Waking up in the morning I grab the inhaler from the side of my drawer. I puff, it’s the same routine every morning since I was an infant. The need for medication to breathe. With Asthma and all of the corticosteroids that I inhale into my lungs comes other aliments ordered on the side like a bad diner midnight menu. One of those is Eczema and then the dessert, keratosis pilaris. According to OnHealth keratosis pilaris is associated with several skin conditions, “Keratosis pilaris is also seen in atopic dermatitis patients and patients with very dry skin.”
Growing up with Eczema and its cousin keratosis pilaris has been unfair. The Eczema makes the skin on my hands peel off in the winter and summer. The keratosis pilaris makes my forehead have small bumps all over it and my upper arms. I hate it. Once upon a time I have had a pimple popping boyfriend who tried to pop all the small bumps on my arm! Ouch and gross. They are rough and unbecoming bumps which can make the skin tone appear uneven. It is the worst thing on one’s face, since I am very vain to begin with. For the longest time I wore long sleeves and I have a good make-up regimen going on for the bumps on my forehead.
My mother swore it was acne when I was eight or nine. She insisted that I was to use Noxzema, but nothing like that ever worked. It actually made the condition worse to dry them out and irritated my face making it blotchy and red. I think I might be overly self-conscious of the little bumps because not many people notice it, but I do. Every morning I use Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Sheer Tint Moisturizer, Maybelline Cover Up, Clinique Powder, and I get my make-up applied in attempts to cover the bumps, which will be red if irritated.
I notice the condition is at its worst for me in the winter months. Harsh cleansers that dry my skin are of no help. I use Huggies Shea Butter baby wipes for my make-up removal and skin cleaner. If I am really dry, I use a spray-on moisturizer by Clinique. I also notice Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil is also refreshing. I, of course, can still feel the bumps of keratosis pilaris, but it helps reduce them and the sight of them.
For my body, I avoid any cheap lotion and moisturizers. I look for ingredients like shea butter and oatmeal. I always try the organic or less chemical doused products. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisturizer is one I found that helps reduce eczema and the bumps. It is very moisturizing and gentle. I started using it after my daughter was born. I got a sample and was hooked. This is a good budget buy compared to the higher-end items on the market. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter also worked a bit but the staple is Aveeno or other non-drying lotions.
The top of the line product is Aquaphor, and it is expensive. As a child, it was the only one that helped. When the eczema and keratosis pilaris is flared up, I use it and the skin conditions simultaneously clear up in a few days! Eucerin, the makers of Aquaphor, also have a great website discussing keratosis pilaris and what ingredients to look for in treating it, “Dermatologists often recommend a moisturizer that contains urea and buffered alpha hydroxy acids. Buffered alpha hydroxy acids help exfoliate rough, dry skin, and urea provides intensive moisture.”
You’ll learn over time you cannot cure keratosis pilaris or eczema; you can treat it. When it does flare up I recommend Aquaphor and use Aveeno daily. It comes and goes, so treat daily to prevent, but have your big gun Aquaphor ready for break outs. As I have gotten older, it has calmed down and it was at its peak when I was a teenager. If you’re unlucky to get it on your forehead like myself, use Neutrogena and Clinique. Both have been gentle enough for my sensitive skin. The trick is keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized, especially in the harsh winter months! You can still be beautiful with skin problems!