What are those pesky arm bumps?

Image from the American Academy of Dermatology

Image from the American Academy of Dermatology

Are you tired of seeing those fine, little, pink, rough bumps on your arms? These bumps can also appear on your upper back, back of thighs, buttocks and even your cheeks. Ever wonder what they’re called and more importantly how can you make them better? 

It’s called Keratosis Pilaris (KP) and it’s a VERY common condition and considered a mild form of eczema. It’s caused when keratin (aka “Skin cells”) stick to the skin of the fine little hairs and don’t shed like they should.  I have had this condition my entire life and it made a lasting impression especially during middle and high school. I would rarely expose my upper arms because of the embarrassing red bumps! Now that I know how to make it better, I want to spread the word so other people don’t feel embarrassed like I was all those years. So, here’s what you need to know:

KP Blog image Cerave-Renewing SA Cream-12oz.png
  • Your dermatologist will examine your skin — looking closely at the skin that shows signs of keratosis pilaris.

  • This skin condition is harmless, so you don’t necessarily need to treat it. However, if the itch, dryness, or the appearance of your skin bothers you, treatment with a “keratolytic” helps to reduce the “stickiness” of those keratin skin cells (examples include salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea/uric acid, or ammonium lactate).

  • Retinoids that are vitamin A derived are used when Keratosis Pilaris is really bad.  These will work at the level of the cell nuclei to program “regular” turnover of skin.

  • What do I use to treat my own KP? Cera Ve SA “Rough and Bumpy” skin. I buy it on Amazon and apply to my skin within 3 MINUTES of getting out of the shower.

  • Other tricks:  DON’T SCRUB! – it will make it worse!  And be sure to avoid perfumed lotions/creams as they can make it flare. 

Have more questions? Contact my office at info@tokarzderm.com to reserve a 30-minute consultation today.

Katelyn Patras