little white arm bumps....

topic posted Sat, August 12, 2006 - 9:16 PM by  Unsubscribed
I have gotten these little white bumps on my arms for as long as I can remember. They are tiny and filled with white, like a zit but smaller and more on the surface than deep in my skin. Sometimes there are a bunch and sometimes barely present. When I'm stressed out I pick them and thats never good. I would like them to go away.

Does anyone else get these or have any idea what they are from, or better how to get them to leave?

posted by:
  • Re: little white arm bumps....

    Sat, August 12, 2006 - 10:54 PM
    I have these too.

    These are a genetic skin thing (I only get them above the elbow) -- and.. really, there's nothing that can be done, as far as I know. They're harmless, they do nothing; they're an excretion of keratin through the skin/pores. People often, on me, mistake them for goosebumps. I forget the name of them but I think someone else might be able to chime in with it.

    I think there are skin care regimens you can use to minimize them, but as it's genetic, nothing's really going to make them *go away*. You're stuck with 'em, unfortunately.

    • Re: little white arm bumps....

      Sun, August 13, 2006 - 6:52 AM
      Keratosis pilaris. :)
      You can do a search on it. I got rid of mine for good by scrubbing daily, then applying a bit of hydrocortisone cream, then moisturizer. But then maybe it was just age...I guess it does diminish as you get older. Mine was at its peak in my 20s.
      • Unsu...

        Re: little white arm bumps....

        Sun, August 13, 2006 - 3:31 PM
        I was affraid of that . I'm in my 20's so maybe they will get better as I age. I'll try the hydrocortisone cream just for good measure, maybe it'll help when they are bad. Otherwise I'll make peace with the little buggers and try harder to stop picking at them.

  • Re: little white arm bumps....

    Mon, August 14, 2006 - 3:10 AM
    I found taking zinc supplements helped.
    • SN
      offline 68

      Re: little white arm bumps....

      Mon, August 14, 2006 - 6:45 AM
      Good Question!! I too get these bumps... and it drives me nuts!!!

      I have been exfoliating my arms everyday and it seems to be helping... good luck!
      • Re: little white arm bumps....

        Mon, August 14, 2006 - 10:11 AM
        I have found that using things that dry my skin out makes them worse so I switched to cocoa butter based shower products. I use a coacoa butter shower gel (suave usually) and then coat my entire body in cocoa butter lotion after the shower (Suave and/or Queen Helene)

        This hasn't made the bumps go away but it does reduce them to the point where I"m not self conscious wearing sleeveless tops.
        • Re: little white arm bumps....

          Mon, August 14, 2006 - 3:52 PM
          I used to get those really bad on my upper arms. What finally made them go away is rubbing Alpha Hydroxy lotion on them. Sometimes if I run out I go without, but then they always come back. Within a few days of using the product, they are completely gone. The backs of my upper arms are soooo soft and smooth now! Its a great way to exfoliate without rubbing the skin raw ;-)
          • Unsu...

            Re: little white arm bumps....

            Mon, August 14, 2006 - 9:22 PM
            thats a great idea... sometimes I can't decide which is worse...the redness from scrubbing or the bumps!
            • Re: little white arm bumps....

              Tue, August 15, 2006 - 9:21 AM
              This is what i use:

              You can get this at RiteAid too...sometimes on sale!
              • Re: little white arm bumps....

                Tue, August 15, 2006 - 10:45 AM
                I second the alpha hydroxy lotion! I exfoliate in the shower and use alba botanicals alpha hydroxy lotion on my arms and they go away. It takes a few weeks to see results and you have to be fairly religious about it. Works for me! Good luck.....
                • Re: little white arm bumps....

                  Tue, August 15, 2006 - 12:38 PM
                  I exfoliate the backs of my arms (I get the bumps too) with neutrogena's body clear body wash, and it works pretty well. I'm gonna start adding the alpha hydroxy lotion to my routine to see what happens!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: little white arm bumps....

                    Tue, August 15, 2006 - 2:34 PM

                    this is keratosis pillaris... you can research it on the web, tons of info.

                    i tell my clients to use AMLACTIN lotion daily until it clears up. this can take anywhere from 3 months to a year, but if you are religious with it, they will go away. you can get amlactin with the diabetic supplies at any drugs store. a generic brand would work just as well. ask the pharmacist if you can't find it. exfoliation is important, but over-exfoliation can make it worse, the amlactin is perfect.

                    getting plenty of healthy omega oils is a good idea too.

                    it's a genetic dry skin condition. totally manageable, though!
                    • Re: little white arm bumps....

                      Tue, August 15, 2006 - 4:01 PM
                      i posted much like this in january. my k.p. was so bad...i didn't even want anyone seeing my arms.

                      from all the replies i got, i came up with this easy formula...and my arms with in two months were smooth as a babies butt! and they still are!

                      a use a natural loofah sponge and lavender's bronners soap

                      exfoliate every day...start softly to begin and once your skin gets used to it...use a lttle more pressure

                      i now do this all over my body...including my butt and my bikini area. it really reduces ingrown hairs both in my bikini area and my legs.

                      good luck!!
    • Re: little white arm bumps....

      Sun, October 22, 2006 - 5:56 AM
      I take this back as its efficacity seems to have dwindled.

      So, I tried just plain ol' green clay. I made a paste with some spring water and they've completely disappeared.

      I've also found the culprit to be swimming pools for me, or at least the chlorine. In Canada I never went to the pool, but I'm not near an ocean here sadly, so to gget my water fix, I am forced to endure thhe horrors of thhe chemical bath known as the public pool. I just slap the paste on my arms, and my butt (I ride my bike everywhere) and no more bumps!
      • Re: little white arm bumps....

        Sun, October 22, 2006 - 10:24 PM
        Here's some photos:

        Mayo Clinic:


        No single treatment universally improves keratosis pilaris. But most options, including self-care measures and medicated creams, focus on softening the keratin deposits in the skin.

        Prescription medications used to treat keratosis pilaris include:

        * Ammonium lactate (Lac-Hydrin). Available in a cream or lotion, 12 percent ammonium lactate reduces roughness and softens the keratin plugs. It won't, however, lessen the redness caused by the condition.
        * Urea (Carmol, Keralac). Urea moisturizes and softens dry, rough skin. It also helps loosen and remove the dead skin cells. Side effects include redness, stinging and skin irritations.
        * Topical corticosteroids. These anti-inflammatory drugs help decrease cell turnover by suppressing the immune system. Low-potency corticosteroid ointments are usually recommended for sensitive areas such as your face and for treating widespread patches. Doctors usually prescribe corticosteroids for short-term treatment or for temporary relief of symptoms. They aren't used as long-term treatments because of potential side effects.
        * Topical retinoids. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids work by promoting cell turnover and preventing the plugging of the hair follicle. Retinoids may be an effective treatment, but they can cause bothersome skin irritations, such as severe dryness, redness and peeling. Tretinoin (Retin-A Micro, Avita) and tazarotene (Tazorac) are examples of topical retinoids.

        Using a medication regularly may improve the appearance of your skin. But if you stop, the condition returns. And even with medical treatment, keratosis pilaris tends to persist for years.


        Although self-help measures won't cure keratosis pilaris, they may help improve the appearance of your skin. You may find these measures beneficial:

        * Be gentle when washing your skin. Vigorous scrubbing or removal of the plugs may only irritate your skin and aggravate the condition.
        * After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin.
        * Apply the moisturizing lotion or lubricating cream while your skin is still moist from bathing. Choose a moisturizer that contains urea or propylene glycol, chemicals that soften dry, rough skin.
        * Apply an over-the-counter product that contains lactic acid twice daily. Lactic acid helps remove extra keratin from the surface of the skin.
        * Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air inside your home. Low humidity dries out your skin.
    • Re: little white arm bumps....

      Wed, October 25, 2006 - 9:55 PM
      how much zinc?

      my daily multi-vitamin (2/day) I am going to start contains 15mg zinc, which is 100% RDA.

      But i imagine you were taking more than that per day?

      They also contain 5,000 IU's of Vit. A, so I'm going to see how much there is in milk and eggs, and try to make sure i get enough total there per day.
  • Unsu...

    Re: little white arm bumps....

    Tue, August 15, 2006 - 10:51 PM
    DermaDoctor make a product, KP Duty, specifically for this! I am not sure but you might find it at Sephora and they may have their own site.

    Good luck!
    • Re: little white arm bumps....

      Wed, August 16, 2006 - 4:35 PM
      I am using the DermaDoctor KP Duty and it works up to a point. My arms are much better but not totally smooth. It also worked great on my elbows.

      I asked my dermatologist about these bumps and she said it is a dry skin condition and NOT to exfoliate, although I do and it does help for me.

      She suggessted using a Eucerin cream for it, I cannot remember if it was the Aquaphor.
      • Unsu...

        Re: little white arm bumps....

        Wed, August 16, 2006 - 5:12 PM
        i red in my schooling (nutritionist...) that this was a vitamin or mineral deficiency but i can remember which one....

        ill get back to ya.... but the previous post about zinc supplementation makes sense...

        im gonna go try and find it now.....

        • Unsu...

          Re: little white arm bumps....

          Wed, August 16, 2006 - 5:25 PM
          ah-ha! found it.... from my text book....

          'Vitamin A deficiency also affects the skin. Dry bumpy skin may occur, especially on the back of the arms. Since vitamin A promotes skin growth, moisture retention and proper cell differentiation, a deficiency causes decreased skin tone and rapid aging of the skin (!) and a variety of blemishes, acne or boils. vitamin A suppports the mucous-secreting cells of the internal mucous membranes. Mucus protects these membranes from infection and irritants. When vit A is deficient, these internal epithelial cells secrete a protein (keratin) commonly found externally in hair and nails. This keratinization process makes the epithelial cells harder and dryer and thus less protecting.' blah blah blah

          you get the point. so take a multi-vitamin/mineral. zinc is also good for the skin like a previous poster said. the RDA for vitamin A is 5000 iu/day but my sources recommend10000 iu/day.

          foods that contain vitamin A are: egg yolks, milk products, fish liver oil, and yellow/orange fruits and veggies.

          good luck!!
          • Unsu...

            Re: little white arm bumps....

            Wed, August 16, 2006 - 5:26 PM
            from my first post....

            i read! not i red....

            who's gonna believe me now????

            hee hee.
            • Unsu...

              Re: little white arm bumps....

              Wed, August 16, 2006 - 7:14 PM
              sweet.... thanks for the research!
              • Re: little white arm bumps....

                Thu, August 17, 2006 - 9:10 AM
                I tried KPDuty and it didn't work for me. Lots of testamonials on their site says it works for them, though. So it may be a bit individual.

                I use Alpha Hydrox silk Warp Body Lotion from neoteric it works great. In the winter when it's really dry I also use Eucerin Creme (the original thick creme in a tub).

                • Re: little white arm bumps....

                  Fri, September 1, 2006 - 9:45 AM
                  I'm pretty sure this is genetic, though nutrition could have something to do with it... The only thing that has worked for me is regular (as in daily) exfoliation and lotion application. I don't use the medicated lotion every day (though I probably should) becuase I think it's stinky. I think it's called lac-hydrin... I used to use amlactin but found the lac-hydrin @ Wallyworld for cheaper. It's less concentrated but a similar product.

                  It does go away though... eventually... my mom had it but said hers just went away @ 18. I'm 25 and my sister is 21 and we are still dealing with it, but my dermatologist has said it will go away. I work in a microbiology lab so I'm thinking some sort of chemical cocktail I'm exposed to is affecting my skin. The good news is that I don't get the raised white bumps anymore; just the goosebump-y thing- in fact they are almost smooth- so I think it's getting better.

                  Upper-arm-bump-girls unite!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: little white arm bumps....

                    Fri, September 1, 2006 - 10:58 AM
                    Well I'm 49 and it hasn't gone away yet. I am going to try these tips and hope for the best tho! :)
                    • Re: little white arm bumps....

                      Sat, September 9, 2006 - 12:08 PM
                      I talked to my dermatologist and she said to use:

                      Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Body Cream

                      On the back of the tube it says it is clinically proven to releive skin bumps found on the upper arms and thighs.

                      • Re: little white arm bumps....

                        Mon, October 23, 2006 - 6:19 AM
                        it's october now...
                        i've been exfoliating almost daily since january...
                        my bumps are no more, and exfoliation is all i do.
                        natural loofah and bronners soap.

               about some help with the acne on my jaw line...exfoliation doesn't seem to help there. any ideas?
                        • Re: little white arm bumps....

                          Mon, October 23, 2006 - 12:20 PM
                          I've been having some irritations on my face lately, although not acne (unless acne is itchy?), but what I've been doing, is kinda a bit of a "skin detox": I don't use anything except for this sprayable spring water and a clean kleenex or clean towel. I think in North America, you can only find this sprayable water stuff from Evian. I guess you could just use some bottled water as you would a toner as well. Spraying is just easier.

                          I'm doing this for a week, and then will slowly be adding back my regular skin products to find the culprit. Maybe your skin just wants a break?

                          And FYI: Exfoliation can often make acne worse, at least in my experience. The less you do, the less your skin has to react against.
                          • Unsu...

                            Re: little white arm bumps....

                            Mon, October 23, 2006 - 12:51 PM
                            i get bumps on my upper arms in the winter, and they seem worse after hot showers... seems to do fine in the summer when i have my body in the sun tho.
                            mine are redish but raised and bumpy and tiny...

                            have you tried taking a vitamin b complex and omega 3s?
                            the omega 3's especially do wonders for me and fast!
                            • Re: little white arm bumps....

                              Mon, October 23, 2006 - 1:59 PM
                              I did not get them when I was younger, they came on as I got much older.

                              I did not like the Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Body Cream even though it is made just for this problem. It is the texture, it it very thick.

                              I still like the DermaDoctor KP Duty. I just have to use it more often than I do. It works great on my elbows too.

                              I do take omega 3's and a multi vitamin every day and I eat eggs and salmon often.

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