What are red bumps on arms?

In case you've got small reddish, rough patches of skin with little bumps that never appear to go off, their appearance may be annoying, if not about, but they are actually completely harmless. They're what is called keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris is a fairly common but benign skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and little bumps, often on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, or lips. The bumps typically don't hurt or itch.

Keratosis pilaris is often considered a form of normal skin. It can not be prevented or treated. However, you can treat it with lotions and prescription creams to help enhance the skin's appearance. The condition usually disappears by around 30 years of age.

See: Ayurveda for skin health

See: Natural herbs for skin care

Keratosis pilaris symptoms

Keratosis pilaris is more common in young children but can happen at any age. Signs and symptoms include:

Dry, coarse skin in the regions with lumps

Worsening when seasonal fluctuations cause low humidity and dry skin

Painless little lumps, on the upper arms, legs, buttocks, or lips

Bumps resembling goose flesh

See: A case of skin eruptions with itching and burning

See: Ayurvedic skin & hair beauty care


What is the cause of keratosis pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a condition whereby blocked hair follicles from dead skin. Keratin, a protein created by the skin that is supposed to protect your skin from the outside world, is the one creating congestion. Whenever there's an overproduction of keratin, it traps the hair follicle and forms a little red bump in its location. Dry skin will make keratosis pilaris worse. It is not clear why keratin builds up in people with keratosis pilaris. It can occur in conjunction with a genetic disease or with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Some even refer to this condition as chicken skin. You are more likely to develop these tiny red bumps when you have eczema, generally dry skin, dead skin buildup (ichthyosis), allergies, high fever, or asthma. Even though you can sometimes find these tiny red bumps on your legs, you will most likely get these very small bumps on your arms. It is most common among people under 30 and those that are pregnant, so don't believe this is something you're going to need to suffer through your entire life; you will probably grow out of it with age.

See: Ayurveda treatment for acne & pimples

See: Acupuncture for Skin Problems

Treatment of Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris usually clears up by itself slowly. Meanwhile, you may use any of the numerous products available to help enhance the appearance of skin. If other and moisturizing self-care measures do not help, your doctor may prescribe medicated lotions.

Creams to eliminate dead skin cells: Creams containing alpha-lipoic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Based on their strengths, these creams (topical exfoliants) are accessible over-the-counter or using a prescription. The doctor can advise you on the best choice and how often to use it. The acids in these creams can lead to redness, stinging, or skin irritation, so they are not suggested for young children.

Creams to stop plugged follicles. Creams derived from vitamin A (topical retinoids) function by boosting cell turnover and preventing plugged hair follicles  If you are pregnant or nursing, your physician may suggest delaying topical retinoid treatment or picking another therapy.

Using medicated cream regularly may enhance the appearance of the skin. But if you stop, the condition yields. And in spite of therapy, keratosis pilaris might last for ages.

See: Arms pain, plantar fasciitis, hay fever, and skin rash with Bisoma acupuncture and Sasang herbs.

See: Skin and Gut Health Link

Lifestyle & natural home remedies

Self-help measures won't stop keratosis pilaris (KP) or make it go away. But they might enhance the appearance of the affected skin. The illness's real cause remains unknown, but it happens when dead skin cells accumulate, forming bubbles in hair follicles. Since dry skin exacerbates KP, it's usually worse during the winter months. Although there is no known cure for KP, there are loads of natural ways to care for your skin at home. Moisturizing, gently exfoliating, and staying hydrated are secrets to successful KP therapy. Take a look at these natural remedies:

- Use warm water for quick baths: Hot water and showers or baths remove oils from the skin. Restrict bath or shower time to approximately 10 minutes or less. Use warm, not hot water.

Use a loofah: Low humidity dries out the skin. A mobile home humidifier or attached to your furnace will add moisture to the air in your dwelling.

Be gentle to your skin: Avoid harsh, drying soaps. Gently remove dead skin (exfoliate) using a washcloth or loofah. Vigorous scrubbing or elimination of hair follicle sticks can irritate the skin and aggravate the problem. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot the skin with a towel so that some moisture remains.

- Moisturizing lotions: Employ an over-the-counter cream that has urea, lactic acid, alpha-lipoic acid, or salicylic acid. These lotions help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Apply this product before lotion. If after the skin is still moist from bathing, apply a moisturizer which includes petroleum jelly, or glycerin. These components soothe dry skin and help trap moisturize.

- Avoid tight clothing: Shield affected skin from the friction caused by wearing tight clothing.

See: The efficacy of topical 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.

See: Detox with Ayurveda & Yoga at home

Natural Treatments for Treating Keratosis Pilaris

- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is not a cooking ingredient. This vinegar's natural medicinal properties make it a fantastic, multipurpose skincare tool to keep available. Like most fruit-based goods, there's absolutely not any doubt it is an antioxidant.

- Hydration: Dry skin worsens KP, so staying hydrated can make a major difference in your skin's feel. Occasionally, it can be a real challenge to consume more water, but your skin will thank you for the attempt.

- Oatmeal Bath: Nothing soothes skin and calms your mind. Following a long day quite like a bath, right? Toss in a couple of powdered oats to a lukewarm tub (beware, hot water may actually irritate parched or inflamed skin), and you have yourself an extra moisturizing bath to treat your dry skin.

- Olive Oil:  It also turns out that its moisturizing properties may also help treat the skin's inflammatory conditions. Full of vitamin E, olive oil may decrease the dry, bumpy regions of the skin.  Put directly to your skin or add a little sugar.

- Humidifier: Low humidity in winter can result in a known offender for dry skin generally; nevertheless, it's especially problematic for those experiencing KP.

- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish oil has great benefits for maintaining our Hair, skin, and nails healthy. Coldwater fish (believe wild salmon, tuna, and sardines) are utilized to create raw fish oil supplements. For vegetarians--and everybody 

- Coconut Oil: Virgin coconut oil is an effective choice for treating bothersome skin issues. The fatty acids provide coconut oil anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and have been demonstrated to decrease the inflammation and redness in the skin ailments, such as KP.

- Vitamin A: Add vitamin A to the nutritious foods in your daily diet. You can find it in sweet potatoes, carrots, and really anything yellow or orange. Strawberries, papayas, and mangoes are also naturally high in vitamin A and also make wonderful scrubs. Vitamin A prevents skin cells from collecting and plugging pores while also encouraging cell turnover, a crucial part of maintaining your skin healthy and glowing.

- Baking Soda: Baking soda isn't just for baking your cookies! Additionally, it has excellent exfoliating properties to the skin, removing dead cells and opening pores.

See: Baking soda for heartburn & acid reflux

See: Ayurveda & Diet for Psoriasis

The Natural Way to Eliminate small bumps on arms

Natural medicine experts deal with a selection of skin problems, whether that be eczema, acne, or even keratosis pilaris. Though keratosis pilaris is totally harmless, if you are seeking to resolve the tiny red bumps on your arms, experts can work with you to make small lifestyle changes that could eliminate them for good. Some of their most commonly recommended interventions are listed below.

- Exfoliation: Gently exfoliating the area that's prone to reddish bumps one or two times a week can increase the dead skin cells and allow you to eliminate those red itchy bumps. As the red bumps on arms, these are more prone to forming the underarm and thighs.

Drink water: Keratosis pilaris can be more prevalent in people with extremely dry skin, so hydration can help here also. Your skin is made up of 64% water, so taking in water can markedly enhance the external level of your skin's hydration. 

Elimination diet: Keratosis pilaris is believed to be a non-inflammatory condition, but a lot of men and women have the ability to completely solve their bumps on their upper arms by eliminating foods from their diet that they are sensitive to. If no trigger foods are present, you can be sure your keratosis pilaris isn't due to your diet.

- Moisturize your skin: After exfoliation, your skin is prepared to take in moisture. Moisturizing daily is crucial to keeping your skin hydrated, even on days when you don't exfoliate. Red spots and lumps are irritated when there is a lack of hydration, and red blotchy patches have formed. Moisturize with a non-toxic, ultra-hydrating cream, or try coconut oil.

A bath.: The heat from a hot tub or long shower can help open up hair follicles and pores and allow trapped dead cells to the surface, clearing out any congestion.

See: Coconut oils and other Omega-3 fatty acids-rich sources for complementary treatment of Alzheimer

See: Yoga secrets for anti-aging


1. Keratosis pilaris. (n.d.). aocd.org/page/KeratosisPilaris

2. Wang, Jason F., and Seth J. Orlow. "Keratosis Pilaris and its Subtypes: Associations, New Molecular and Pharmacologic Etiologies, and Therapeutic Options." American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 19 (2018): 733-757.

3. Zirwas, Matthew J., and Jill Fichtel. "Chlorine Dioxide Complex Cleanser: A New Agent With Rapid Efficacy for Keratosis Pilaris." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 17.5 May 2018.

4. Keratosis pilaris: Overview. (n.d.). aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/keratosis-pilaris-treatment

5. Hwang, Sharon, and Robert A. Schwartz. "Keratosis Pilaris: A Common Follicular Hyperkeratosis." Pediatric Dermatology 82 Sept. 2008: 177-180.

6. Ciliberto H, et al. (2013). Photopneumatic therapy for the treatment of keratosis pilaris. jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961613P0804X

7. Kootiratrakarn, Tanawatt, Kowit Kampirapap, and Chakkrapong Chunhasewee. "Epidermal Permeability Barrier in the Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris." Dermatology Research and Practice 2015 Feb. 12, 2015: 1-5.

8. Ibrahim O, et al. (2015). Treatment of keratosis pilaris with 810-nm diode laser: A randomized clinical trial. DOI: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2211

9. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Keratosis pilaris. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/keratosis-pilaris/symptoms-causes/syc-20351149

10. Thomas, Mary, and Uday Sharadchandra Khopkar. "Keratosis Pilaris Revisited: Is It More Than Just a Follicular Keratosis?" Int J Trichology 4.4. Oct.-Dec. 2012: 255-258.

See: Be Psoriasis Free with Ayurvedic Treatment for Skin Disease

See: Ayurvedic Diet, Panchakarma, & Herbs for Psoriasis

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email