Helping keratosis pilaris with essential oils

When I was about eight years old, I noticed that my arms were getting bumps on them that other people’s arms didn’t have. They may have been there from a younger age, but that is when I started paying attention to them. These red bumps made me self-conscious about wearing sleeveless shirts even though I lived in a warm part of the South. My arms felt rough and had red spots all over them that I would pick at, looking pretty much like this the arm in this image:

My mom tried to help. She took me to an allergist who called this condition Keratosis Pilaris and made what I called a “witch’s brew” in order to freeze the bumps. It was scary and a little painful, but I would be so hopeful that it would help. My arms would be somewhat smoother for a short while, but then they go back to what, for me, was normal. No one ever mentioned to me that the rash on my arms might indicate an allergy. I think they didn’t know that was the case any more than I did.

The rash on my arms didn’t change as I got older. I came to believe there was nothing to be done for them and tried to ignore them. This was just what my arms looked like. When I was in my 30s and discovered that I needed to go off of gluten products for the sake of my digestion, more than my stomach started changing. Along with joint pain starting to lessen, I started to notice my arms were feeling smoother. I would walk around rubbing my upper arms, especially the left one, marveling that it didn’t feel so rough.

While my arms never became completely smooth, I was very pleased with the improvement of the rash. After about a year completely off of gluten products, my arms seemed to be as smooth as they were going to get. I was happy with them, especially since I hadn’t known they would ever be any different than they were when I was growing up.

A couple of months ago, though, I started doing research on essential oils to help my son’s eczema. After I had treated him with a rotation of different oils to help the inflammation and extreme dryness he was experiencing, I would take the extra oil that was on my hands and rub them on my arms. The very first night I tried this, I woke up calling to my husband, “Feel my arms! Feel my arms!” Smoother in one night? I felt amazed.

I have continued using this rotation of oils and my arms have continued to heal. They are still not perfect. In fact, I wonder if I have some scarring from having the rash for so long, but they have never felt smoother. I feel much less self conscious about how my arms look and feel, though. I had been happy with the improvement that had already occurred, but am so very pleased that essential oils could take the healing to a new level.

As an added benefit, my hands are looking younger than they did a couple of months ago. Maybe I should write an entire post about this in the future, but they are definitely more supple than they were.

Oils I have used on my arms and hands, all mixed with either almond oil or fractionated coconut oil:







This entry was posted in geranium, lavender, melaleuca, oregano. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Helping keratosis pilaris with essential oils

  1. Christal DeLoach says:

    As someone who has dealt with keratosis pilaris for many years, I understand the frustration of not knowing which way to turn. Some say scrub and exfoliate while others say use anti-dandruff shampoo. I have found that the best way to address this condition is from the inside-out.

    Christal DeLoach
    “Optimizing Your Mind Body & Spirit”

    • Andrea says:

      I agree, Christal. That seems to be true for so many things. If we treat only what is visible on the outside, we are forgetting to look for what is the root cause on the inside. It was enlightening for me to realize that I had any control over this rash that has always been on my arms.

  2. Theresa says:

    My son has the same keratosis pilaris on his arms. He hates the feel of lotion and he also picks at the skin and has all sorts of scars. I have wondered if his skin issue is due to a food allergy; since there are so many GMO wheat products…an allergy to wheat could be the problem with him also.

    I would like to try your rotation of oils for his condition, and I just wanted to ask a couple of questions. Just to clarify, you don’t mix all of the essential oils together? How much essential oil do you use? Do you just mix a small batch before each application in your hands? Like a bit of almond oil in your palm with a drop or two of essential oil?

    Thank you for any assistance you may give.

    • Andrea says:

      Theresa, Thank you for your response. My body has responded very, very favorably to removing foods I am allergic to. We did mix the oil/oils with a carrier oil each night. I will email you at the yahoo email with more details.

      • Amy says:

        I would truly appreciate the above information specifics too as both of my boys struggle with this. Thanks!!

        • Andrea says:

          Hi, Amy! Thank you for making a comment here. There are so many essential oils that can be used to help with keratosis pilaris. I really believe the first step is to look at diet since a large number of our allergies originate from our gut. For me, I eliminated gluten which made a big difference and am working still on figuring out my allergies. As for eo that can help, there is a large list for skin conditions: lavender, frankincense, immortelle, cedarwood, geranium, melaleuca, sandalwood, helichrysm, and even more. For me, I played around with several of these. Do you have some doterra oils? If not, I would be happy to show you how to get a kit that has a variety of oils or how to order individually (both at a 25% discount). The oil that works the best for my arms now is the helichrysm. I will take 1-2 drops and place it in a tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and just rub it all over my arms. It is wonderful. Cedarwood has just been released and I think will be a great addition to what I use on my arms. Each person is different though, and a willingness to play around a little will help you find what is just right for your boys.

      • Heather says:

        Can you please send me the rotation and specifics you used. I would love to try this on my son. Thank you.

        • Andrea says:

          Hello, Heather! Thank you for your email. The very first thing I did was to stop eating gluten and that made a big difference. If you look at the list of oils, I began with about 2 drops of lavender added to about one tsp of doterra’s fractionated coconut oil. For a young child, I might start with 1-2 drops, but 3 would be more than is necessary. Then I tried the other oils listed. After these I added a rotation of helichrysm. For me, the lavender and helichrysm did the most good. It was important for me to work through all these oils to see what would work best with my chemistry. I was just trying to use oils that were good for skin in general. I would suggest starting with the oils you have that are listed for helping skin. Try them one at a time and just check it each morning. For me they all helped but some helped more than others. Please let me know if you need any help ordering. I would love to hear back how this works for your son. All the best… Andrea

  3. Trina says:

    I am interested in your “recipe” for what you used on your arms. I have dealt with them my whole life and now my 7 yr old has them worse than I did. I define want to try this!!! Thank you!

  4. Rebecca says:

    I’m interested in the “recipe”, too! Thank you for posting.

  5. Andrea says:

    Thanks for your comment, Rebecca! I have continued to play with these oils on my arms. I really do think you have to use them to see how they interact with your specific chemistry. For me, I have 3 favorite oils for my skin: lavender, helichrysm and frankincense. I will take one or two drops of one or two of these oils and add them to fractionated coconut oil on my palm and rub them all over my arms. I love how my skin feels now and the small red marks that I had thought were scars are even going away.

  6. Melanie says:

    I am also wondering if I can get your recipe. TY!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi, Melanie! Thank you for the comment. I place about 1 tsp. of fractionated coconut oil in my hand with 1 drop of helichrysm and 1-2 drops of lavender. Sometimes I add 1 drop of frankincense instead of the lavender. For me, the helichrysm has been the “magic” oil. My skin just loves it. My arms are so smooth compared to what they ever used to be. I probably put this on my skin every 3 nights or so. It was every night at the beginning.

  7. Tricia Van Handel says:

    I came across this article a few weeks ago and decided to try it! I’ve been battling KP for years. At one point I was putting oxy on it. The fractionated coconut oil is helping a lot. I have to be careful about oils I use bc a few give me migraines. I go ever other day with plain, oregano and wintergreen. I havent tried the helichrysm yet but the smell worries me.

    • Andrea says:

      I’m glad you are having some improvements, Tricia! I thought helichrysm smelled funny at first, but it has become a favorite oil! I think knowing how much it helps makes it smell nicer. :)

  8. Tonia says:

    Please send me the information you have about your oil regimen and other information about keratosis pilaris. My daughter, son and I both have this condition. Are you in NC by any chance?


    • Andrea says:

      Hi, Tonia! Thank you for commenting. I am, in fact, in NC. It took a lot of experimentation to find what worked the best on my skin. Over time, I tried all the oils that had the best skin healing properties. For me, the best combinations have included helichrysm, lavender and cedarwood. I use maybe a teaspoon of a fractionated coconut oil and 2-3 total drops of essential oils. Helichrysm is my favorite. My arms feel and look soooo much smoother. Everybody’s body chemistry is different, though, and it takes time to find the oils that work best for you.

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