How to Reduce Keratin Production


Increased keratin production is responsible for a condition called keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris symptoms include hardened dry bumps that have a yellow hue at the surface of the skin. The yellow hue is a result of keratin that has hardened under the skin's surface to form a plug. Removing the plug or exfoliating may worsen this condition, as it is not a bacterial infection, such as with acne. In order to decrease keratin production, it is important to follow your dermatologist's instructions carefully and use all medications as directed.

Step 1

Apply lactic-acid containing products to the keratin overproduction site twice daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, lactic acid softens and inhibits overproduction of keratin in the skin. Lactic-acid based moisturizers and creams are available over the counter at your local pharmacy or beauty supply store.

Step 2

Moisturize the skin daily after bathing. Moisturizers containing urea, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, tretinoin or vitamin D may be recommended by your dermatologist, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Daily moisturizing may take several months to improve the condition and symptoms may return should you discontinue use.

Step 3

Apply cortisteroid creams as directed by your dermatologist. These are prescription anti-inflammatory creams that reduce keratin cell turnover and decrease inflammation of the skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, cortisteroids are for short-term use only as longer-term use can aggravate the skin, causing excessive dryness and other irritations.

Step 4

Opt for a prescription topical retinoid. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A complex and help prevent clogging of follicles. According to the Mayo Clinic, retinoids may be an effective treatment, but skin dryness and irritation may occur in individuals with sensitive skin.

Step 5

Run a humidifier in your home throughout the day. This keeps moisture in the air, preventing your skin from drying out and overproduction of keratin within the skin. The Mayo Clinic suggests using a portable humidifier that can be attached to your home furnace. This allows for even moisture distribution throughout the entire home instead of just one room.

Things You'll Need

  • Lactic acid

  • Moisturizer

  • Cortisteroid cream

  • Retinol

  • Portable humidifier

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