How to Get Rid of Red Bumps on Arms
If you have small red, rough patches of skin with tiny bumps that never seem to go away, their appearance can be annoying, if not concerning, but they’re actually completely harmless. They’re what’s called keratosis pilaris, a condition created by blocked hair follicles from dead skin. Keratin, a protein produced by the skin that’s meant to protect your skin from the outside world is the one creating the blockage. When there’s an overproduction of keratin, it traps the hair follicle and forms a tiny red bump in its place. Some even refer to the condition as chicken skin.
While you can sometimes find these small red bumps on your legs too, you’re most likely to find these tiny bumps on arms. It’s most common among people under 30 and those who are pregnant, so don’t think this is something you’re going to have to suffer through your whole life, you’ll likely grow out of it with age. In the meantime though, there are a few things you can do to decrease redness and get rid of these bumps.
4 ways to get rid of small bumps on arms naturally
1. Run a bath.
The heat from a warm bath or long shower can help open up hair follicles and pores and allow trapped dead cells to surface, clearing out any blockage. If baths aren’t your thing, you can also try a steam room or shower (just make sure you shower and cleanse after).
2. Exfoliate weekly.
Gently exfoliating the area that’s prone to red bumps, one to two times a week can increase the turnover of dead skin cells and help you remove those red itchy bumps.You’ll also probably see as a result from the exfoliation, other skin conditions that you hadn’t paid special attention to before clear up, like ingrown hairs. Similar to the red bumps on arms, these are prone to forming on the underarm and thighs. Just don’t go overboard on harshness or frequency, which could worsen the condition.
3. Moisturize daily.
Now that you’ve exfoliated, your skin is ready to take in moisture. Moisturizing daily is key to keeping your skin hydrated, even on days when you don’t exfoliate. Red spots and bumps are irritated even further by lack of hydration and red blotchy patches can form as a result, so don’t skimp on moisturizing as part of your skincare routine. Opt for a non-toxic, cream that’s ultra-hydrating. If you’re not worried about oiliness, you can even turn to your pantry and slather on some coconut oil.
4. Increase your water intake.
Keratosis pilaris can be more common in people with extremely dry skin, so hydration can help here too. Your skin is actually made up of 64 percent water, so taking in water internally can visibly improve the external quality of your skin’s hydration. We recommend a minimum of 2.7 liters of water a day for women and 3.7 liters for men.
5. Consider an elimination diet.
Keratosis pilaris is thought to be a non-inflammatory condition, but at Parsley Health, we’ve had some cases where members are able to completely resolve their bumps on upper arms by removing foods from their diet that they’re sensitive to. Common trigger foods known for their inflammatory effects include eggs, dairy, and wheat. If you’re not seeing results after an elimination diet, it may also be worth asking your doctor about food intolerance testing. If no trigger foods are found, you can be certain that your keratosis pilaris is not caused by your diet.