Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have dry red bumps on my arms?"
I'm a 33 year old female. I've used lotion on my arms since I was in high school. I temporarily stopped using lotion 2 years ago and about 1 year ago, I started to develop dry red bumps on my arms. Did this happend because I stopped using lotion? I periodically have to use an exfoliater on my arms, followed by applying lotion in order to minimize the bumps. How can I get these bumps to completely go away?
Although it is not possible to make a diagnosis without examining your arms, the condition you are describing sounds like keratosis pilaris, or KP. It is very common, runs in families, and is not worrisome. It most commonly affects the upper outer arms, front of thighs, and sometimes the buttocks. KP often is described as your skin feeling like sandpaper with rough dry red or white little bumps. It often seems to improve during the summer months. It is important to see your primary care doctor or dermatologist to have a thorough examination and get a correct diagnosis and treatment plan, as KP is just one possible diagnosis. In the meantime, you can try these over the counter therapies. First, it is important to keep skin well moisturized. You can do this by making sure your shower temperature is lukewarm, not hot, as this will dry out your skin. Use a gentle soap and do not scrub your skin. Once out of the bath or shower, pat dry (do not rub) and immediately apply a good quality moisturizer such as Aveeno or Eucerin concentrating on the affected skin. Reapply moisturizer to your arms often. You may want to try an over the counter product that contains lactic acid
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