Keratosis Pilaris Laser Treatment (KP)

causes of keratosis pilaris - skintherapy.uk

a) What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pillars or KP is a common skin condition that affects a large portion of the worldwide population. It occurs more often in children where it can persist into adult life. KP causes small hard bumps to form which can feel rough to touch. They usually appear on the legs, buttock and arms.

No cure exists for KP. It can improve or resolve on its own as we age. Otherwise, treatment measures are progressive with consistent maintenance that aims to smooth bumpy patches and even hyperpigmentation.

KP doesn’t hurt and besides its unsightly appearance, is harmless. Typically, KP will not worsen and has been said to improve in the summertime where humid conditions can ease dry skin symptoms.

KP is caused by a buildup of keratin. A protein that protects the skin from bacteria and infection. The opening of the hair follicle becomes blocked as a plug is formed. It’s currently unknown why this buildup occurs. We know that keratin buildup causes the plug, this tells us a keratolytic agent should help.

A keratolytic agent softens, separates and causes exfoliation of keratin. To keep the buildup away, we must maintain exfoliation of the skin.

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b) What does Keratosis Pilaris look like?

The bumps can be flesh coloured or hyperpigmented in deep skin. The bumps are abundant and because KP directly affects hair follicles, the bumps will be consistently spread in affected areas.

KP can also cause a greater occurrence of ingrown hairs and you may find several bumps ‘pop’ or stand out as a result of trapped hair and further inflammation.

KP on fair skin - skintherapy.uk
KP in fair skin

KP on dark skin - skintherapy.uk
KP in deep skin

KP on arm - skintherapy.uk

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c) Will laser hair removal get rid of Keratosis Pilaris?

Laser hair removal will not get rid of Keratosis Pilaris. KP is a chronic skin condition. We understand a build-up of keratin forms a plug at the hair follicle. This can, in turn, cause hair to become trapped and ingrown. Regardless of whether hair grows in the affected area or not KP will exist. Having less or no hair will lessen the symptoms of ingrown hair only.

In deep skin KP can appear brown/black, we may assume those ‘dots’ are trapped hair. In fair skin, however, KP can appear pink/red. Judging by the colour, it would not be reasonable to assume those are trapped hair.

The ‘dots’ are not trapped hair. Irritation at the base of the hair follicle can cause inflammation and subsequent hyperpigmentation. The shade of that inflammation will vary depending on skin tone. Inflammation can be eased through a skincare routine.

Can laser hair removal improve KP? Sure. If we address the rough, bumpy skin texture associated with KP, Laser hair removal can successfully be used to target hair growth in the area. Through consistent exfoliative measures and hair removal treatments, baby soft skin is achievable. However, the ‘dotty’ appearance will likely remain and this will be the contention for most people with this condition.

Hyperpigmentation requires deeper exfoliation, bleaching agents and/or laser therapies.

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d) What treatments are available for Keratosis Pilaris?

Chemical peels, micro-needling or microdermabrasion are good starting points.

Chemical peels are natural keratolytic. They cause the outer layer of the skin to loosen and shed. This is exactly what we want with KP conditions. Chemical peels are typically used on the face but can be used throughout the body too including the legs and arms.

Chemical peels come in various forms including varying strengths and agent combinations. We can receive deeper or higher strength chemical peels on our body as the skin is less delicate.

Salicylic acid is of particular interest in the treatment of KP. It is anti-inflammatory and well tolerated by most skins. Salicylic acid is able to penetrate deep within the hair follicle and helps rid cellular debris.

Micro-needling is a skin regeneration treatment which triggers healing mechanisms of the skin. A damage healing process stimulates new collagen, elastin and water-retaining hyaluronic acid deep within the skin. This regeneration leaves a finer, smoother complexion and as a by-product, hyperpigmentation and scarring are significantly improved.

Micro-needling in conjunction with meso-therapy work wonders on stretch marks. You can achieve a 2 for 1 if treating upper leg KP with stretch marks.

Microdermabrasion is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. Its general purpose is to exfoliate the skin using a vacuum-assisted suction. The skin is rubbed with an abrasive particle such as fine, powdery aluminium crystals or small diamond tips.

Microdermabrasion assists in removing the excess keratin and outer layers of the epidermis in a controlled manner. It’s a safe & cost-effective method of remedying Keratosis Pilaris. Typically used on the face, microdermabrasion on the body is equally effective.


Laser therapies is a possible avenue to pursue. Laser can be used to treat melasma, birthmarks and other such blemishes. KP can cause scattered hyperpigmentation over large areas and as a whole would be difficult to treat without affecting ‘normal’ pigmentation particularly in deep skin. The cost of laser treatment is likely to exceed all others.

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e) What skincare products should I use to manage Keratosis Pilaris?

KP remedy entails exfoliation and moisturisation. Professional exfoliation techniques will offer deeper penetration of which should be maintained at home. Key ingredients to look for when choosing skincare ranges include AHA, BHA and Urea.


Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion

AMELIORATE Transforming Body Lotion is a UK first! A lightweight, everyday body lotion designed for Keratosis Pilaris that both exfoliates and moisturises.

It smooths away bumps, softens and protects skin and intensely moisturises for 24 hours. Active ingredients include Alpha Hydroxy Therapy, Sweet Almond Oil and our unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex.

Optimum levels of Lactic Acid, a naturally occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acid, exfoliate and renew skin cells whilst drawing moisture into the skin. Hydrating Sweet Almond Oil softens and protects the skin, enhancing its natural moisture barrier.

Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant

AMELIORATE Smoothing Body Exfoliant exfoliates, softens skin and smooths KP bumps while moisturising for up to 8 hours. 

Biodegradable Bamboo Granules and Alpha Hydroxy Therapy physically and chemically exfoliate above and below the skin’s surface while our unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex, combine with Shea and Cocoa Butters and Coconut Oil, to moisturise for up to 8 hours.

Clinically proven and dermatologist tested, AMELIORATE makes Keratosis Pilaris look and feel better, deeply hydrates very dry skin and leaves normal skin amazingly soft and smooth.

Together with our unique LaH6 Skin Hydrating Complex, this highly effective formulation instantly sloughs away dead skin cells, hydrates and encourages new healthy cells to the surface.


Ameliorate Nourishing Body Wash

AMELIORATE Nourishing Body Wash gently cleanses without drying skin and is proven to moisturise for up to 8 hours.

The soap-free, ph-balanced formula contains natural Omega oils from Starflower and Camelina and our unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex to gently cleanse, soften and moisturise.

Clinically proven and dermatologist tested, AMELIORATE makes Keratosis Pilaris look and feel better, deeply hydrates very dry skin and leaves normal skin amazingly soft and smooth.

For those with Keratosis Pilaris, for maximum results follow with AMELIORATE Transforming Body Lotion for a progressive improvement in skin texture and condition.

Used regularly, this rich and creamy pH balanced cleanser will replenish and enhance the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Ameliorate Transforming Body Cream

AMELIORATE Transforming Body Cream is a triple-functioning exfoliating, moisturising and intensely nourishing, oil-rich formula designed for Keratosis Pilaris and extremely dry skin.

This emollient-rich cream contains the same optimum levels of Lactic Acid and LaH6 as our famous Transforming Body Lotion with the addition of Omega Oils, Shea and Cocoa Butters and Squalane to smooth, intensely nourish, improve elasticity and deeply condition the skin. It is proven to moisturise for up to 12 hours.

Clinically proven and dermatologist tested, AMELIORATE is designed for rough, dry and bumpy skin. It makes Keratosis Pilaris look and feel better, deeply hydrates very dry skin and leaves normal skin amazingly soft and smooth.


Amlactin 12 % Moisturizing Lotion

AmLactin® Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is ideal for hydrating plus smoothing rough, dry skin on large areas of the body, such as the arms, legs, trunk, and back. This everyday moisturizer contains clinically proven 12% lactic acid that boosts the skin’s natural renewal process through gentle exfoliation. Recommended by dermatologists, it deeply moisturizes plus reveals softer, smoother skin with daily use.


CeraVe SA Smoothing Moisturising Cream

CeraVe SA Skin Smoothing Cream for body. This cream helps to alleviate rough and bumpy skin texture, leaving skin feeling smoother in just 3 days*. The Salicylic Acid and Urea in the formula gently exfoliates the skin, without compromising the skin’s natural barrier. Developed with dermatologists, this fast-absorbing, non-greasy cream helps protect the skin’s natural barrier with three essential ceramides. The MVE Technology locks in moisture giving hydration for up to 24 hours.

  • Suitable for rough and bumpy skin. Also suitable for skin prone to Keratosis Piliaris.
  • Gently alleviates rough and bumpy skin texture.
  • Star ingredients: Urea, Salicylic Acid, LHA and Hyaluronic Acid.
  • Free of physical exfoliants.
  • Fragrance-free, non-irritating, non comedogenic.
  • With 3 essential ceramides to protect skin’s natural barrier.
  • Recommended use in conjunction with CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser.

Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy Daily Skin Therapy

GOLD BOND® Ultimate Rough & Bumpy Skin Therapy Cream is a daily body moisturizing treatment that goes beyond ordinary body lotion to smooth and soften dry, rough skin and reduce the appearance of bumps. Formulated with a triple exfoliating blend of AHA, BHA, and PHA plus 8 intensive moisturizers to exfoliate and condition even the roughest, bumpy dry skin. With daily use, skin becomes consistently smoother, softer, and less bumpy.


Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Body Lotion

This moisturising, silky body lotion contains salicylic acid (BHA) which works to gently exfoliate dry, rough skin, for example on the back or shoulders (bacne). It leaves skin hydrated, smooth and soft. BHA also helps improve the appearance of hard clogged pores on arms and legs. With continued use skin is left smoother, younger-looking and more radiant.

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