How to Get Rid of Itchy and Red Bumps on Your Arms
Having little red bumps on your arms can be frustrating, especially if they are itchy. These bumps are a common condition known as keratosis pilaris. They are caused by a build-up of keratin, a protein that protects the skin from infections and other harmful things. However, when too much keratin builds up, it can block hair follicles, resulting in the appearance of these bumps.
How to Identify Keratosis Pilaris
- The bumps are small, usually 1 to 2 mm in diameter.
- They can be red, white, or skin-colored.
- They usually appear on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks, although they can also appear on other parts of the body.
- They feel rough to the touch, like sandpaper.
If you have these bumps and they are itchy, you may be tempted to scratch them. However, scratching can cause further irritation and may even lead to infections. Here are some tips on how to get rid of them:
1. Use a Gentle Exfoliant
Exfoliating the affected area can help to remove the dead skin cells and keratin that are causing the bumps. However, it is important to use a gentle exfoliant that will not further irritate the skin. Choose a product that contains alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids, which can help to unclog hair follicles.
How to Use a Gentle Exfoliant to Get Rid of Red Bumps on Arms
- Wet your skin with warm water.
- Apply a small amount of the exfoliant to your arms.
- Gently massage the product into your skin, using circular motions.
- Rinse off the product with warm water.
- Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a moisturizer to your arms to prevent further dryness.
2. Avoid Scratching the Itchy Bumps
As mentioned earlier, scratching can further irritate the skin and may even lead to infections. Avoid scratching the affected areas, no matter how tempting it may be. If you must scratch, use your fingertips and avoid using your nails, which can damage the skin.
3. Use a Moisturizer to Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Dry skin can make keratosis pilaris worse, so it is important to keep your skin hydrated. Use a moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid, which can help to soften the bumps and reduce their appearance. Apply the moisturizer to your arms after bathing or showering, when your skin is still damp.
4. Use a Humidifier to Add Moisture to the Air
If you live in a dry climate or your home is heated, it can be helpful to use a humidifier. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help to reduce dryness and itchiness. Use a humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time, especially at night.
5. Consider Using Prescription Medications
If the above treatments do not work, you may need to use prescription medications. Your doctor may prescribe a topical cream that contains a retinoid or a corticosteroid. These medications can help to reduce inflammation and unclog hair follicles. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend a laser treatment to remove the bumps.
What causes keratosis pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is caused by a build-up of keratin, a protein that protects the skin from infections and other harmful things. When too much keratin builds up, it can block hair follicles, resulting in the appearance of these bumps.
Are there any home remedies for keratosis pilaris?
Yes, there are several home remedies that may help to reduce the appearance of keratosis pilaris. These include using a gentle exfoliant, moisturizing your skin, avoiding scratching the affected areas, and using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
How long does it take for keratosis pilaris to go away?
Keratosis pilaris is a chronic condition, which means that it may never go away completely. However, with proper treatment, you can reduce the appearance of the bumps and prevent new ones from forming. It may take several weeks or months for the bumps to go away completely.
Can keratosis pilaris be cured?
There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, but with proper treatment, you can reduce the appearance of the bumps and prevent new ones from forming. It is a chronic condition, which means that it may never go away completely.
Is keratosis pilaris contagious?
No, keratosis pilaris is not contagious. It is a harmless condition that is caused by a build-up of keratin in the hair follicles.
What is the best way to prevent keratosis pilaris?
The best way to prevent keratosis pilaris is to keep your skin hydrated and avoid using harsh soaps or scrubs. Use a moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid to keep your skin soft and hydrated.
Keratosis pilaris is a common condition that can be frustrating and itchy. However, with proper treatment, you can reduce the appearance of the bumps and prevent new ones from forming. Use a gentle exfoliant, moisturize your skin, avoid scratching the affected areas, and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. If these treatments do not work, talk to your doctor about prescription medications.