Dear Suffering KP Soul,
earing long sleeves in the summertime is such a pain, isn’t it?
You actually start praying for winter so that people will stop asking you why you’re wearing long sleeves… and then when you don’t, there comes the onslaught of questions.
You can feel them stare as they walk by your desk… at your arms or legs that are all red, rough, and bumpy.
“No, it’s not a rash,” you say, over and over again. “No, it’s NOT contagious!” as people look at you like you have a disease…
Until you finally get so fed up that you just stop wearing short sleeves. Or shorts. Or bathing suits.
You start hiding your skin behind long sleeves and pants year-round so that people don’t ask… and you don’t have to tell.
But that’s not where the torment stops…
You see a new dermatologist every month that your budget can afford it.
Each one says the same thing: It’s incurable, but I can prescribe you [insert insanely expensive, harsh chemical here] to help you manage it.
So you try the new chemical, if you can afford it. The new prescription doesn’t manage it.
Your hope continues to dwindle.
Maybe this new chemical does work for a little while… until the redness becomes worse, your skin starts peeling off, and you are so sensitive to the sun that just a few minutes outside means aloe vera gel for a week.
And then the whole cycle repeats… your bank account depletes… it’s summer again… and you just wish something would give.
… It’s too much, isn’t it?
Living with keratosis pilaris. It’s just too much.
I inherited keratosis pilaris (KP) from my mom.
I suffered with the redness… the rough skin… the bumps… for my entire life.
I know the embarrassing questions.
I know what it’s like to try to explain away your suspicious looking skin.
I get the awkward derm visits and expensive, harsh drugs and ointments and creams that only make things worse.
I remember as a little girl when my family would travel to the sunniest, most beautiful places on Earth for vacation, I was stuck inside or under an umbrella because of the drugs I was on.
As I grew older, I had a little hope that I would grow out of my KP.
That my skin would get smooth and clear…
That maybe I’d get to wear a strapless dress to my senior high school prom…
That I could start wearing a bikini without a giant, frumpy shirt over the top…
But, no such luck. As I grew older, my KP stuck around.
I felt like my skin controlled my life. It dictated what I wore… where I went… how long I could be outside… my budget… not to mention my romantic life.
I was so afraid to get close to a man because of my skin.
I was afraid he’d look at me like I was an alien… or some dirty, diseased creature…
I was alone and nothing was changing.
I finally reached the end of my rope after yet another dermatologist told me to use some new cream for my KP.
When I got to the pharmacy, they told me it would cost $137 for a tiny tube of ointment.
No way! I said, “Forget it!”
Steaming, I went home and began scouring the Internet for any remedy that could help… or even any information that could point to a remedy that could help.
I probably spent days on the computer, reading online forums, new dermatological studies, and any research I could get my hands on.
I knew what I was looking for. Something natural, inexpensive, and easy to use. Something that wouldn’t make my red skin worse and wouldn’t make it sensitive to the sun.
After my research marathon, I went straight to my organic grocery store and hit the shelves.
I began using different combinations of ingredients that I had read about… creating sprays, scrubs, and creams until I finally found something that worked.
I had done it.
I created a regimen that smoothed my rough and bumpy skin.
It got rid of the redness.
After just 3 days, I was seeing more dramatic results than any prescription cream I had ever foolishly bought.
After a week, I felt confident enough that my symptoms were under control.
I wore a tank top to go grocery shopping to test my confidence after 8 days of my new, all-natural regimen.
No one stared at my arms.
No one backed away from me like I had a scary, contagious disease.
In fact, no one looked at me at all.
It was like I was normal. For once in my life, I was actually normal!