Keratosis Polaris…

When Mabel was around a year and a half old, I noticed a bumpy rash on her upper arms and upper thigh area. It never seemed to bother her but I took her to the dermatologist and it was diagnosed as Keratosis Polaris .  Also known as KP, it is a common skin condition diagnosed in about 40% of the population. Who knew!

KP looks like tiny white or red bumps, which appear on the arms and legs and feels very dry. It’s not contagious, just exasperating as there’s no real cure for it. Only self-care measures like a hydrocortisone or alpha hydrox creams  seems to help keep it at bay.

I’ve dealt with eczema as a child and always had a weird rash or two. So, hearing that KP is hereditary, it probably came from my lineage. Sorry Mabes 🙁

The dermatologist prescribed a hydrocortisone cream for me to apply if I noticed she was scratching the irritated area. I wasn’t crazy about that idea so I started to investigate and discovered that lots of experts agreed that Alpha Hydrox creams work well.

It’s not contagious, just exasperating as there’s no real cure for it...

I used it—reluctantly–for a while, but didn’t love the idea of rubbing this into Mabel’s skin either. And to be quite honest, I didn’t really notice any significant change.

So I decided to go back to my old faithful– raw coconut oil . I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it sooner, given that coconut oil is something that I’ve always used and I am very aware of its natural and visible benefits.

I applied it to Mabel after bath time that evening. The following morning I noticed a huge difference in the texture of Mabel’s skin. The pin sized dry dots on Mabel’s arms had decreased by easily 40% and her skin felt much smoother. Not healed but what an improvement! One day I hope Mabel might outgrow KP. But until then I will stick with using raw coconut oil. I love that I can keep it under control with something I trust and that is natural.

Anyone else battling KP? What have you done for it?


Emma xx

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Liza says:

My 7 month old son may have this too. The doctor diagnosed him with eczema but nothing seems to make it better and the symptoms sound the same as your daughter. Would love to hear any suggestions! I’ll have to try coconut oil as nothing has really helped.

Emma Heming Willis says:

Mabel has a bit of eczema in her arm creases as well. So I use coconut for it all. Is it healed, no. BUT its the only thing I’ve used to finally notice a big difference. Hope you see some results with it!

Reannine Teer says:

I had it as a child and now my kids do. I tried coconut oil and also noticed a huge improvement!!!! I recently read that kP has been attributed to gluten intolerance. Maybe I’ll try omitting it from my diet to see if it helps!

Emma Heming Willis says:

I’ve read that too. I really try to watch their intake but sometimes its hard to be so strict about it. But I will try it again and see if I notice a big difference. xx

rosetta patafie says:

Hi Emma! Yes coconut oil! Love it too and works. My daughter is a hairdresser and uses it on her hands because she gets eczema on her fingers works fantastic! Just wondering if when you respond to a comment it would send to my email??

Emma Heming Willis says:

It’s just the best thing I’ve found. I think coconut oil is the cure for everything these days!
I’m updating the blog so I think in time there might be a way through email but not at the moment

rosetta patafie says:

Thank you for responding that woukd be great if it tagged our email address. It’s our canadian thanksgiving here in Canada. Yah long weekend!! Lots of food family and Love ♡ we are Italian so we will be having turkey but there is always Pasta too!! Have a great weekend too. Xx

Emma Heming Willis says:

FUN!! Happy Thanks!!!! xxxx

Wendy R says:

Hi Emma – haven’t you been a busy blogger! I can hardly keep up 🙂 My little man seems to suffer from these same little bumps from time to time and my father suffers badly from eczema so we’ve been using a product called Caroline’s Cream. Made here in Western Australia and quite a well known product in Australia – it’s got a fairly strong almondy smell, but we pretty much swear by it for anything like this. If anyone is interested have a look at their website – but a word of warning don’t just google carolines cream – I ended up on a very unfortunate website from that search!!
Wendy xx

Emma Heming Willis says:

Haha Lol I won’t!! But I’ll try this too!
I love coconut oil but will never turn my nose up to other suggestions! Thanks!

Regina says:

Hi Emma! I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog about KP. My daughter also has those pesky little white bumps on her arms and legs and I’ve been hesitant about taking her to the dermatologist because I just knew they would tell me to use hydrocortisone cream. Where do you get the raw coconut oil? Do you prefer a particular brand? Thanks for your help!

Emma Heming Willis says:

Here’s one that I’ve used and liked….
Hope it helps!!

rosetta patafie says:

Thanks Emma! It was a great day! My friend is having a baby in 2 weeks lots of cool stuff!! I will share some stuff or ideas if different from yours. I will private message you on FB if needed. Hoping you get those messages on FB.::)

Emma Heming Willis says:

How fun! You can pass this link to her 🙂 My Newborn Essential link. That’s a good one I think…

rosetta patafie says:

I definitely will !!! Thank you Emma !

Jennifer says:

I have KP on my arms also and what works amazingly well is a cream with lactic acid – I buy Amlactin in the drug store, CVS. It does sting a little bit so for a child maybe a more gentle option would be preferred!

Emma Heming Willis says:

Thank you! I did try it and it did sting her. Have you tried Coconut Oil yet? But happy to hear that Amlactin is working for you!

Stacy says:

I was reading about you on Crickets Circle and decided to check out your blog. I have a 5 month old. My daughter does not luckily have Kp but I got it after giving birth. Crazy! Thank you so much I thought there was nothing I could do!!!

Emma Heming Willis says:

Well I’m happy this helped you! Sorry to hear about your KP. Isn’t it such a pain?! I haven’t found the cure but it has helped my daughter a lot. Good luck!

Francesca says:

I’ve never really battled with any derm issues, nor have I ever heard of KP until reading this post, but I am a lover of Macadamia Nut Oil. Like coconut oil, it has a bazillion amazing benefits for skin, hair, etc. I learned about MNO while traveling through Central America with my husband. We visited a local farm in Antigua, Guatemala and instantly fell in love with the products. I always keep a jar of the oil for skin moisturizer and hair treatments, but I bet it could be as effective or maybe more than the CO. Just an idea 🙂 The website for the farm in Guatemala is The farm owners are amazing people with a great story and the work they do organically and for their community is wonderful as well. If you try MNO, please let me know how it goes! I would definitely be interested!

Emma Heming Willis says:

Wow this is great!! Thank you!! Just ordered some :):)

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