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How to get rid of chicken skin

Concerned about spots on the back of your arms for your wedding? Here's what they are and how to get rid of them.

Ask any bride what part of their body they’re most concerned about is, and the chances are they will reply “my arms”, especially if they’ve chosen a strapless style.

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More specifically, they tend to be concerned with lumps or spots on the back of their arms, which affects many of us and is commonly called “chicken skin”, although its proper name is Keratosis Pilaris.

Want to know what it means and how to get rid of it for your big day? We asked Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist at Woodford Medical, to help. 

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What is chicken skin?

Keratosis Pilaris is a rough coarseness of the skin with many small bumps, either white or red in colour. The raised bumps represent small blockages in the entrance to the hair follicles. It has a strong family history, often with several members of a family affected. Common areas affected are the upper arms, thighs and cheeks. Thankfully it is entirely harmless and the condition may eventually disappear.

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How do you get rid of it?

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The best treatments involve using a cleanser like Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser (£27.50, epionce.co.uk) that contains salicylic, a type of beta hydroxy acid that encourages the removal of debris sitting on the skin and in the pore. For more resistant cases, applying Epionce Lytic TX Lotion (£50.50, epionce.co.uk) at night helps to remove the bumps and dampen any redness. Active ingredients in this include salicylic and azelaic acids which have a gentle exfoliating and anti-inflammatory action.