Several treatment options, such as using gentle soapless cleansers and applying over-the-counter moisturizers to affected areas, improve the dry appearance of keratosis pilaris, according to MedicineNet. Products that contain salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid treat more severe cases of keratosis pilaris. Patients need to wash the affected areas once or twice a day and only use mild products.
Roughly scrubbing the affected body parts can cause skin irritation and worsen the appearance of keratosis pilaris, as Mayo Clinic reports. Softly blotting or patting the skin with a towel after cleansing helps patients retain needed moisture. After a bath, applying moisturizer or lubricating cream that has petroleum jelly, lanolin or glycerin soothes irritated and dry skin. By applying products with lactic acid and urea twice each day, patients remove unneeded keratin from the skin's surface. Using a humidifier at home also helps to add necessary moisture.
Applying skin creams with vitamin D or tretinoin can help patients with keratosis pilaris, as detailed by MedlinePlus. Steroid creams are also recommended to reduce redness. While the condition can generally fade with time, it usually appears worse in winter before clearing up when the warmer months arrive.
When lotions and creams are unable to provide relief, laser treatment is sometimes used to reduce inflammation and redness, according to WebMD. Most patients require several sessions for this therapy to be effective.