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Keratosis Pilaris Remedies

Ask Bella: I've Got Red Bumps on My Upper Arms. How Do I Get Rid of Them?

"Bella, I've got these annoying red bumps on the back of my upper arms and they won't disappear — no matter what I do! I'm really conscious of them, especially now it's Summer and I hate showing my arms. Is there anything I can do?" — Sally

It sounds to me like you have keratosis pilaris, which can is a common skin condition that causes red bumps to appear often on the upper arms, but sometimes on the thighs too. Even though you're more self-conscious about it because it's Summer, traditionally it often gets better in warmer months because it's more common when your skin is dry. There are a few things you can do or ingredients to look out for to help diminish the appearance and feel of the bumps over time but it often only fully goes away as you get older.

Keep reading . . .

  • Try dry brushing before you get in the shower. This should be done on dry skin.
  • Look for a body wash that features glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid such as
    <product target="_blank" href="">MD Formulations Face and Body Scrub</product> ($95) and use that on your upper arms.
  • Alternatively you can use your face wash if that features those ingredients. A cheap option that features salicylic acid and doesn't dry out the skin further is
    <product target="_blank" href="">Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser</product> ($13.99)
  • Follow up with a moisturiser that features alpha-hydroxy acids also.
    <product target="_blank" href="">Avène Cleanance K</product> ($22.99) is good as it features all three, but again, be sure to just use it on the affected area.
  • Use a targeted treatment product such as
    <product target="_blank" href="">Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Body Peel</product> ($130). It's a two-step program which features both alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids to help target ingrown hairs, breakouts and keratosis pilaris.
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