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Those Pesky Red Bumps

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

Have you ever wondered what those little red bumps with the dry skin on the backs of your arms or on your thighs were?

This is a condition known as Keratosis Pilaris,or KP, and it is completely harmless. About 50% of the general adult population experiences it at some point during their lives. The condition can also be chronic. It has been described as a feeling like goosebumps or sand paper on dry skin. The condition may in fact worsen during the dry winter months and even during pregnancy.

How would I know it is KP?

Some of the most common symptoms include: small, painless acne-like bumps with or without dry skin, most notably experienced on the upper outer arms and thighs.

Are there any treatments available to treat KP?

Unfortunately, there is no cure; however, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the appearance of the lesions, cut down on redness, and sometimes even clear the condition. We recommend keeping showers to less than ten minutes, using lukewarm to cool water only. We prefer a gentle soap such as the Dove Nutrium Body Wash or Cetaphil cleanser. You may gently exfoliate the affected areas with a loofah sponge two to three times weekly to assist with clearing. Finally, it is important to moisturize one to two times daily with a cream, such as Cerave Moisturizing Cream.

If the above recommendations aren’t enough to clear the condition, you may try over the counter Amlactin cream or lotion, available at most drugstores. If this is still not enough to improve the condition, you may consider making an appointment with us to determine if a more aggressive, prescription treatment is needed.

Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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