What Are Those Bumps on Your Arms?

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Ever get raised, red bumps on your upper arms that look like a rash? We spoke to New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross to find out exactly what these bumps are and how to get rid of them!

“The bumps that show up on the backs of the arms are a typical case of Keratosis Pilaris, commonly referred to as 'chicken skin,'" Dr. Gross explains.  "This skin condition is commonly seen on the upper arms—but can also appear on other areas, such as your thighs or buttocks—and causes small bumps to form that have a rough, dry feeling. They're usually white in color but can sometimes appear red and are often mistaken as heat rash. Sweating and excess oil can often clog pores, so make sure you exfoliate your whole body in the shower after a workout. KP shouldn't itch or hurt, and aren't contagious."

And what causes these pesky bumps? "Keratosis Pilaris is caused by plugged pores in the hair follicles, which result in tiny bumps on the surface of the skin. They occur more often in winter, as there is less humidity in the air and the skin tends to dry out more quickly. The best way to treat them is with a combination of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids—found in peels and exfoliators—or intensive daily moisturization and the use of a humidifier at night," says Dr. Gross.

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