In the summer months, when we mostly wear light clothing, some people can’t help but notice bumps on the skin on the 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 is fairly harmless and non-contagious, chicken skin can be quite irritating. And if left untreated, it can get worse over time. We decided to find out what daily actions can cause this unpleasant condition and what we can do to keep these annoying inflammations under control.

You’re Not Eating Enough Fat

What Causes Chicken Skin, and 5 Ways to Get Rid of It

When trying to lose extra pounds, the first thing you often want to cut out of your diet is fat. But in reality, cutting out healthy fats can make you gain weight and make certain skin conditions worse.

When your body doesn’t get enough omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, it can contribute to skin inflammation, making these pesky bumps more visible.

What to do instead: Try to eat more foods rich in fatty acids. Nutritionists recommend including wild (uncultured) fish and grass-raised eggs in your diet.

You’re Using Harsh Body Scrubs

What Causes Chicken Skin, and 5 Ways to Get Rid of It

While daily exfoliation can help soften chicken skin, strong body scrubs can make the existing condition worse. Rough particles from scrubs can irritate the skin and cause itching and flaking.

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

You’re Taking Hot Showers

What Causes Chicken Skin, and 5 Ways to Get Rid of It©

Although hot baths do not cause swelling of the skin, staying in hot water for too long can make the condition worse. Taking a bath for a long time removes the natural oils from the skin, leaving it dry and irritated.

What to do instead: Take short, lukewarm showers and gently pat your skin dry to avoid further irritation. Bathing every other day can also help relieve symptoms.

You May Be Eating Too Much Dairy

What Causes Chicken Skin, and 5 Ways to Get Rid of It

Most of us can’t imagine a day without a cup of latte or cream, but dairy products often cause food sensitivities and can contribute to some unpleasant conditions, including chicken skin.

Many people develop intolerance to a protein found in dairy products over time, which can cause skin irritation, acne, and keratosis pilaris.

What to do instead: The good news is, you won’t have to completely eliminate dairy from your diet to combat chicken skin. Try to remove them for at least 6 weeks to see if the condition improves.

You’re Using Perfumed Soaps

What Causes Chicken Skin, and 5 Ways to Get Rid of It

Because chicken skin is caused by a build-up of keratin in the pores, comedogenic skin products can make it worse. Your favorite soap may smell like rose bushes, but it probably contains artificial additives that can clog pores and cause skin inflammation.

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

Have you ever tried chicken skin? Do you know more tricks that can help you get rid of it?

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