Coffee chat with Dr. Norman Visby

by | Mar 21, 2022 | 0 comments

Dr. Norman Visby

Do the prickly bumps on your arms and legs ever drive you nuts? 

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition that causes bumps to form on arms and legs and makes your skin feel like sandpaper.  

We met with Dr. Norman Visby who helped answer all of our questions regarding keratosis pilaris. In addition to explaining keratosis pilaris, he explains how to get rid of the bumps and recommends products that can help reduce the appearance of dry, rough and bumpy skin.

What is keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a very common but harmless skin condition that causes reddish bumps mostly on the back of arms, thighs, calves, buttocks, and they can also appear on the face. Bumps appear when dead skin cells (called keratin) are trapped and builds up in hair follicles. This condition is more common in women and among those with dry skin and other types of challenged skin, such as eczema. 

Is keratosis pilaris a common condition?

I am surprised by how many people, young and old, suffer from Keratosis Pilaris. No matter how light or severe the symptoms are, everyone is usually interested in exploring how to get rid of their bumpy skin.

How do you get rid of keratosis pilaris?

It is not possible to cure keratosis pilaris as it is genetic and completely harmless but you can certainly reduce the appearance by using products that help hydrate and exfoliate the affected areas.

Which types of products can help reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris?

If you want to eliminate bumps you need to look for products that gently exfoliate. Exfoliation helps remove patches of dry skin and the buildup of hardened keratin in hair follicles. My recommendation is to use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid and lactic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid). However, exfoliation takes time. The key to exfoliating skin is consistency. It’s a long term relationship. It will take a few weeks to effectively smooth hardened bumps. If you stop your periodic exfoliation regiment the bumps will eventually return. Additionally, you can seek professional treatments at beauty clinics that offer chemical peels and laser treatments, however, these treatments come at a cost.

What can worsen keratosis pilaris?

Using the wrong products can worsen keratosis pilaris. For example, scrubbing your skin with hemp gloves can make the bumps and your already dry skin appear more irritated and red. Exfoliating too often or using drying products can also lead to irritation and scarring. AHA and BHA acids are wonderful as they gently exfoliate and keep skin smooth and even.