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A common cause of bumpy skin

Doctors for USA WEEKEND

Everyone wants smooth skin, but some of us must deal with “chicken skin” on our buttocks, arms and thighs.

If the bumps are small and red, surrounded by dry, rough skin, and feel sort of like sandpaper, you probably have keratosis pilaris — a common condition that results from the buildup of keratin, a hard protein. Too much keratin in your skin will plug the opening of hair follicles; when hairs grow, bumps pop up. Keratosis pilaris tends to run in families; and, though not serious, it can take months to treat. 

Drugstore remedy. Moisturizing lotions or medicated skin creams that contain such ingredients as urea, lactic acid, salicylic acid or tretinoin can help the condition.

At-home remedy. To improve your skin’s appearance, you might try this recipe for a skin scrub: Mix olive oil and sugar to create a thick paste and rub it over the bumpy areas. The sugar helps exfoliate and break up the keratin, and the oil moisturizes.

Medical option. For more severe cases, ask your doctor about microdermabrasion or laser therapy.

The Doctors is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork, plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon, health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels and psychologist Wendy Walsh. Check www.thedoctorstv.com for local listings.

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