the skins natural moisture barrieryour bodys first line of defense between your skin and the outside world. Damage to this barrier leaves you more vulnerable to environmental aggressors like pollution and sun exposure, which can take a toll on your skins texture and appearance.
Now, back to the second main cause of bumpy skin, which is the buildup of dead skin cells. Your skin constantly turns over to make room for new skin cells, and usually, skin does this on its own. Sometimes, however, dead skin cells can get stuck on your skins surface. This buildup can result in dull-looking skin, clogged pores, and a rough, uneven skin texture. In extreme cases, not shedding dead skin cells can result in keratosis pilaris, a skin condition characterized by small red bumps on the arms, thighs, or cheeks.
How To Improve Skin Texture
All of your skincare is skin-protecting in a way, especially in dry climates, but here, were talking about SPF. Get some according to your skin type, and be mindful of any ingredients you could be sensitive or allergic to.
If you dont wear makeup, remember to reapply throughout the day. Wear the proper protective clothing depending on the weather to help keep a smooth skin texture.
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Keratosis Pilaris Home Remedies
If you dont like the look of your keratosis pilaris, there are some techniques you can try to treat it at home. Although the condition cant be cured, self-care treatments can help minimize bumps, itching, and irritation.
- Take warm baths: Taking short, warm baths can help unclog and loosen pores. Its important to limit your time in the bath, though, as longer wash times can remove the bodys natural oils.
- Exfoliate: Daily exfoliation can help improve the appearance of the skin. Dermatologists recommend gently removing dead skin with a loofah or pumice stone, which you can purchase online.
- Apply hydrating lotion: Lotions with alpha hydroxy acid such as lactic acids can hydrate dry skin and encourage cell turnover. Some dermatologists recommend products such as Eucerin Advanced Repair and AmLactin, which you can purchase online. Glycerin, found in most beauty supply stores, can also soften bumps, while rose water can soothe skin inflammation.
- Avoid tight clothes: Wearing tight clothes can cause friction that can irritate the skin.
- Use humidifiers: Humidifiers add moisture to the air in a room, which can maintain the moisture in your skin and prevent itchy flare-ups.
Treating Keratosis Pilaris At Home
Some people see clearer skin by treating their keratosis pilaris at home. This three-step plan may be all you need. Dermatologists recommend following this plan every day until you see clearer skin.
Exfoliate gently. When you exfoliate your skin, you remove the dead skin cells from the surface. You can slough off these dead cells gently with a loofah, buff puff, or rough washcloth. Avoid scrubbing your skin, which tends to irritate the skin and worsen keratosis pilaris.
Apply a product called a keratolytic. After exfoliating, apply this skin care product. It, too, helps remove the excessive buildup of dead skin cells. Another name for this product is chemical exfoliator.Whether its called a keratolytic or chemical exfoliator, youll want to use a product that contains one of the following ingredients:
Slather on moisturizer. Using a keratolyic dries the skin, so youll want to apply a moisturizer afterwards. Dermatologists recommend using an oil-free cream or ointment to help prevent clogged pores.You want to apply the moisturizer:
Keratosis pilaris can be stubborn. If it remains despite home treatment, seeing a dermatologist can help.Because you cannot cure keratosis pilaris, youll need to follow a maintenance plan. This often involves treating your skin a few times a week.Youll also need to take some precautions to prevent flare-ups. The following tips can help.
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Who Can Develop Keratosis Pilaris
Chicken skin is common in women, children or teenagers, and those of Celtic ancestry, as well as those with:
Anyone can be susceptible to this skin condition, but its most common in children and teenagers. Keratosis pilaris often begins in late infancy or during adolescence. It typically clears up in ones mid-20s, with most cases completely gone by the age of 30.
Hormonal changes can cause flare-ups during pregnancy and during puberty. Keratosis pilaris is most common in people with fair skin.
Keratosis pilaris is diagnosed based on medical history and a physical exam. A skin doctor, known as a dermatologist, can typically confirm the diagnosis just by looking at the affected area. Factors that go into the diagnosis include:
What Is Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition characterized by tiny, rough bumps on the surface of the skin, explains Dr. Anar Mikailov, a Harvard-trained board-certified dermatologist and the founder of KP Away. Often referred to as chicken skin or strawberry skin, these bumps typically appear on the upper arms, upper thighs, cheeks and buttocks.
Fortunately, keratosis pilaris is typically harmless, explains Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. The bumps normally dont itch or cause any pain, she explains, the concern is mainly just cosmetic.
However, there can be more severe cases, explains Mikailov. The area can become irritating, itchy and persistent and may start to feel dry or sandpaper-like. Many people will discover the condition when they cant scrub away the itchy, occasionally painful bumps. In this case, Mikailov recommends seeing a dermatologist for a formal diagnosis and a sustainable management plan.
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Treatment & Skin Care Routine For Rough Dry Skin
Dry skin is a primary cause of rough spots, and skincare products that moisturize and provide gentle exfoliation can be an effective way to help smooth and soften rough bumpy skin associated with dryness. Hyaluronic acid is a beneficial hydrating ingredient because it helps draw moisture from the environment into the skin.15 In addition, lotions and creams with ceramides help restore the skins barrier to lock in moisture.16Salicylic acid and lactic acid exfoliate the skin by encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells, in turn helping to improve the texture of rough bumpy skin.17, 18 Finally, skincare products formulated with a soothing ingredient like niacinamide can help keep the skin comfortable.19
If exfoliating and hydrating skincare products dont help improve the appearance of dry, rough bumpy skin, or you think your rough skin may be a symptom of another skin condition, its best to seek the help of a dermatologist who can diagnose the cause and suggest additional treatment options.
Exfoliation For Facial Skin Texture
When looking for the right face exfoliator, youve probably heard that using chemical exfoliants or retinol can be best for your skin.
Retinols can do everything from removing dry skin on a textured forehead, addressing scarring on cheeks and pigmentation throughout the face to speeding up skin recovery after breakouts.
Retinol has to be used wisely. If youre just starting, only use the lowest concentration two to three nights a week. Its also best to mix a pea-sized bit into your moisturizer. If youre sensitive or dry, apply your moisturizer first, then a small amount of retinol after. Do not use retinol for a minimum of a week before waxing hair removal.
Alternatively, look for exfoliants containing AHA/BHA properties, and take care not to over-exfoliate or do it too many times a week – this can inflame skin further and lead to texture issues.
“The best way to treat an acne scar is to prevent the scar from developing to being with by using early, effective treatments,” Joshua Zeichner, MD, of Zeichner Dermatology in New York exaplins. “If YOU ALREAdy have scars, topical retinoids help improve texture by simulating new collagen production. Or speak your dermatologits about professional treatment like lasers or peels”
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Uneven Skin Texture Vs An Uneven Complexion
Aside from skin texture issues that you can feel, textured skin issues can also affect the complexion of the skin through hyperpigmentation, melasma, sallowness, redness, and undereye circles.
Dull skin texture is often associated with dry or oily skin that hasnt been properly exfoliated.
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How To Smooth Skin Texture Through Hydration And Nourishment
Apply lotions and moisturizers specifically made for the parts of your body youre experiencing skin texture on as well as your skin type, and make sure to do so while still in the shower and wet.
Dont scrub with your towel while drying off, just dab and press. If youve given yourself a quick oil massage before your shower, leave it on for five to fifteen minutes before showering or bathing.
Only practice strategic cleaning and dont wash off the oil. By the time youre done patting dry, the oil will have been adequately absorbed so that you dont feel greasy. Also, dont do an oil massage on the day youre getting waxed.
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Bumps Due To Ingrown Hairs
Most of us have experienced ingrown hair on our bodies or faces at some point as a result of hair removal. Normally, when hair regrows, it grows up and above the skin. But if it starts to curl instead, it may get trapped and form a small, raised, reddened bump that may or may not be filled with pus. Those with thick, curly hair tend to develop ingrown hairs more often than people with fine, thin hair, but no one is completely immune.
The best way to prevent ingrown hair is by not waxing, shaving, or plucking, but thats not always a practical option for some people who are committed to hair removal, explains Dr. Garden. Other ways to limit ingrown hairs are to always wash the skin with a mild soap and rub a lubricating shaving cream gel on the skin before shaving.
If your razor is several uses old, replace it with a fresh one, as dull blades dont make clean, precise cuts and can increase your risk for ingrown hair, says Dr. Garden.