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How To: Treat Red Bumps On The Back of Your Arms

Tue, 25 June 2013 8:20AM

It’s called Keratosis Pilaris and it looks like little red, irritated bumps commonly found on the back of your arms. It also sometimes creeps up on the back of your legs, too. As a cousin to our frenemy, eczema, KP tends to flare up in winter when your skin becomes dry and your layers are doubled, and is caused by an overproduction of keratin – the protein found in your skin, hair and nails – which blocks your hair follicles and causes KP to occur.

So what to do? Well, first off try to wear breathable cotton clothes directly over the affected area rather than woollen ones, as wool tends to increase irritation. You also need to keep the area as well hydrated as possible, so apply a nourishing body oil or cream every night to up the moisture factor to have skin as smooth as Jessica Alba here:

Spike TV's "Guys Choice 2013" - Red Carpet

There are two routes you can take to treat KP. One involves the use of salicylic acid, while the other uses more natural, alternative therapies instead. Here are your options:

Option 1: Apply a salicylic-based cleanser to your KP twice a day and follow up with a body lotion that contains lactic or glycolic acid as well. These acids help breakdown the keratin that blocks the hair follicle so that your skin is smooth once again.

Option 2: Alternatively you could take a more holistic approach to your KP and look at your diet as well as your beauty routine to make a difference. Cutting out gluten and sugar are said to make huge changes to this condition, as well as eating an abundance of raw foods (over cooked or processed ones) and upping your water intake. But you need to do more than that, clearly, so treat it with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Simply mix equal parts organic coconut oil and organic apple cider vinegar (around ½ a cup) with 1 tablespoon of soy lecithin and mix together. You might need to put the coconut oil in warm water to encourage it to liquify, but once mixed, use a cotton bud to smear the ointment all over the affected area and repeat daily.

Tell me Primpers…

Have you ever suffered from KP?

How have you treated it?

Any of these options take your eye?

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  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 09:47am

    I’m almost too afraid to comment……..I seem to have the worst luck jinxing myself, but no I have never suffered from KP. But this has been the topic of conversation one or twice in the forums so its always great to know that there is info to refer to regarding the condition. Thanks :)

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 09:59am

    I get this sometimes. I actually used a bit of my glyco peel last night but I’ll have to use coconut oil too!

  • Posted by: Win // Tue, 25 June 2013 10:28am

    Any advice as to particular products would be great! Any suggestions for products that have worked for you guys?

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 10:46am

    I have in the past but didn’t even know it had a name until I saw it mentioned on primped. I use an exfoliating scrub on the backs of my arms and that has seemed to do the trick for me :)

  • Posted by: connor 777 Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 11:01am

    I haven’t had this problem but if I do now I know how to deal with it thank you

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 12:44pm

    Keeping the skin cleansed generally gets rid of any lumps and bumps I have on arms. I get carried away sometimes and use the Biore Triple Action Toner to wipe down skin on my arms, it’s a great tonic for skin and helps pores.

  • Posted by: Dana Enthusiast // Tue, 25 June 2013 04:07pm

    I’ve had this for as long as I can remember, I’ve used everything and its still there, doctor finally said that I may need to have some laser hair removal to the upper arm to kill the hair follicle as this will diminish the KP.

  • Posted by: adriennne Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 05:06pm

    I have this, year round and not mild and nothing ever works to lessen the intensity. My whole life people have been telling me to put a jumper on because I have “goosebumps” all over my arms. And people are pretty confused by that when it’s 40 degrees outside!

    Doesn’t really bother me though, I’m used to it after all these years I guess!!

  • Posted by: adriennne Master Fan // Tue, 25 June 2013 05:07pm

    I might try the oil and vinegar ointment though, that’s a new one!

  • Posted by: Trish-1328973054 Enthusiast // Tue, 25 June 2013 10:57pm

    OMG I never knew this even had a name! Thanks for the tips

  • Posted by: Tori // Wed, 26 June 2013 10:32am

    I’ve had this for about the last 6-7 years – so all through highschool too!!! Only last year I actually got a diagnosis for it, and that was with just going to a skin doctor which diagnosed me within the first 5 mins of walking in, and I thought to myself, I should have done this months ago!!!

    He gave me a prescription for a combination of ingredients that made up a liquid that I had to apply to the area (I only had it on my upper arms, no where else) and leave it on over night and wash it off the next morning. It worked beautifully! I haven’t used it for a couple of months, and I haven’t had a flare up for a while :)

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Wed, 26 June 2013 08:31pm

    My sister has mild KP.
    Where do you get soy lecithin from?

  • Posted by: aeko91 Master Fan // Thu, 27 June 2013 10:51am

    No cant say I have, dont want by the sound of it!

  • Posted by: jessica88 Newbie // Sat, 29 June 2013 05:05pm

    I dont get this regularly but it has happened and I just used an exfoliater to help clear my arms up.

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Sun, 30 June 2013 05:46pm

    For some teases shrubs don’t work. I need to use something more chemically exfoliating

  • Posted by: bekand1 // Mon, 1 July 2013 08:50pm

    Had this for so long and really bad! then i started using an oatmeal moisturiser and it cleared up pretty well. But it still flares up every now and then.

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 4 July 2013 03:32pm

    I’ve never suffered from this condition, and touch wood, never will. A few of my friends do though so I’ll pass on your advice!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sun, 21 July 2013 09:48pm

    I get these everywhere. Its horrible :(
    Some exfoliator and body butter is a temporary fix but doesnt get rid of them completely. I will have to try the coconut oil.

  • Posted by: charmaine_g Newbie // Sun, 11 August 2013 06:05pm

    I have red looking bumps on my arms but when I touch it, it doesnt feel like there is bumps. Is this what you’re talking about?

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 13 October 2013 08:54pm

    I sometimes get these, but when I exfoliate it looks great after

  • Posted by: Lauren-1339916162 Master Fan // Fri, 18 October 2013 04:10pm

    I don’t have it but after saying that I probably will. My niece has it. I had no idea it was relatively easy to treat. Her mum has really bad Eczma that flares up every now and then. Didn’t know the conditions were “related”

  • Posted by: alanakateh Master Fan // Tue, 29 October 2013 01:36pm

    Thanks for the advice. I have suffered from this and not known what it was! Love using coconut oil, thanks again :)

  • Posted by: brookieliz Master Fan // Thu, 28 November 2013 06:03pm

    I’ve had KP since I was young – manual exfoliation with a mitt or natural loofah followed by a good moisturiser usually keeps it at bay. Hormones and stress can be an issues aswell.

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Thu, 19 December 2013 01:09pm

    I get these annoying bumps on and off, thanks for the tips!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 25 March 2014 12:03pm

    I am thankful I don’t suffer with red bumps much.

  • Posted by: happydays Master Fan // Sat, 18 April 2015 05:10pm

    I’ve noticed that a good exfoliator works well to smoothen the skin on my arms and legs.

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