Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Chicken Skin & Fish Scales (Keratosis pilaris and Ichthyosis vulgaris)Skin Conditions I Have


Keratosis pilaris on the upper arm.

Finally I found a name for the skin conditions I have had my whole life! I was doing a search on adult acne and came across these two skin conditions in the process. Fortunately, I seem to have the milder form of both conditions judging from the photos I saw of some less fortunate people living with the condition(s). Why my skin is so bothersome I don’t know-what did I do to you skin to deserve this? (being silly) No, I know it is genetic so there’s nothing one can do except try managing the condition. I’ve had dry skin since infancy but I didn’t mind how it looked until I was a teen and thought my arms and legs were horrible looking. Seriously, I have adult acne, eczema (allergic type) and the keratosis pilaris and ichthyosis vulgaris all in different spots. It’s like I don’t have acne on my legs so I have “fish scales” (ichthyosis) on them instead and no eczema on my arms but keratosis pilaris instead. Gee wiz, did I ever win the genetic lottery?! lmao

Well, in the grand scheme of things it’s not so bad but I hate wearing shorts or skirts/dresses because of my ‘fish legs’!lol My legs aren’t too bad but super dry and discoloured (uneven skin tone) so whilst I dislike my legs it’s purely my vanity that’s taking the hit. I guess it’s easy to find fault with myself but I am gradually accepting myself more and more; with that acceptance comes less distress over a primarily ‘cosmetic’ skin condition knowing it could be far more debilitating if I had a different type or more severe form.

A mild case of ichthyosis vulgaris on legs. Image from

Why do I even get upset over skin conditions that are little more than a nuisance for that is what they are. Having less than flawless skin is sort of trifling when I think of those poor Nigerian girls held captive by the Boko Haram. My best guess is I am looking for something to focus my attention on that is manageable. Whenever I focus my attention on my skin it’s usually because I am trying to find some degree of control in my life. But my poor skin doesn’t deserve my scorn! It is mostly doing its job and I attack it for not looking perfect! LOL Such folly. It’s really very silly when I know how much I have to be grateful for even with my skin.

Do you have medical conditions that are benign and mostly cosmetic that upset you? How do you cope with them? I’ve had my whole life to accept them (except the acne) yet I still fight an urge to cringe seeing my skin. Perhaps this is what some term a “first world problem”. For that reason I’m working on getting the courage up to wear shorts in the summer out in public. Why let imperfect skin ruin my ability to live life as I otherwise would? It’s just skin and it’s not causing me medical harm beyond dry skin so I am grateful really, grateful that I am otherwise okay.

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®


Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

6 thoughts on “Chicken Skin & Fish Scales (Keratosis pilaris and Ichthyosis vulgaris)Skin Conditions I Have

  1. I’m pretty sure everybody has something about their body they’re not happy about. And people don’t tend to get prettier as they age anyway, so I do think we have to come up with stuff on the inside to focus on that is more important than the stuff on the outside, since even perfect looking people don’t stay that way forever.

    But I know these things can be bothersome, given that the culture is really youth and beauty obsessed. I suppose that part is inevitable. Good for you for trying to see beyond it. And I see all sorts of people out and about in shorts and bathing suits these days, so I say go for it! 🙂

    • Thanks Jenny 🙂 You’re right, I see lots of people in summer wearing shorts that aren’t “perfect”. Actually, I don’t think there are any perfect looking people because the definition changes depending on culture and your personal preferences. Best to just appreciate your body for what it does for you and not get too hung up on the outside. It’s not easy though in the Western mainstream culture.

  2. P.S. When I saw the title of your blog, for just a second I thought it was a recipe or something. Not one I would want to fix, though! 😛

  3. Oh wow, I have chicken skin, too! I have had it on my upper arms and parts of my legs since I was around 9 years old. Maybe it’s from all the stress of growing up with a parent who hoarded! Ok, maybe not, but I have found one of the possible solutions for this. If you eat gluten, you need to remove it from your diet. Within a couple months, you should start seeing an improvement.
    I visited a dermatologist when I was a teenager, but he just recommended that I use a lotion called Carmol 20. It didn’t do crap. Now that I am a lot more educated about nutrition and natural treatments, I realize that gluten is not good for our bodies. I’ve been gluten-free for 2 months, and my arms look significantly better! I think it might help you, too 🙂

    • LOL, I would say “welcome to the club” but it’s not really one most want to belong to! I’m glad going gluten free has helped your skin. I’d heard gluten was responsible but I can’t bear to give up wheat because I love it too much. It’s in so many of the things I eat that I’d be hard pressed to find anything to eat since I am vegan. So I just figured I’d put up with the skin issue and enjoy the foods I am allowed. Thanks for the recommendation though. 🙂

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