What Causes Chicken Skin, and 6 Ways to Get Rid of It

In the summer months, when we mostly wear light clothes, some people can’t help but notice annoying skin bumps on their arms and thighs. This common skin condition is called keratosis pilaris and is often described as “chicken skin” because its appearance reminds us of a freshly plucked bird. Although it’s pretty harmless and isn’t contagious, chicken skin can be quite annoying. And if left untreated, it may get worse over time.

We at Bright Side decided to find out what daily actions may cause this unpleasant condition and what we can do to keep those pesky bumps under control.

1. You’re not eating enough fat.

When you’re trying to shed extra pounds, the first thing you often want to cut out of your diet is fat. But in reality, eliminating healthy fats can cause you to gain weight and may make certain skin conditions worse. When your body isn’t getting enough essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, it may contribute to inflammation of the skin, making those annoying bumps more visible.

What to do instead: Try eating more foods that are rich in fatty acids. Nutritionists recommend including wild (not farmed) fish and pasture-raised eggs in your diet.

2. You’re using harsh body scrubs.

While daily exfoliation can help smooth out chicken skin, harsh body scrubs can worsen the existing condition. Rough particles in scrubs can irritate the skin, causing it to itch and peel.

What to do instead: Rather than using scrubs with large, irregularly-shaped particles, try gently massaging your skin with a loofah or pumice stone.

3. You’re taking hot showers.

Although hot showers won’t cause bumps on your skin, being in hot water for too long can make the condition worse. Showering for too long removes natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and irritated.

What to do instead: Take short, warm baths and gently pat your skin dry to prevent further irritation. Showering every second day may also help alleviate the symptoms.

4. You may be eating too much dairy.

Most of us can’t imagine a day without a cup of coffee with milk or cream, but dairy products often cause food sensitivities and can contribute to some unpleasant conditions, including chicken skin. Many people develop an intolerance to a protein found in dairy over time, which can lead to skin irritation, acne, and keratosis pilaris.

What to do instead: The good news is that you won’t have to cut dairy products from your diet altogether to battle chicken skin. Just try eliminating them for at least 6 weeks to see if the condition improves.

5. You’re using perfumed soaps.

Because chicken skin is caused by a buildup of keratin in the pores, comedogenic skincare products can make it worse. Your favorite soap may smell like a rose garden, but it most likely contains artificial additives that can clog your pores and lead to skin inflammation.

What to do instead: Opt for gentle, hypoallergenic skincare products that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

6. You’re wearing tight clothes.

Wearing ill-fitting clothes isn’t good for your health for many reasons, and among other complications, it can worsen chicken skin rash. Tight clothes don’t let your skin breathe and can cause friction that leads to further skin irritation.

What to do instead: Consider more loose clothes made from skin-friendly fabrics, such as organic cotton.

Have you ever experienced chicken skin? Do you know more hacks that can help to get rid of it?

Preview photo credit Shutterstock.com
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