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Bumps on arms – What Are They and How To Treat Them

July 28, 2021

 

Many people have tiny red or brown bumps on their arms. It is a common condition, affecting up to 50% of the population.

 

The most common cause of these tiny bumps on the upper arms is known as keratosis pilaris. It is partly due to genetics, and is a result of excessive buildup of keratin around the lining of hair follicles. They occur symmetrically distributed over both arms, and can also occur on the legs.

 

Other conditions that look similar to keratosis pilaris include folliculitis (infected hair follicles) and acne. The difference is that keratosis pilaris is not itchy or painful, while acne or infections are usually red, painful, and can discharge pus. These conditions will require antibiotics and/or other topical medication to treat them.

 

folliculitis (infected hair follicles) and acne

 

How can these bumps be treated?

 

Dry skin can make keratosis pilaris more prominent, so using a non-soap body wash and moisturising regularly is important. Exfoliants (such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, or urea) reduce the buildup of scales, keratin, and dead skin cells, which helps to reduce the bumpiness and improves skin texture. Retinol and its derivatives may also be helpful.

 

Clinic treatments such as chemical peels and lasers may further help to reduce red or brown pigmentation marks. For those with prominent hair growth in the same area, laser hair removal can be considered as well.

 

Taking care of your skin needs to be a regular routine. As there is an underlying genetic predisposition for accumulation of keratin, keratosis pilaris may recur if these topical creams and moisturisers are stopped.

 

For more information, schedule a consultation with our doctors for an assessment of your skin condition.

 

HLAC July Aug 1

 

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