Bumpy Arms: What is it and how to get rid of it

What is the toughest thing about wearing sleeveless dresses or tops? It’s when you have bumps on the back of your arms. No matter what you do or what acne products you put on, nothing seems to work! Geez. Don’t we have enough problems with wanting toned arms? Now that problem too?

keratosis pilaris

What is Keratosis Pilaris

One of the reasons your routine may not working in getting rid of the bumps is because it is not acne. It could actually Keratosis pilaris (KP). Anyone can have it regardless of age or gender. It fact, babies often have it on their face. It seems more prevalent with those that have dry skin issues or atopic dermatitis. It is caused by a buildup of keratin. (It’s a protein that protects skin from infections and bacteria.) The buildup forms a plug that blocks the opening of a hair follicle. Thus creating the bumps.

KP primarily is on the back of the arms, but could be on the thighs, back, and maybe the face (especially for newborns). A dermatologists can easily diagnose it. However, there is no cure, per se. Often it clears up on its own. If it is not for you, there are ways to minimize it.

back arm bumps

How to get rid of bumps on the back of your arms

The best bet to beat it is by keeping your skin consistently moisturized (avoid dry showers for example and use soap-free wash), and using the right moisturizer. The best moisturizer to use is one with ammonium lactate when it is on your body. (Check with your child’s pediatrician before using AHA!) The AHA helps turn over dead skill cells so the top layer of skin is clear of ‘debris’, and thus prevents the keratin from building up on the skin.

A brand my dermatologist recommends is Amlactin because is has 12% concentration of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). (I also got some free samples from Amlactin for this post!) The brand has several AHA lotions in its lineup (for feet, extra moisturizing, etc.) to help prevent dead skin buildup. It’s a brand I have been using for 2 years now. I also find it beneficial during the winter to keep the flaky skin at bay, and love their foot cream during sandal season!

acne on arms

The only thing to note is that it does increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunburn. So wear protective clothing or use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterward. The smell can be a bit of a turnoff for some who are used to perfumed lotions. However, the scent is not noticeable on your skin. It is more of a ‘medical’ lotion, so it is expected. Yet, just be aware.

You can find it everywhere like CVS, Walgreens, Costco and (affiliate link)Amazon. Cost is about $14 for 8 ounces. However, is a coupon for Amlactin to save a few dollars if you want to try it out!

Bump-free is closer as can be!

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About Charlene DeLoach

As a Boston Mom Blogger in Massachusetts, Charlene DeLoach doesn't care about the megapixels on a smartphone. She only cares about whether it will survive being in the hands of her kids.

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