I see a lot of people in clinic who want an explanation (and a cure) for the annoying rough red bumps on the back of their arms. Some hate the texture, other can’t take the color or the itchiness that can pop up around them. Still others are convinced that these spots are new and indicate something terrible is spreading on their skin.(!!)
Not dangerous, probably not new, and very common, these bumps go by the fun name of Keratosis Pilaris or KP. It’s a genetic trait that seems to be passed in families and is more common in people with a history of dry skin or eczema. It can shift its location over the course of a lifetime, starting out on the cheeks, bum or thighs of a baby and eventually migrating to the back of the arms. Sometimes it will fade with age and sometimes it won’t.
If you have KP and you are feeling bitter about your plight, just look around. Steal glances at all those naked arms out there. What do you see? Tons of bumps because lots of other people have it too!
Now that you feel less alone in this world of KP, you are probably hoping for details on the miracle cream/treatment/vitamin to get rid of it? Sorry, the news is that there is no cure. There are good products that can minimize the most annoying parts KP. For scaly bumps I would try a product with glycolic acid or lactic acid. One example is Glytone’s KP Kit, containing a body wash and moisturizer. For irritated, red bumps something like Eucerin Calming Cream might be a better fit.