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Rough Bumps on Your Arms? It Could be Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris is a very common, but thankfully harmless, skin condition that causes small, hard bumps on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and sometimes jawline or cheeks. It’s caused when keratin, a protein that helps protect our skin from damage and infection, gets built up and blocks the opening of a hair follicle.

If your skin is normally dry, you’re more likely to get keratosis pilaris, and it can be much worse in the winter months when the air is more dry. Fortunately, keratosis pilaris is more annoying than anything and can be easily treated with some home remedies.

How is keratosis pilaris treated?

While there’s no permanent cure for keratosis pilaris, there are many at-home remedies that can make the bumps go away. However, keratosis pilaris can look like other conditions so we recommend having a dermatologist take a look before you start to make any changes to your skincare routine.

If you are diagnosed with keratosis pilaris, here are some tips for how to make the areas less bumpy:

Bathe in warm, not hot, water. Very hot water to can dry out the skin and make keratosis pilaris bumps worse. Try turning the temperate down a few degrees while you’re in the shower or bath.

Make bath time shorter. Long periods of time in water can sometimes make symptoms worse. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in water, which can exacerbate already dry skin issues.

Exfoliate regularly. One of the best ways to treat keratosis pilaris is to regularly exfoliate the skin to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. Look for topical exfoliants that have alpha-hydroxy acid or salicylic acid. There are also loofahs and gloves that can help slough off dead skin in the shower.

Use thick moisturizers. Keep affected areas from getting too dry with a creamy moisturizer. Look for options that contain lactic acid, which helps break down the keratin buildup on the skin. There are even over-the-counter moisturizers that are specially formulated for people with keratosis pilaris.

Add moisture to the air. In cold, dry months, putting a humidifier in the areas where you spend the most time (like next to your bed while you sleep) could help moisturize the air enough to help clear up symptoms.

Are you having issues with dry, bumpy skin? Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dermatologists today. We can help diagnose your skin condition and put together a treatment plan to get your skin feeling smoother and healthier.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.