Bumps on the Back of Arms


Arm Bumps You guessed it. Aspirin saves the day again for the DIY’ers.

First things first. Nothing will help if you continue to pick them. Picking only makes things worse! Here is what you can do to help:

Aspirin comes from the same source as salicylic acid which is a great chemical exfoliant. Keratosis Pilaris (those little chicken skin bumps on the back of your arms and thighs) need to be exfoliated. Loofas sometimes just aren’t enough. Aspirin can be greatly reduce the bumps by crushing several tablets up and making a paste with water. Scrub scrub scrub! Let the medicine do its thing, and rinse clean.

If you want a quicker cleaner version of this treatment, get IMAGE Skincare wipes and simply wipe them down every night. I LOVE THESE THINGS. *you can also use these to spot treat pimples, or on the whole face for acne prone skin to prevent breakouts. **Tip: cut the pads in half to last longer!


55 Comments on “Bumps on the Back of Arms

    • How much and how often do you apply the coconut oil and for what length of time to you leave it on janay? Thanks!

      • I apply it every time I would get out the shower before you dry off. you skin needs to be moist when you apply it. and it’s only a thin layer than you lather into your skin. I only had to put it on for 1 week or maybe 2. it’s been a year since I’ve gotten them 🙂

    • Coconut oil only makes my bumps softer but they are still VERY visible and just as embarrassing. . Tried it for over 6 months, smooth to the touch but still gross to look at. I might have a more sever case than you so I am not disputing the fact on wether it works or not. . Just in my experience it did not work for me. But I’ll still use coconut oil it got rid of my horrible winter dry skin.

      • I had the same result with coconut oil. Vitamin C serum (powder) mixed with Glycerin & Water (1tbsp each) and drop or two of vitamin E worked fast for me. All items can be found on Amazon and I still am using from the same initial buy a year later. It’s a little hassle mixing it each time but Vitamin C serum expires in a few days so necessary. Good luck!

  1. A lot of it is caused by dairy sensitivity too. Cut out as much dairy as you can and they clear up too.

    • Yes, I completely support that. Many times when someone has breakouts on their arms, back, chest, and legs it is caused by a food allergy or sensitivity. Actually, it is one of the most common symptom of food intolerances/allergies.

    • Amy, I had also heard that. Recently I started a new diet for which I had to cut out dairy products. Its been about two weeks and the bumps on my legs have completely gone away and the ones on my arms are clearly up!! I almost feel like a whole new person!

  2. Best option is dry brushing! Coconut and eliminating dairy has worked for me too.

  3. I agree Amy 🙂 Bumps and spots can be caused from food sensitivities. Wheat can also cause this. My mum suffers with this.

  4. Nothing has helped mine; I’ve tried everything from the inside out. I’ve been humiliated by them since I was a very small child and now at 40 they are worse than ever. Clean eating, no dairy, no wheat/gluten, topical aspirin, topical cocnout oil, other oils, prescribed treatments, daily exfoliation, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, the list goes on… Nothing works. If anyone else has tried anything else that has worked on their otherwise resistant kp, I would LOVE to know about it!

    • Crystal I have heard that coconut oil pulling works wonders on KP. You have to gently swish about a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. I’ve tried it but I can’t keep the oil in my mouth that long.

      • Are you using coconut oil that is a solid? That is what I read, that the coconut oil needs to be in solid form like crisco. It dissolves in your mouth!

    • My naturopath said this condition is often caused by a parasitic infestation. It sounds gross, I know, but very common. I discovered mine (had since a small child) was caused by a candida overgrowth, which was caused by a gluten and soy sensitivity. I went on a special diet and took a 3 week dose of oregano oil and coconut oil and what do you know, after a month, virtually no KP! I feel like my arms are getting smoother nearly everyday, and I’ve also noticed my facial skin never breaks out anymore. The hardest part has been giving up all sugars for a time (raw honey, limited fruits, and real grade b maple syrup are okay when limited), but I can slowly introduce them again soon. It’s all been worth it.

      • Jen, I to have kp on my arms my whole life. I have also battled Candida for 26 years. I am 27 years old. Has your candida returned? Along with the bumps? Just curious how your progress has gone.

    • The only thing that has worked for me is using Derma Doctor products. I use both the skin polish and cream. I buy it at Sephora. My sister and mom both use it too.

  5. Scrubbing can make it worse, need to shed the skin with an amino acid like lactic acid. It’s not a pimple, it is a build of keratin in the pore.

  6. Keratosis Pilaris is a symptom of the underlying issue of a lack of Vitamin A. Probably best to increase your intake of this vitamin to stop the problem where it starts, rather than treating the symptom.

  7. My daughter has this very bad on her arms and now it’s showing up on her face. Thank you everyone for the great ideas!

  8. I had issues with this for years and NOTHING worked. Switched to using cetaphil skin restoring body wash and lotion and haven’t had any problems since

  9. My dermatologist had me use amylactin. It is sold over the counter at Costco. It works.

  10. I have had them for years and my chiropractor told me to take viamin A and after a few months my arms are nice and smooth.

  11. Amlactin lotion is the only thing that has ever helped my KP. My dermatologist recommended it to me several years ago. It contains lactic acid, which exfoliates the skin and helps remove the keratin buildup. Most pharmacies carry it behind the counter (no need for a prescription), or you can find it at Costco.

  12. amylactin lotion really works. I also have used Retin A. but you will still need to moisturize as well!

  13. I am do glad to find this post! My daughter has them on her arms, cheeks and calves. It’s getting worse as she grows, she’s only 5. I’d like to get this under control before it causes her a world of teasing by her classmates. You know how children can be 🙁 I don’t want her to have to deal with confidence issues as a result. I will try the wash, exfoliant and coconut oil to see if that changes things. If that doesn’t work then it’s on to the salicylic acid.

  14. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome so teens and young adults should opt for a different method.

  15. Be careful taking vitamin A I have heard it can have cancer causing effects – May want to consult a dr first

  16. my pediatrician told me to use Eucerin + for it. It has to have the “+” though. It HAS to have lactic acid in it dr said. I am going to try that first. No thanks to the asprin!

  17. Exfoliating with any type of scrubbing is the worst thing you can do for keratosis. It will only exacerbate the problem. Lotions that contain urea are the best treatment, (and all this info comes from my dermatologist). This will exfoliate naturally without scrubbing. And moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!!! I use Revitaderm (Lotion containing urea – found it on Amazon – also works on any dry patches of skin, great for elbows, knees and heels) at night before bed and Eucerin lotion after showers and as often as I feel like it. I have NO MORE red bumps or rough dry skin! No other treatment has helped, and believe me, I’ve tried everything in the last 25 years.

  18. Eucerin helps make you skin smooth again! Does anyone know what makes it spread? I’ve had it a long time now and it’s all over my face now! Would love to hear tips!

  19. I turned out to be highly allergic to Eucerin lotion. I know, it’s supposed to be hypoallergenic, but… there’s one in every crowd, right? Test in a small area…

  20. I’ve used Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash for years for this problem with great success. Afterwards I use Aveeno Creamy Oil or Palmers Olive Oil Lotion. Either combination works very well. I’ve even had my grand-daughter using it. Hope this info helps.

  21. I swear by this routin to help soothe and minimize my kp: dry brush, take a warm and not hot shower, put coconut oil on skin before drying off after shower, and drink 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in water, tea or pure grapefruit juice (or any natural and not sugary juice) daily. Along with limiting or eliminating dairy, sugar and white flour.

  22. My husband has this skin type and so do our two boys. Taking an Omega 3-6-9 daily vitamin keeps their skin silky smooth. To truly heal means to rectify the imbalance that is the root cause of the condition, which is internal. Also to use topical treatments in conjunction with the internal.

  23. Weirdly enough, what finally worked for me was using those “smooth away” pads from the infomercials to smooth the skin and then putting any old lotion on.

  24. I’ve had this on my arms since I can remember, it’s never really bothered me or made me conscious of my arms but it doesn’t exactly look nice. I didn’t even know that it’s a condition, I just thought it was dry skin but moisturising doesn’t really make any difference to it. I’m excited to see if some of these remedies work.

  25. Myself, my six yr old and mom, all suffer with varying degrees of severity of KP. Amlactin, though pricey, works pretty well for my daughter as her KP is not as severe as mine, but for me? Not so much! Barely does anything at all. Recently I discovered, through the dr I work for, that it is also caused by a Vitamin A deficiency, so I’m supplementing now and trying Amlactin again! I love tank tops and sundresses but spend more time trying to hide the unsightly bumps. What I really hate is when people ask me how I got burnt…bc my arms get that red! 🙁

  26. Sorry, but there is no cure for KP. I’m 63 and have had it ever since I can remember and have tried every remedy going and none work. Some make it a little softer but nothing gets rid of it. It’s caused by a build up of keratin in the skin’s hair follicles Keratin is a protein found in the tough outer layer of skin, which causes the surface of the skin to thicken (hence the name “keratosis”). The excess keratin blocks the hair follicles with plugs of hard, rough skin. The tiny plugs widen the pores, giving the skin a spotty appearance.

    However, if it’s bothering you, the following measures may help improve your rash:
    •Use non-soap cleansers rather than soap – ordinary soap may dry your skin out and make the condition worse.
    •Moisturise your skin when it’s dry –your doctor or pharmacist can recommend a suitable cream. However, moisturisers and emollients only reduce the dryness of your skin and won’t cure the rash. Creams containing salicylic acid, lactic acid or urea are thought to be the most effective.
    •Gently rub the skin with an exfoliating foam pad or pumice stone to exfoliate the rough skin – be careful not to scrub too hard and rub off layers of skin.
    •Take lukewarm showers rather than hot baths.

    You can also ask your doctor about “off-label” treatments that may help. These are products that haven’t been officially approved and licensed for treating keratosis pilaris, but are sometimes used because they’ve helped people in the past. Examples include:
    •creams containing retinol (which is derived from vitamin A)
    •chemical peels
    •microdermabrasion – a cosmetic exfoliation treatment, which is sometimes offered in health spas

    There’s no strong evidence to suggest that these therapies are effective treatments for keratosis pilaris.

  27. I use bio oil. It has helped with these bumps and the stretch marks on my hips. I bought it on amazon- way cheaper tha buying it in the store.

  28. The only thing that has worked for me is using a lotion called NeoStrata, it contains Glycolic acid so it has to be used sparingly at first but it definitely worked for me. It can be purchased over the counter for about €30

  29. Apple cider vinegar(put in a spray bottle)followed bycoconut oil/ brown sugar mix

  30. My son has this and what seems to have helped him is a tbsp of cod liver oil every day and cutting out milk. Coconut oil made it worse. It also burns my skin. We must be too sensitive to it.

  31. i was informed this is from wheat, dr. williams/ cardiologists and author of the book “wheat belly” mine are about completely gone just from my extreme diet change. I just wanted to share an external way 🙂 and will try the aspirin. my son has them so bad 🙁

  32. I get these on the back of my arms and thighs. I find that drinking LOTS of WATER is very helpful. I read that there many are using coconut oil. I found that helped me. I think flushing your body of toxins helps as well. I would look into flushing your body and drinking atleast a gallon of water a day. I have gotten them bad since i stopped working out and detoxing,

  33. The ONLY thing that has worked for my kp bumps is using Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub & using it on effected areas every time i shower

  34. My niece has this on the back of her arms and the dermatologist had me get CeraVe SE lotion. It has to be the SE. I got it at Walgreens. He said to put it on right out of the shower and it seems to work (when she uses it). 🙂

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