Keratosis Pilaris & Diet

What have you eaten today?

At a basic level, we all know that food is fuel; but do you know how your meals and snacks today have or will affect your skin?

We present this question because it’s important to remember that what you feed your body affects your entire system – including your skin.

For some individuals who live with keratosis pilaris (KP), making small tweaks or completely overhauling one’s diet for the better may prove to play a positive role in treating and successfully managing KP symptoms.

The Connection Between Keratosis Pilaris & Your Diet

The topics of keratosis pilaris and diet and keratosis pilaris and gluten are growing in discussion, but their current states remain largely based on personal experiences and dermatologist recommendations.

To date, there are no published studies that have assessed the role of nutrition in treating KP. Therefore, there is no definitive connection. However, dermatologists, medical doctors and researchers have done studies on other skin conditions that are related to KP.

From this, some medical experts believe that a poor diet or certain foods – like ones that contribute to inflammation and/or leaky gut (like gluten) – can exacerbate certain KP symptoms in some individuals, and with dietary manipulation, KP can improve.

In addition, because the skin is the body’s largest organ, a diet that fuels nutrient deficiencies, increased inflammation, hormonal imbalances, allergies, food sensitivities, and other issues, certainly has the potential to cause or intensify various skin conditions – including KP.

So, whether there is hard evidence or not about the connection between KP and one’s diet, it’s always a good idea to foster a clean diet to support vibrant, healthy skin and avoid other skin issues, like breakouts, dry skin, and others.

Important Insights on Keratosis Pilaris and Gluten

It should be noted that there are also no studies that indicate a direct correlation between keratosis pilaris and gluten ingestion, but keratosis pilaris is associated with vitamin A and essential fatty acid deficiency.

Both of these conditions can occur with impaired absorption.

With this being said, if you live with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, your keratosis pilaris flare-ups may be occurring if you are consuming gluten in your diet and have ongoing inflammation or malabsorption, according to Dr. Amy Burkhart, M.D., R.D..1

Types of Foods to Avoid If You Have Keratosis Pilaris, According to Medical Experts

Holistic dermatologist, Alan Dattner, M.D.,2 and internal medicine and rheumatology specialist, Dr. Erin Carter,3 recommend removing or adding the following types of food to potentially improve keratosis pilaris symptoms:

Due to some of the substances that make up most grains, like high omega 6, lectin, phytic acid, and gliadin content, grains can cause damage to one’s intestines. In some individuals, and depending on how much grain is consumed, certain issues can surface – such as leaky gut syndrome, a decrease in vitamin and mineral absorption, and an increase of inflammation throughout the body – including the skin.

It’s very common for individuals to have food sensitivities to grains – especially gluten. As noted above, many skin conditions, including KP, can be caused or aggravated by food sensitivities to grains and gluten.

In addition to food sensitivities to grains, food sensitivities, allergies or an intolerance to casein or dairy are also very common.

For individuals with these dairy-specific conditions – especially unknowingly – consuming dairy may irritate the skin and cause irritating issues like eczema, acne, and KP flare-ups.

While there are currently no published studies that specifically look at sugar intake and keratosis pilaris, dermatologists collect plenty of anecdotal evidence that highlights the elimination of sugars and high glycemic index foods (like grains) from a diet and the reduction of KP symptoms.

Foods to Add to Your Diet to Potentially Improve Keratosis Pilaris, According to Medical Experts

Omega 3 Foods
Omega 3 fatty acids are key to skin health. Omega 3 supplementation has been found to help treat acne, psoriasis, eczema and a number of other health conditions. Eating foods high in omega 3 fatty acids can also help with this and help balance and calm inflammation caused by certain foods.

Grassfed beef, wild fish, and pasture raised eggs are all great sources of omega 3 foods.

Foods High in Vitamin A and D
Because both of these essential vitamins encourage healthy skin cell production, foods such as salmon, hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, mushrooms, and more will benefit the skin and potentially reduce KP symptoms.

Additionally, there is some evidence that vitamin A deficiency can cause Phrynoderma – a skin condition that is related to KP and involves keratin.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to acne and many tie-in KP symptoms.

Foods High in Vitamin E
Vitamin E has shown to be effective at treating atopic dermatitis and can help protect the skin against sun damage by acting as an antioxidant. Healthy foods that are high in vitamin E and may reduce KP symptoms include almonds, hazelnuts, green leafy vegetables, and more.


Before Making Changes to Your Diet, Consult with Your Doctor

The information above must not be taken as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other health care provider. Before making any changes to your diet or vitamin intake – or if you have specific questions about a skin or medical matter – consult with your doctor first.


Exfoliating Skincare with Hydration is STILL the Mainstay of KP Treatment

For most individuals living with keratosis pilaris, eating different foods that benefit the skin (and removing others that don’t) may very well have the potential to improve KP symptoms. A transformative diet, however, probably won’t be enough for everyone.

While keratosis pilaris is certainly a frustrating skin condition, KP-prone skin can improve by preventing certain symptoms from returning with the addition of a specific, KP-focused skincare approach.

Keratosis pilaris treatment must be a two-step process – first, to soften and remove dead skin cells and, second, to prevent additional dead skin and future plugged follicles through superior hydration.

While there is an abundance of over-the-counter KP creams, as well as other dermatologic therapies – such as steroids, alpha-hydroxy creams, retinoic acid therapies and others – treating KP doesn’t have to be chemical-heavy, expensive, or a guessing game as to whether a certain treatment will work or not.

There is an easy, straightforward approach:

Pair a Proper Diet with a Smart Skincare Routine: Discover ReTone’s 2-Step Keratosis Pilaris Therapy

Unlike other KP therapies, ReTone’s breakthrough home treatment tackles both exfoliation and moisturization in one, all-encompassing kit.

Uniting only naturally occurring, yet incredibly impactful ingredients that reduce and
prevent the signature marks of keratosis pilaris, our KP treatment will help your skin
start to feel anew and appear smoother, softer and more supple.

Since KP is a common, albeit frustrating, genetic skin condition, there is no definitive
cure. The ReTone formula, however, was created for daily use to stop the buildup of
keratin in the hair follicle and prevent the formation of rough, hard plugs that are the
culprits of the dry, bumpy, inflamed, red look.

Discover ReTone’s Keratosis Pilaris Essentials and try worry-free with our money-back guarantee:

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1 Amy Burkhart M.D., R.D. Gluten Causes Keratosis Pilaris (a.k.a. “Chicken Skin”): Fact or Myth? Accessed August 6, 2019.

2 Mind Body Green. How to Treat Keratosis Pilaris With Simple Diet Changes & Natural Skin Care Products. Accessed August 6, 2019.

3 Pure and Simple Nourishment. How to Heal Keratosis Pilaris with Diet. Accessed August 6, 2019.