Keratosis Pilaris

by Ann Marie Michaels on May 29, 2008

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Ugh! I have it, too! After I wrote that post this morning, I took a shower and looked at the backs of my arms. Not as bad as Seth — but I have it!

I knew I used to have it — and I think I used to have it a lot worse. But I still have it. Even after taking cod liver oil for 7 months now.

I guess it makes sense though. For one thing, I am trying to rebuild nutritional stores after having a baby — and they say it takes 3 years to do that.

Also, if I have low thyroid function like I think I do, then all the vitamin A I am consuming is probably going to my thyroid gland. Sally Fallon said the thyroid gland needs vitamin A more than any other gland.

So that settles it. We are having chicken liver pate tonight for dinner. With plenty of butter and bone marrow on our almond bread.

I told Seth we are going to eat chicken liver or duck liver pate at least once a week from now on. And I am going to order a bunch of liverwurst and Braunschweiger from US Wellness Meats. We need to up our liver intake!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

thEbru May 29, 2008 at 12:18 PM

How about local application of coconut oil on the affected area?

vitamin A could be absorbed through skin , as far as I know, like RetinA……



jaly May 29, 2008 at 3:03 PM

I know everyone is different and I’ve tried everything to get rid of mine (coconut oil, body brushing, using benign detergents, soaps and lotions). Nothing helped. I did notice on a test diet one doctor put me on, that cutting out dairy products made them vanish almost instantly. I seem to digest cheeses and butter well but the moment I cut them out of my diet, the bumps were gone and my thighs shrunk several inches. I shouldn’t be recommending this to a person who has a blog entitled, ‘Cheese Slave’ but what the heck. Others I know have tried it and it hasn’t worked for them so it seems the underlying cause varies from person to person.

That said, I still indulge in cheese occasionally regardless.


amanda May 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM

that is interesting about the dairy products being the culprit. i have had this for as long as i can remember and lately the bumps have seemed inflamed. i wonder if my consumption of at least a cup of cream a day is a bad idea. for the past 3 years i have taken a ton of A and it has not helped. i would be devastated to give up dairy since it is a really great source of fat for me. i also am TTc so i want all that fat.

i also recently discovered that the Raynaud’s syndrome i have had since i was 13 is an autoimmune disorder and i have been working nutritionally and supplementally to resolve that. but again, at least one source says to cut dairy except hard cheeses and butter. hmmm, tough decision and so frustrating!

ann marie, you should open a restaurant! i would love to go somewhere where i could get the kinds of foods you cook at home!


cheeseslave May 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Hi, Amanda,

If Raynaud’s is an auto-immune disorder, you might want to consider doing GAPS.

I also read online that Raynaud’s is often secondary to celiac disease — which makes sense — the bigger issue is that you can’t digest and absorb the nutrients since you have leaky gut.

It also makes sense why you are not absorbing the vitamin A.

But you could heal all of that with GAPS

Just some ideas…

Hey, thanks for the compliment! I would love to have a little restaurant… I’d also like to write another cookbook… we’ll see!


fightingwindmills May 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Ann Marie, please be careful with self diagnosis. It might not be true that you would have to eat even more liver to make the red bumps go away.


Shannon May 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Ann Marie,

If this is the bumps on the arms, my husband and son have that, too. Really, most of my husband’s family has it.

BUT, I think it is gut flora related. My son has had eczema off and on in his little 8 year life, which is gut related, but he also has the bumps on his arms. His eczema has been really, really mild because he doesn’t eat the trigger foods, but the other day it spread ALL over his legs for some weird reason. In the past I would have eliminated foods from his diet, because I was always looking to allergies as the cause of things, but NOW that I have read GAPS, I am looking to gut flora. It’s really hard to cut foods from a kid’s diet, so I gave him CO instead. He doesn’t like CO, but he cooperated. I gave him 1/2 tsp 3 times a day for 3 days and after the first day the eczema was really calmed down. BUT, all this to say that his bumps on his arms and legs got better, too. They didn’t totally clear up because I didn’t keep him on the CO. I would LOVE to give him CO everyday, but I won’t force him yet.

What is interesting with this, too, is that I have had him on Blue Ice CLO for a few months and that didn’t seem to help the bumps.

Anyway, a few thoughts.


cheeseslave May 29, 2008 at 7:01 PM

I don’t eat that much liver actually. I was taking the Solgar dessicated liver but I’ve stopped that due to the fear of arsenic poisoning. :-)

So I only take small bites of Kate’s chicken livers here and there.

No matter what, I could use more liver.


cheeseslave May 29, 2008 at 7:06 PM

Shannon, are the bumps you are talking about a rash or are they keratosis pilaris?

If they are keratosis pilaris, it actually makes sense to me that it is related to abnormal gut flora. If you don’t have adequate gut flora, you are not absorbing foods properly — especially if you have a leaky gut in addition to abnormal flora.

If you are not absorbing foods properly, it doesn’t matter how much cod liver oil you take — you won’t absorb it.

Gotta fix the gut first!


Alisue July 20, 2011 at 7:29 AM

It is amazing how a leaky gut affects your health, yep gotta fix the gut first!


amanda May 29, 2008 at 7:09 PM

thanks, ann marie, for the suggestions! for about 5 months i have been completely grain free per the suggestion of someone about autoimmune disorders. i have also been strictly sugar free and fruit free. i am trying to eat more meat, but i have a hard time imagining cutting out butter and cream!

since you have read the GAPS book, do they say anything about this diet being okay for pregnancy? i think i may be pregnant this cycle (finally) and i worry about that. but then again, from everything i have heard it is not an extremely restrictive diet, right?

also, i have read that i probably have, or at least had, leaky gut. but can a person heal that even if they are not doing a specific nutrition/supplement program? i have been working on my health for the past 3+ years since my son was born and i have taken a ton of supplements and have been very clean and intentional with what i eat.

sorry for all the question. :) i know you are not a doctor and maybe i should see one. i am just really skeptical about what they will say.


Carrie Thienes May 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM

Ann Marie,

I posted a really delicious way to eat beef liver (and I’m a recovering liver hater) on my blog. Let me know if you try it!!!



Paula May 29, 2008 at 8:47 PM

Hey, just wanted to mention how I am managing to eat liver.
Steve got his bear a few days ago, and we ground the organ meats with all the burger. Disguises it perfectly.
My stomach tries to empty itself, everytime I try liver. That flavor, no matter what recipe I have tried, does not agree with me.


Shannon June 5, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Ann Marie,

Yes, it is keratosis pilaris and not a rash. My son’s (8yo) had them since he was about 1 1/2. My husband’s had them his whole life, but my husband’s are much, much better, I think because we eat better now. I don’t want to be close-minded, but it seems that almost EVERYTHING can be traced back to and resolved in the GUT. :)


Ann Marie June 5, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Shannon, I think you are absolutely right! If you can’t digest food properly, you can’t absorb it and your body can’t utilize it. So you are right, I think — we have to start by healing the gut!

Ann Marie


Carys October 23, 2008 at 6:21 PM

I just looked up k.p. and wonder if it’s what I used to have on the outside and back of my upper arms. For me the bumps were related to eating grains, since every time I went low-carb (and thus grain-free), they disappeared, and every time I went back to eating a diet with whole grains, they came back. And generally (for me), those grains were gluten grains, since it was long before finding out gluten is not my friend.

Interesting to have a possible name for it.


cheeseslave October 23, 2008 at 7:03 PM

You know what Carys, this makes sense.

If you are allergic to gluten and/or grains, then as long as you were eating grains, your body would be less able to absorb nutrients. By cutting out grains, you increased absorption of nutrients, which would mean you would get more vitamin A.


A.S.Mathew February 25, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I am not going to be 65, never had any serious skin problem, other than
seasonal break up of rashes which was caused by atopic dermatitis. Two years
back, my face was turned very dry ( I do travel a lot and exposed to sun light)
and turned dark. Did many treatments, but now with a cap and regular
sun lotion application, it was under control. But, I was tormented with a skin
problem all over the body, again the culprit is the atopic dermatitis. By the
spring season, it began to break out, and the doctor gave me cortisone treatement which helped only very little. My back side of the body got infected,
too itchy, and I was suffering from this for the last few months. After taking a
bath (use purpose soap, one yellow color make by Neutrogena company),
right after the bath without drying the body much, I do apply Neutrogena body
oil (the main ingredient is sesame oil) and after applying the oil, I apply
Cethaphil cream. This treatment is helping me a lot and the skin color is
gradually truning to normal.

I also have Keratosis Pilaris, some times it gets worse. Now I have learned
the lessson that whenever I consume fast food, it gets worse within a few hours.
So, I am going to change the diet and see, how I can control Keratosis Pilaris.
When we visit a dermatologist, they never talk about our diet, but simply
prescribe one cream after another cream. As more fast food is available in
the market, more skin diseases are appearing. Our diet is the key factor to
control the diseases, especially the skin diseases.


Maggie August 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM

My daughter’s KP comes and goes reliably with exposure to gluten. She is very sensitive to it. Our skin is a major organ of elimination.


cheeseslave August 26, 2010 at 12:04 PM

That is interesting, Maggie. I didn’t have that happen but I know other people who said that when they went on GAPS their KP disappeared.


skj November 12, 2010 at 9:30 PM

so, the new quarterly journal of wise traditions addresses skin and KP. Sally says it’s classic sign of A deficiency and “in addition to taking CLO orally, mix CLO with evening primrose oil and rub on the affected area. avoid soaps and shampoos containing sodium lauryl sulfate.”


Karen Brimeyer May 14, 2011 at 7:58 PM

The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.


LeahS July 11, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I had to google it. I think I have that to some degree…


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