Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Why Do I Have a Bumpy Rash On My Arms?

Why Do I Have a Bumpy Rash On My Arms?

Do you have small bumps on your arms and/or legs? Some people call this their eczema, but it actually may be another skin condition called keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common, harmless skin condition. These bumps feel rough, almost sandpaper-like. KP is not contagious.

These rough-feeling bumps are plugs of dead skin cells that clog our pores. They can be many different colors including red, white or just skin color. KP most commonly is found on the upper arms and thighs and sometimes in children, on the cheeks; however, they can be found anywhere on the skin. Dry skin or winter can make these bumps more apparent, especially here in the Salt Lake Valley.

Risk factors for KP include family members with KP, asthma, dry skin, eczema or atopic dermatitis, excess body weight, allergies, or other skin conditions.

Because KP is a harmless skin condition, you do not need to treat it. However, if it is cosmetically bothersome or itchy, you can try the following recommendations.

  • Wash the skin gently and avoid scrubbing. It is best to use warm (not hot) water with a mild soap
  • Apply a moisturizer liberally twice daily such as Eucerin, Vanicream or CeraVe. Over the counter moisturizers that contain urea such as Eucerin Repair Lotion will help soften the rough skin.
  • For certain hard to treat areas that do not respond to topical moisturizers, use products such as ammonium lactate (Amlactin or LacHydrin)
  • Exfoliate gently. This can help remove the dead skin cells. Sometimes, chemical exfoliaters are needed.

Allergy Associates of Utah is an allergy, asthma, and immunology specialty clinic serving the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area with 2 convenient locations in Murray and West Jordan. Led by specialists Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, the practice strives to help people of all ages and background achieve success. Request an appointment by phone or online at either Allergy Associates of Utah location for expert allergy and immunology care today.

Phone: (801) 263-8700

Phone: (801) 282-8700