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Are you bothered by numerous small, rough, tan or slightly red little bumps you find in your underarms, legs, and arms? They are called by many names. Medical terms used to describe this skin condition are keratosis pilaris, follicular keratosis, and lichen pilaris. It is known by the more popular name, chicken skin.

When your body produces excess amounts of skin protein keratin, it surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in your pores. It then results to hyperkeratinazation, or the formation of small bumps in the skin. These unsightly bumps contain ingrown hairs caused by the keratinized skin trapped inside the hair follicle, which prevents the hair from exiting. The hair then grows encapsulated inside the follicle. 

Waxing and plucking can lead to chicken skin condition. Some people are simply more prone to developing chicken skin because of genetics, or due to pregnancy or obesity. It affects up to 50% of adults worldwide, mostly women.

Chicken skin condition can be very itchy. Pleasurable scratching can result in skin discoloration, or post-inflammatory hypo and hyperpigmentation. Pricking and aggressive treatments may result in some scarring. Fortunately, chicken skin doesn’t have any health implication and it’s not contagious. It is neither an infection
nor caused by fungus or virus. 

Exfoliating creams and lotions are the most commonly used treatments for chicken skin, specifically those with retinol, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA). DERMAX Retinol C serum and DERMAX NanoWhite underarm cream with retinol are excellent exfoliating topical products.

Chemical peel and diamond peel are clinical procedures that can prevent entrapment of hair follicles. Diode Laser Hair Removal also permanently prevents chicken skin as its side effect. With multiple sessions of Diode Laser, eventually, there will be less to almost no more hair. With no hair regrowth, there will be no more chicken skin.

Stop scratching now. If you are bothered by chicken skin, visit any SkinStation or DERMAX Laser Center for your free consultation. Our dermatologists will give you the best treatment option for your specific condition.

DERMAX NanoWhite Underarm Cream with Retinol (for underarms) and DERMAX Retinol-C serum (for face & other body parts) are excellent exfoliants that can prevent chicken skin.

This article appeared in The Manila Bulletin, Main Section, page 2 on June 23, 2015. The author is Fred Reyes, a cosmetic chemist and scientist, and the CEO of SkinStation and DERMAX Laser Center, two leading skin clinic chains in the Philippines. He was awarded the Outstanding Professional in Chemistry in 2011 by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

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