The Best Home Remedies for Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition characterized by small bumps that look like acne and that usually appear on the cheeks, buttocks, legs and upper arms. The bumps may appear reddish or white and can become scaly and itchy.

For most people with this skin condition, which is also sometimes known as ‘chicken skin’ the symptoms usually disappear by age thirty.

Keratosis pilaris is caused by excessive production of keratin protein in the skin, which blocks hair follicles resulting in bumps that cause your skin to feel and look rough. The cause of excessive keratin production is unknown.

Genetics plays a role as a risk factor for this skin condition. Families with a history of dry skin conditions and eczema have a higher likelihood of having some members suffering from keratosis pilaris. Winter can also tend to worsen this skin condition.

While there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, people have generally gained relief using lotions and over-the-counter creams. Home remedies can also be effective at alleviating the symptoms of this skin condition.

Below are the best home remedies for keratosis pilaris.


Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has astringent properties and is therefore an excellent remedy for unclogging skin pores. Apple cider vinegar also has numerous health benefits. Here’s how to use this remedy...

Apply on the affected area and leave for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Do this at least two times daily until the bumps clear. Feel free to dilute the vinegar using water if irritates your skin.

Alternatively, mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil in equal parts and add a tablespoon of soy lecithin. Apply this on the affected area daily.

You may also prepare and drink apple cider vinegar once or twice a day. Simply mix one tablespoon of raw apple cider with a glass of water.


Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is rich in minerals and works perfectly to eliminate toxins, soften dry skin, relieve itching, minimize inflammation and even alleviate stress. Here’s how to use Epsom salt for your skin and overall wellbeing...

epsom salt and Keratosis Pilaris

Add One Cup Of Epsom Salt In Your Warm Bath Water And Soak In It For About 20 Minutes. Dry Your Skin And Moisturize With Coconut Oil. Repeat At Least Two Times A Week.

Alternatively, Mix A Handful Of Epsom Salt With A Tablespoon Of Olive Oil And Use This Mixture At Least Once A Week To Exfoliate Your Skin.

Caution: Do Not Use Epsom Salt If You Are Diabetic Or Suffer From High Blood Pressure Or Heart Problems.


Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a popular remedy and for good reason. Applying coconut oil on the affected area of the skin is an excellent way to moisturize and avoid scratching, which can aggravate the condition. Coconut oil is also packed with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. 

Apply a small amount of coconut oil on the affected area daily. Preferably you should do this soon after showering as your skin is still wet and is better placed to retain moisture.

Ingest one tablespoon of coconut oil each day and slowly increase consumption to three spoons daily.

Alternatively, you could exfoliate your skin with a homemade coconut scrub. Simply mix one part each of brown sugar and white sugar, two parts of coconut oil and add two teaspoons of honey. Gently exfoliate using this mixture before washing it off and moisturizing your skin. For best results exfoliate at least once a week.


Baking Soda

Baking soda also works perfectly as an exfoliate aiding to eliminate dead skin cells that cause blockage of the pores, thus helping to remove the bumps that are characteristic of keratosis pilaris. 

baking soda and Keratosis Pilaris

Make a paste by mixing two teaspoons of baking powder with enough water.

Apply the paste on damp skin, gently rubbing in circular motions.

Use warm water to rinse it off and then moisturize your skin.
 Do this at least two times a week.


Sour Cream

The lactic acid in sour cream helps in exfoliating the skin and eliminating the accumulation of keratin. The best thing about using sour cream for exfoliation is that it does not leave your skin feeling or looking dry.

sour cream and Keratosis Pilaris

Combine one teaspoon of white or brown sugar with two teaspoons of sour cream.

Use this as a scrub by gently rubbing it on your skin in circular motions.

Leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Do this at least twice a week.

In place of sour cream, you may use buttermilk or yogurt, which also contain lactic acid.


Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the best moisturizers and is especially helpful in alleviating the symptoms of keratosis pilaris. Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and when mixed with honey and sugar it makes for an excellent and moisturizing skin scrub. Here’s how it works...

Keratosis Pilaris and olive oil

Apply extra virgin oil on your skin at least once a day.

Alternatively, make a scrub by mixing two tablespoons each of sugar and extra virgin olive oil with one teaspoon of honey. Gently exfoliate your skin with this mixture before washing it off and moisturizing your skin.

Repeat this twice a week for best results.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the best home remedies for keratosis pilaris as it is formulated to help with repairing and rejuvenating the skin. Applying Vitamin E oil can help relive the bumps causes by keratosis pilaris and also enables the skin to retain moisture.

vitamin e and Keratosis Pilaris

Apply Vitamin E on damp skin at least two times a day.

Alternatively, you can break a Vitamin E and apply the contents topically on the affected area.

You could also mix several tablespoons of Vitamin E oil with your warm bath and soak in it for about 30 minutes. Do this at least three times a week for best results.



Oatmeal works to soothe dry skin and alleviate itchiness. You can use it to exfoliate your skin to eliminate the accumulation of dead skin cells and the bumps on your skin. Here’s how to use this remedy...

Keratosis Pilaris and oatmeal

In a food processor, grind 1/3 cups of oatmeal and add to your warm bath water.

Soak in the oatmeal-infused bath water for about 20 minutes. Repeat at least once a week.

Alternatively you could prepare a paste of one tablespoon of oatmeal and warm water. Rub this mixture on your skin and leave for about 15 minutes before rinsing off and moisturizing your skin.

Repeat at least twice a week.


Fish Oil

Fish oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are excellent in boosting overall skin health and soothing the bumps and dryness that come with keratosis pilaris. To extract the benefits of this home remedy for keratosis pilaris, do the following...

Ingest 1-3 grams of fish oil supplement every day. You may need to consult your doctor for the most suitable dosage.

Include fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout, salmon and tuna in your diet as these are rich in essential fatty acids. Try to consume fatty fish two times a week.

Caution: Be careful about consuming fish oil when on blood clotting medication. Consult with your doctor if this is your case.


Sea Salt

Sea salt can help to unclog pores and soothe rough skin. Sea salt is packed with minerals, which eliminate toxins from your skin to promote overall skin health.

 Combine half a cup of almond or grape seed oil, and one tablespoon of grapefruit essential oil with a cup of sea salt.

Apply this mixture on damp skin and gently scrub in circular motions.

Rinse off and moisturize your skin.Repeat this process at least twice a week.

Extra Tips for Taking Care of Skin with Keratosis Pilaris

In addition to using the above home remedies, you need to take extra care of your skin when you have keratosis pilaris to avoid aggravating the condition.

  • Avoid scratching the bumps. Instead, hydrate your skin with a moisturizer preferably one that is urea-based.
  • Prevent skin dryness by bathing with warm instead of hot water and keep your showers short.
  • Use an exfoliating foam pad or a pumice stone to gently eliminate dead skin cells.
  • Use a humidifier to infuse your home with moisture to keep your skin moist.
  • Given that keratosis pilaris is linked to vitamin A deficiency it is recommended that you add foods rich in essential fatty acids, and vitamins A and E to your diet.