ZocdocAnswersIs it normal for pimples to itch?

Question

Is it normal for pimples to itch?

I have what look like pimples on my legs, but for some reason they itch. Are these pimples or is it something else. They are on the top and bottom of my thighs.

Answer

Pimples do not usually itch. They usually are red and may be painful, but not usually itchy. One exception to this might be if you are using a comedonolytic or astringent agent to treat the pimples, which can be excessively drying to the skin and might cause some itching. I think, based on how you describe the pimples and their location, that you actually probably have a condition known as keratosis pilaris. This is a benign, inherited condition of the skin in which the pores produce an excess of the skin protein known as keratin. This excess keratin plugs up the pores, resulting in spots that look like small pimples but that are typically small, more uniform in distribution across the affected area of the skin, and dry. Since keratosis pilaris is a benign condition it does not require treatment. However, if it is cosmetically unattractive to you, you may want to try gentle exfoliation or use of an acne preparation on the are, which can often work. You may also want to talk with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist, who can take a look at the spots and confirm the diagnosis or suggest alternative possibilities. Good luck!

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