Ammonium Lactate for Keratosis Pilaris

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Keratosis pilaris, also known as “chicken skin,” is a skin condition causing rough-feeling patches and little bumps to appear on the skin. The bumps usually form on the upper arms, legs, cheeks, and buttocks. While this condition is common and harmless, many sufferers of keratosis pilaris find the red, raised bumps to be embarrassing or unsightly. Treatments like ammonium lactate for keratosis pilaris are effective ways to improve the appearance of the skin.

How can ammonium lactate help treat your keratosis pilaris? Keep on reading to find out.

Ammonium Lactate for Keratosis Pilaris

Ammonium lactate is an alpha hydroxy acid; it is a combination of lactic acid and ammonium hydroxide. Common brand names for this medication include AmLactin, Geri-Hydrolac, Kerasal AL, and Lac-Hydrin. It comes in a lotion, cream, or foam.

This moisturizer, found both over the counter and through a prescription, can treat dry, scaly, and itchy skin conditions like keratosis pilaris. Other common uses for ammonium lactate include pruritus, ichthyosis, eczema, psoriasis, and xerosis. Many parents will also use ammonium lactate to soothe diaper rash.

Ammonium Lactate Benefits for the Skin

While experts are not exactly sure why ammonium lactate treats dry, itchy skin, they do know that it increases moisture in the skin. The lotion also helps boost healthy skin renewal through gentle exfoliation, then drawing extra moisture into the skin from the environment.

Does Ammonium Lactate Help Keratosis Pilaris?

According to dermatologist Laurel Naversen Geraghty, ammonium lactate is one of the most effective ways to soften keratosis pilaris. The gentle acids within the medication help smooth the skin, reducing the feeling and appearance of chicken skin bumps.

How to Use Ammonium Lactate Lotion

When using a new medication, always follow your doctor’s instructions. Usually, patients are directed to apply a thin layer of ammonium lactate into the affected zone once or twice daily. Rub the medication into the skin thoroughly. Before using, be sure to shake the lotion bottle well. Be careful to avoid your mouth, lips, eyes, nose, vaginal area, or any broken skin.

Ammonium lactate is for external use only; do not ingest it. Keep the lotion out of reach of pets and children. If someone ingests it, call your local poison control immediately.

If you ever have any questions or concerns about using this medication, be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist. Inform your provider if your skin does not improve or worsens.

You should not use ammonium lactate if you have broken skin, are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Do not wear cosmetics or skincare products over the treated area. Be sure to apply strong sunscreen before going outside, even during the winter or on an overcast day.

Ammonium Lactate Side Effects

While it’s an effective medication for keratosis pilaris, ammonium lactate may not be for everyone. The ammonia in the medication creates a very strong and unpleasant smell. Additionally, some patients experience mild or serious side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects.

Less serious side effects of ammonium lactate include the following:

  • Mild skin itching or burning
  • Stinging of treated areas
  • Changes in skin color
  • Skin sensitivity to light

Serious side effects are rare but include:

  • Allergic reactions, such as severe itching, hives, swelling or tingling in your throat, chest tightness, or difficulty breathing
  • Skin peeling
  • Severe stinging or burning of the treated areas
  • Small red dots on the skin
  • Darkening or lightening of the skin

FAQs - Ammonium Lactate for Keratosis Pilaris

Here, we’ll answer some common questions about this topic.

Which acid is best for keratosis pilaris?

Both glycolic acid and lactic acid are commonly suggested treatments for keratosis pilaris. Ammonium lactate contains lactic acid, making it an effective treatment. Other chemicals often used for keratosis pilaris include urea, differin, and cortisone cream.

Which acid is best for keratosis pilaris?

AmLactin’s line of ammonium lactate for keratosis pilaris is considered one of the best lotions for this condition. It is an affordable, over-the-counter treatment for many common skin conditions.

Is ammonium lactate good for the face?

Ammonium lactate is generally not recommended for use on the face. It may cause burning or stinging on the face, especially if used right after shaving or on damaged or irritated skin. Only use ammonium lactate on your face if your dermatologist has directed you to. Avoid applying it on or near your eyes, mouth, lips, or nose.

Does ammonium lactate lighten skin?

While ammonium lactate can sometimes change the appearance of the skin, darkening or lightening is extremely rare.

How often can I use ammonium lactate?

Use ammonium lactate as directed by your doctor. Typically, once or twice per day.

Conclusion - Ammonium Lactate for Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris, though a common and benign issue, can often cause unsightly raised bumps on the sufferer’s skin. While affected people usually experience no physical discomfort, they may wish to reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris bumps. Ammonium lactate for keratosis pilaris is a safe and effective treatment.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.