Shaving inflamed skin is no one's idea of a good time.  If you suffer from chronic ingrown hairs, it can be incredibly painful to shave on the affected skin.  People with ingrown hairs frequently also suffer from a related skin disease called Keratosis Pilaris or KP.  In this skin condition, hair gets trapped under the skin, and a skin plug forms on top creating a multitude of bumps all over the body part affected.  Keratosis Pilaris most commonly occurs on the backs of arms and legs but can spread to any area on your body.  Over the counter treatments only go so far to treat Keratosis Pilaris.  Here are three potent dermatological treatments that minimize or get rid of Keratosis Pilaris altogether.

1. Prescriptions Chemical Exfoliants

The skin bumps on top of the ingrown hairs are made up of keratin, an excess protein produced by your own body.  Prescription exfoliating treatments that come in the form of lotions and creams will break up the keratin, soften the bumpy skin, and free the trapped hair from affected follicles. 

  • A lotion with a high concentration of uric acid is a great aid in minimizing KP.  Ask your dermatologist for urea cream that contains 40% urea.
  • Retinoids commonly prescribed for acne and wrinkles also help remove dead skin cells and smooth out the bumpy skin

Try to stay out of the sun when using prescription exfoliants.  Your skin is especially sensitive and prone to damage.  When you do go out, always remember to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days.

2. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic or blue-light therapy is a two step process which destroys the upper layers of skin and can quickly get rid of KP on large parts of your body.  The dermatologist applies a photo-sensitizing cream on the affected area and then skin is exposed to a certain wavelength of light.

It does take a few days for the skin to recover from PDT and you have to stay indoors for 48 hours after treatment.  This is great way to eliminate bumpy skin before a big event like a prom, wedding, or graduation day.  Just schedule the treatment a month before the event to give your skin the time to recover and look its best.

3. Laser Hair Removal

If you have a severe form of Keratosis Pilaris, laser hair removal may be the best option for you.  The dermatologist will examine your skin and select the right laser for your skin color and type.  Even with a few laser treatments, the hair becomes finer and is less likely to grow back into the skin. 

Dealing with Keratosis Pilaris is no walk in the park.  Talk to your dermatologist who will be able to recommend the right treatment based on the severity of your KP. To learn more, contact a company like Greater Des Moines Dermatology, P.C. with any questions or concerns you have.