Those Tiny Bumps May be Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition, which appears as tiny bumps on the skin. Some people say they look like goosebumps or the skin of a plucked chicken. Others mistake the bumps for small pimples. These rough-feeling bumps are actually plugs of dead skin cells. The plugs appear most often on the upper arms and thighs and on the cheeks in children. Winter weather and dry climates make the bumps more noticeable.
Keratosis pilaris is harmless, so you don’t need to treat it but if the itch, dryness, or the appearance of your skin bothers you, our providers can diagnose the problem and offer treatment options. Those options include exfoliating or removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin with a loofah or microdermabrasion. Your dermatologist may also prescribe a medicine that will remove dead skin cells.
Medications that can help often contain one of the following ingredients:
- Alpha hydroxyl acid
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- A retinoid (adapalene, retinol, tazarotene, tretinoin)
- Salicylic acid
Treatment cannot cure keratosis pilaris, but it can keep the bumps under control. Another option may be to switch to a non-prescription moisturizing cream.
Select a thick, oil-free cream or ointment that contains urea or lactic acid. Apply it to damp skin within 5 minutes of bathing and slather it on when skin feels dry