keratosis pilaris and electrolysis

Hi- I am currently getting electrolysis on my upper arms, where in addition to having dark hairs, I also have keratosis pilaris, a condition that causes little red bumps to line the skin.
Does anybody know how electrolysis affects these bumps?
Thank you!

Performing electrolysis should not be a problem, since it is not an infectious disease.

Keratosis pilaris is a common, mild hereditary skin problem where the horny part of the skin accumulates at the hair follicle opening. The keratin (horny substance)provides a protective toughness to the entire surface of the body. Just think of keratin as body armour and your body armour is working overtime on your upper arms. I have not seen any documentation that electrolysis causes keratosis pilaris to worsen. Your dermatologist, who can see your problem, should be the final source for advice.

Therapy for Keratosis pilaris can be difficult. The skin is very dry, but emollients help. Bathing less frequently and using soaps such as Dove, Aveeno, Basis, Neutrogena help, followed by liberally applying emollients such as Keri lotion or cream, Nivea skin oil or cream, Eucerin lotion or cream, just to name a few. If you can work to decrease the dryness of your skin in this area, then electrolysis can work better. Dry skin often means we need to increase the intensity to destroy the hair.

Everbody reacts differently to electrolysis, so if you’re concerned about long term reaction, do the proverbial test spot and wait to see how the small area recovers. If you are too far into treatments and things are going well for you, go for it.



I posted on this a while back. Traditional treatment for KP consists of alternating between moisturizing and peeling the skin. It’s very tricky to achieve a balance between those two seemingly contradictory methods… I have been using Neutrogena Skin Smoothing body lotion (under $10 for an 8.5 oz bottle). It contains:

  • moisturizer
  • SPF 15 sunscreen
  • alpha-hydroxy acid peeling agent

Basically, the peel and moisturizer all in one. It’s worked as well as Retin-A plus moisturizer for me, and it’s much more convenient.

My opinion is that electrolysis can’t hurt the keratosis pilaris, and the lack of hair might even help keep the pores from plugging. I have not yet had any treatment to test this theory, though!

Best of luck,

Edit: Check out for more information. I’m not very involved there but there is a ton of information. Exfoliating aggressively should also help the KP.

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Hi HTKY- It seems this is turning into a KP thread!
I have been to as well as many other sites which address this annoying condition.
It’s interesting what you said about retin-a versus neutrogena. My doctor gave me retin-a which really smoothed out the bumps for a while, but about 3 weeks into treatment, the bumps cam back. Do you suggest trying neutrogena? Also, doesn’t aggressive buffing worsen the bumps?
Thank you!

Exfoliating should help release the plugs, but you have to do what works for you! The Retin-a worked for me, Retin-a Micro did nothing at all…