How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris: The Best Home Remedies

How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris: The Best Home Remedies

Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a harmless skin condition that causes small bumps and dry rough patches to appear on the skin. Keratosis pilaris usually affects a person’s upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and occasionally the face. Because of the way the skin looks and feels, many people call the condition “chicken skin”. The only discomfort that a person usually feels with keratosis pilaris is itchy, dry skin.

The small red spots on skin associated with keratosis pilaris are sometimes mistaken for pimples; however, according to Dr. Laura Martin on WebMD, the bumps appear when a buildup of keratin plugs hair follicles in the skin.1 Keratosis pilaris usually affects people during the winter months and many people who have eczema  (dermatitis) also get keratosis pilaris.

Although there is no cure for keratosis pilaris or any way to prevent it, there are many natural remedies to improve the appearance of bumpy skin. The following home remedies for keratosis pilaris use ingredients to moisturize and exfoliate the skin to loosen dead skin cells and also to stop the itching.

The Best Home Remedies for Keratosis Pilaris

Let’s look at some of the best ways to treat keratosis pilaris (KP) and how you can reduce the appearance of bumpy skin. Some of these home remedies are also useful if KP causes your skin to be itchy.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy to treat the symptoms of keratosis pilaris. The acidic properties of ACV help to exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of bumpy skin. Apple cider vinegar can also help to reduce itchy skin, and its antibacterial properties can stop skin infections from developing.2

When using ACV, always remember to use organic raw apple cider vinegar which contains the “mother.” This is the sediment that you may see floating around in ACV and it contains enzymes and friendly bacteria which benefit your health.

To help reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris with apple cider vinegar, mix equal parts of ACV and water. Dip a cotton ball in the ACV mixture and apply to the affected area to cleanse the skin. It may sting a little, but this shows that the ACV is working on your skin.

If, at the start, you find that ACV stings your skin too much, rinse it off with some warm water. However, over time your skin should get used to the effects of ACV. Apply ACV on your bumpy skin daily to lessen the appearance of bumpy skin and get a relief from itching. For more information, read my article on how to use apple cider vinegar on your skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer which can help to soften skin affected by keratosis pilaris. Virgin coconut oil also contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help you get and keep soft, glowing skin.

Studies into the effects of coconut oil on the skin have shown that it can be used to treat a number of skin conditions. For example, a study in 2004 found that the moisturizing benefits of virgin coconut oil can treat dry, rough, scaly, and itchy skin. The journal Dermatitis also reported that coconut oil kills off various pathogens that can cause skin infections in people with atopic dermatitis (type of eczema).3

Apply a small amount of virgin coconut oil to the affected skin area every day to moisturize the skin, reduce the appearance of bumps and reduce itchiness.

By mixing coconut oil and sugar you can make a natural scrub to exfoliate skin that is affected by keratosis pilaris. This is what you should do:

  • Mix together one tbsp. brown sugar with 2 tbsp. coconut oil and 2 tsp. raw natural honey.
  • Using circular motions, gently exfoliate your skin with the coconut oil mixture.
  • Rinse with warm water and apply a small amount of coconut oil to moisturize your skin.

For best results, use the coconut oil and sugar scrub once or twice a week to prevent more bumps from appearing and to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Alternatively, you can try using other natural oils like rosehip, olive oil, avocado oil or almond oil to treat skin that is affected by keratosis pilaris.


You can use oatmeal as a great home remedy if you have bumpy skin caused by keratosis pilaris. The benefits of oatmeal for keratosis pilaris are that it not only cleanses the skin but also is an effective moisturizer and reduces inflammation.

The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology says that fine particles from oatmeal are released in water and provide a protective barrier for the skin. This can help to lock in moisture and also reduce itchiness. The journal reported that oatmeal is an effective remedy for dry skin, dermatitis, and various causes of itchy skin.4

You can add oatmeal to a bath and soak in it or mix it with water and use it to exfoliate your skin to loosen dead skin cells.

Oatmeal Bath: Add 2 cups of finely ground oatmeal to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to soften dry, hard skin. After your bath, pat yourself dry with a clean soft towel and apply a little coconut oil to moisturize your skin.

Oatmeal scrub: Take 1 tbsp. of oatmeal and mix it with enough water to form a thick paste. Gently apply this to the affected skin by rubbing it into your skin. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This will help to prevent more follicles becoming blocked and will help to smooth your skin.

You can also use oatmeal bath for treating sunburn and sunburn blisters as well as for treating skin rash.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another excellent home remedy for treating keratosis pilaris. It is an effective natural remedy for treating pimples, removing dead skin cells and preventing plugged follicles.

Apart from being an effective natural exfoliating scrub, baking soda also contains antibacterial properties which can help to keep your skin free of infections and reduce the appearance of pimples.5

Combine the moisturizing properties of coconut oil with baking soda to make a natural homemade scrub for treating keratosis pilaris:

  • For sensitive skin mix 2 tbsp. coconut oil with 1 tbsp. baking soda to form a paste.
  • For other skin types use 1 tbsp. coconut oil with 1 tbsp. baking soda.

Apply the baking soda mixture to the affected skin area and leave on for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a soft, clean towel. Repeat the process once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and unblock follicles.

You can read about many other ways to use baking soda for your skin in my article on how to use baking soda for gorgeous face and skin.


Many doctors suggest using lotions containing lactic acid to soften dry, hard skin and reduce skin roughness that is associated with keratosis pilaris.6 Yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid and it is great for keratosis pilaris because it dissolves dead skin cells and won’t dry out your skin.

To use yogurt for keratosis pilaris, mix 2 tsp. raw live yogurt with 1 tsp. brown sugar. Gently exfoliate the affected skin area using circular motions. Leave for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water. To keep your skin looking healthy and get rid of the tiny bumps on your skin, use the yogurt scrub 2 -3 times a week.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel can help to smooth out the bumps and retain moisture on skin affected by keratosis pilaris. Aloe vera contains properties which many doctors recommend for the treatment of keratosis pilaris. For example, one of its active ingredients is salicylic acid which removes dead skins cells. Aloe vera is also an effective moisturizer and will help reduce itchiness on the skin.7

To get relief from dry skin and loosen dead skin cells, apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the affected area. It is best to apply the gel after washing to lock in moisture and keep your pores clean.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent which can help to clean pores and reduce inflammation. It is also an excellent natural treatment for acne. Unlike commercially produced astringents, witch hazel doesn’t dry out your skin.

The benefits of witch hazel in treating dry skin conditions were reported in the European Journal of Pediatrics. They showed that witch hazel extract is as effective as dexpanthenol, a popular drug which doctors prescribe to treat and prevent itchy and dry skin.8

To use witch hazel to treat keratosis pilaris bumps, all you have to do is soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply to the affected area. Apply witch hazel up to 3 times daily to reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris.

How to Care For Your Skin if You Have Keratosis Pilaris

If you have patches of skin that are affected by keratosis pilaris, it’s important that you use proper skin care methods to avoid making the condition worse. Here are some useful skin care tips for keratosis pilaris:

  • Use soap-free cleansers to avoid drying out your skin.
  • Always use warm water, not hot water, to wash the affected skin area.
  • When exfoliating to remove dead skin cells with a washcloth or loofah, always do this gently to avoid damaging your skin.
  • When drying yourself, always pat the skin rather than rub. This will help more moisture to stay in your skin.
  • Moisturize the skin area affected by keratosis pilaris twice a day.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze the bumps otherwise they may become infected.
  • Because keratosis pilaris can cause dry skin, use a humidifier if your home has low humidity.

Read these related articles:
1. How to Use Baking Soda for Gorgeous Face and Skin
2. How to Use Rice Water for Gorgeous Hair and Skin
3. Red Spots On Skin: Causes, Treatments and More

Article Sources

Healthy and Natural World