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Keratosis Pilaris: Those Bumps On The Back Of Your Arms

By Dr. Carrie Jones Expert HERWriter
 
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As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers." Spring is emerging on the scene. This is prompting many to start thinking about spring cleaning, spring vacations and spring clothes.

Some women though will be finding the thought of putting on a sleeveless top discouraging.

This is because of a skin condition known as keratosis pilaris where little bumps due to blocked hair follicles form on the backs of the arms to the point where it often looks like goose bumps or chicken skin.

Besides on the arms, it can show up on the thighs, back of the legs and cheeks. It tends to run in families.

It is often worse with drier skin which is why heading into spring after the winter months can cause some distress.

Treatment often includes exfoliation of the area to scrub the keratin blocking the hair follicles followed by a thick moisturizer. Other treatments include lactic acid lotions, alpha hydroxyl acids, salicylic acid, retinoid creams and vitamin D creams.

From a supplement perspective, adding cod liver oil because of its essential fatty acids. Additionally, taking vitamin D may be helpful. Have your levels checked first.

Taking vitamin A if the thought of cod liver oil is too much may also be beneficial. Don't take it while pregnant or if you plan on becoming pregnant though.

Vitamin E either taken orally in a supplement or applied topically is also good for the skin. Just be sure to buy the natural form known as d-alpha tocopherol, not dl-alpha tocopherol.

There are also several over-the-counter products and companies that specifically treat keratosis pilaris.

If you are having trouble managing the condition of your skin, talk with your health care provider or consider seeing a dermatologist for further guidance.

Sources:

1. Alai, N. (2012). Keratosis Pilaris. Web. 31 March, 2013.
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1070651-overview

2. Griffing, G. (2008). Mother Was Right About Cod Liver Oil. Web. 31 March, 2013.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/568221

Reviewed April 1, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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