5 Things NOT to do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris

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If you have a child with keratosis pilaris, eczema (atopic dermatitis) or sensitive skin condition, you’ve probably read quite a bit online about what to do to treat your child’s skin.

From creams to scrubs, and vitamins to allergy medicines…

You’ve likely been bombarded with hundreds of methods to try. We’re talking about keratosis pilaris tips, products and advice daily in our Facebook group, KP Collective (you can join for free!). But what should you AVOID?5 Things NOT to do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris | KPKids.net

Hopefully, you’ve found a cleansing and moisturizing method, or a great product that works (like our favorite household staple, Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo). If not, keep trying. Every child’s skin can be so different.

See what we’re using in our home to treat our family’s keratosis pilaris here: Keratosis Pilaris Products in Our Home. And don’t forget to grab your free KP Tip Sheet with 10 Things You can do Today to Improve Your Child’s KP.

It’s also important to note a few things to NOT do (and to avoid) to keep your child’s skin smooth and healthy.  Let’s go over our mom-tested Top 5 Things NOT to do for Keratosis Pilaris in Kids…


1. Do NOT scratch or pick at their skin, especially when the skin is dry.

Every day, every hour, your child’s skin loses moisture. It dries out. Dry skin becomes itchy and tight, which will exacerbate any skin conditions, like keratosis pilaris, eczema or sensitive skin. Avoid scratching or picking at any affected areas (and remind your child not to scratch as well), or scrubbing your child’s skin excessively while bathing, to prevent even more moisture loss, scarring or inflammation.  It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that is hard to break, but establishing a good habit of no scratching is extremely helpful. However, less skin damage is done if the scratching is done through clothing rather than to bare skin.

Some of our KP friends swear by the Konjac Sponges for Babies for very light itches and bathing. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Konjac Sponge (3 Pack) – Baby Bath Sponges for Babies and Sensitive Skin – For Face & Body (Misc.)

List Price: $24.99 USD
New From: $11.97 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock


Join the KP Collective, our private Facebook group, for KP tips and advice from parents just like you (it’s free!).


2. Do NOT skip bathing.

Natural-Skin-Care-Tips-For-BabyMany parents think that fewer baths means less moisture lost in their child’s sensitive skin, when in fact, moisture care starts with bathing.

While some experts may disagree on the ideal frequency of bathing a child with sensitive skin, most will agree that baths and showers should be short in duration and a bit cooler in temperature.

Tell those teenagers to make it quick, because prolonged showers can actually deplete their skin of that much-needed natural skin oil. Cleansing and scrubbing should be extremely gentle and cleansers should be as mild as possible (which is why we recommend so many “baby” and organic products).

By far, our most popular product we suggest is Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo. Other awesome favorites we love are Cetaphil Baby Ultra Moisturizing Wash and California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Body Wash (my kids really LOVE all the CB products).

Aquaphor Baby Wash & Shampoo 13.5 Fluid Ounce (Health and Beauty)

List Price: $8.29
New From: $16.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash with Organic Calendula, 7.8 Ounce (Baby Product)

List Price: $5.99 USD
New From: $4.72 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Bodywash – 19 oz (Baby Product)

List Price: $22.39
New From: $24.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock


See what we use to treat our kids’ keratosis pilaris —> Keratosis Pilaris Products in Our Home.


3. Do NOT forget to apply a moisturizer or emollient.

Moisture is key. Let me say it again, moisture is key.

Apply it every day, after every bath, and especially before bedtime (when it has plenty of time and warmth to soak in). The thicker the formulation of any moisturizer, or emollient, the better it will add moisture back into your child’s skin. If your child is scratching, it’s time to reapply.

And my best advice is to find the BEST available product to get the most out of your time and effort, which usually means ointments (like Aquaphor) work better than creams, creams (like Eucerin) work better than lotions. The thicker, the better, is a good rule to remember and keep fragrances to a minimum.

For teens who don’t want to use “baby” products, we suggest Amlactin Hydrating Body Cream or Dermadoctor KP Duty.  And I keep these little guys tucked everywhere.

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant, 14 Ounce (Health and Beauty)

List Price: $14.97 USD
New From: $12.79 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme 5.0 Ounce (Health and Beauty)

List Price: $7.47 USD
New From: $7.47 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock


Learn 10 things you can do in the next 24 hours to improve your child’s keratosis pilaris.


4. Do NOT forget to use sunscreen.

smiling kids with KP | www.kpkids.netI repeat… do NOT forget sunscreen. Sun exposure can be HARD on the healthiest of skin. Be sure that your child’s sensitive skin is protected with the best sunscreen for kids and apply it often.

Regardless of the season, the sun’s rays can cause excessive dry skin and sunburn. Read ingredients and choose a gentle sunscreen for face and a sunscreen for body that will moisturize and protect their skin (like Alba Botanica below).

Remind teenagers to reapply sunscreen often, because many teens love to sunbathe and build their tan.  Sunscreen is a great skin protectant and moisturizer, so remind them to use it daily.  Because what does red, sunburned skin make them want to do? Scratch! And that’s no good (see tip #1).

For babies and young children, we suggest Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen 50+ and Alba Botanica Very Emollient Kids Sunscreen (it’s rich!).

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, 3oz (Health and Beauty)

List Price: $12.47 USD
New From: $11.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Alba Botanica, Kids Sunscreen SPF 45, 4 Ounce (Misc.)

List Price: $8.66 USD
New From: $2.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock


RELATED:  How a Humidifier can Help your Child’s Dry Skin


5. Do NOT be embarrassed to speak with your child’s pediatrician or dermatologist.

If your child has irritated skin patches or areas of concern, do NOT be embarrassed to ask your doctor what they recommend. Most often, extra moisturization is step one, then possible medicated creams as step two.

Depending on your child’s age, scrubs or oral medications may be recommended if their case is severe. Your child’s pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric dermatologist for a consultation or a more in-depth treatment plan.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS. The more you know, the better you can help your child maintain healthy skin. Then come share what you’ve learned with others in our private Facebook group, KP Collective.


WHAT WE USE: Check out our favorite Keratosis Pilaris Products in Our Home.


As the mother of three children, each with their own individual sensitive skin conditions (keratosis pilaris, eczema, and lichen striatus, respectively), I hope these mom-tested tips have been helpful.

I always enjoy reading your comments and product suggestions and methods that have worked for you and your child. So keep commenting and sharing your tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tell us what you try NOT to do with your kid’s KP below in the comments.  We always love to hear from you!


RELATED:  What Your Answers to our Skin Care Questionnaire have Taught Us



Click below to get your FREE KP Tip Sheet with 10 Ways to Improve Your Kid’s Keratosis Pilaris today.

10 Ways to Improve your Kid's Keratosis Pilaris Today | KPKids.net


7 thoughts on “5 Things NOT to do for Kids with Keratosis Pilaris

  1. We love reading and replying to your comments, whether here or on Facebook or Twitter, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or tell us what’s working for you. Your tip could be just what another parent is looking for. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My dermatologist said absolutely never use Aquafor ointment because coating the bumps in something Vaseline based only clogs the pores and makes it worse – after weeks of using Aquafor and no improvements I find this to be true

  3. Haley, thanks for your comment! I find it so interesting how dermatologists differ in opinion on this. It just goes to show that we should just keep trying various remedies until we finds onetime that works. Every child’s skin is SO different. Thanks again, good to know!

  4. Hi May! Mustela’s line of products are all extremely gentle and ideal for young children’s skin. They will only moisturizer though. To lessen the bumps, look for products with some alpha-hydroxy acids in them. Hope that’s helpful!

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