Friday, July 11, 2008

Little bumps on the back of the arms

Do you have these tiny little bumps along your upper arms? No matter how much you exfoliate, it doesn’t want to go away and just looks unsightly. Is that the end of wearing sleeveless?

What are these tiny little bumps? That was the question burning in my head for a while. I finally managed to find out what it is.

“Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder, typified by “chicken skin” bumps on upper arms, thighs, torso, buttocks and occasionally the cheeks. Excess skin forms around individual hair follicles, creating the characteristic minute, rough, grater-like bumps. Keratosis Pilaris affects almost 50% of the world’s population and is particularly likely to affect anyone prone to eczema, asthma or hay fever”. (

“Keratosis pilaris tends to be more severe during the winter months but no one is sure why that is the case and it definitely isn't consistent for everyone. Basically, the bumpy rough spots are clogged pores that sometimes get red and irritated but rarely itch. Regrettably there is no available cure or universally effective treatment, though it is generally well accepted that unclogging pores and reducing inflammation can improve matters greatly (Source: eMedicine Journal, July 2, 2001, Volume 2, Number 7).”

It seems that pure exfoliation alone doesn’t help (as I’ve tried) and that it NEVER goes away! Once you get it, you have to be prepared to treat it constantly. Sigh!

Based on the website and others, they recommend using a product which have AHA in it. So, I turned to my favourite AHA product. It definitely helped. The bumps are less obvious and don’t look inflamed. Even though the AHA helped to improve the appearance of it, it was still pretty obvious close up.

Frustration again! Until I read an article by Paula Begoun where she mentioned about this. What she said made sense, “Lactic acid (a very effective form of alpha hydroxy acid) can help exfoliate skin cells, but lactic acid isn't effective for dissolving lipids, so it can't penetrate into the pore and exfoliate the lining of the pore that is a major cause of the problem.”

She recommended using a product which salicylic acid in it that has a low enough pH for exfoliation to be effective. I followed her recommendation and YES!

Using both the AHA and BHA product alternatively, those bumps have reduced so much that it can hardly be seen. However, you need to keep doing this regularly or the condition just comes back (can’t be lazy here!).

This was what I tried and experimented with and now works for me.
So, if you have Keratosis Pilaris as well, why not give this a go?
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