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red raised rash on back of upper arms of 12 yr old
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red raised rash on back of upper arms of 12 yr old

Hello, my 12 yr old daughter has raised, rough looking, bumpy skin on the back of her upper arms. She has had this for as long as I can remember and it has never caused any problems but now as she is getting older and more conscience of her body image it bothers her. It looks kind of like reddened, permanent goose bumps....any ideas what this might be or what we might do for it? We have tried moisturing to no avail. Thanks....Amy
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Amy:

It sounds as though you are describing keratosis pilaris, a hereditary condition in which bumps of keratin protein (a normal skin component) gather in follicle openings on the upper arms, especially.

Have your daughter get a Buf Puf or loofah in the pharmacy, apply an alpha-hydroxy acid cream, and scrub the area for 20-30 seconds a day until the skin is smooth renough to have her do this just once in a while to keep it that way.

You have to be so careful when you choose your family . . .

Best.

Dr. R
15 Comments
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My 7 yr old daughter has what sounds like the same thing on her arms.  Her dr. dx as eczema (only by looking at it...no testing, is that realistic?) and suggested Eucerin cream daily.  Her skin is rather dry and sensitive and the cream has helped that, but the bumps are still there with no apparent change after 4 weeks.  Would the Alpha-hydroxy acid scrub be too irritating if this IS eczema?  Should I try it in addition to the cream?  Thanks.
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Just read the problem regarding keratosis pilarus and really do appreciate the assistance in alleviating the problem.  My daughter is 13 and has the same problem and we will try your suggestion.  Thank you so much for having such an informative site.
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Avatar_n_tn
regarding the red bumps on the back of my arms, i read your answer for the other girls, and i do use a loofah, along with an aha lotion.  but my question is what can i do about the redness??  and when i get really cold, sometimes the redness will turn blue. please help, i am tired of people telling me it's normal. its rather unsightly
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I had the same exact thing growing up.  Bumps all over the backs of my arms (and my behind!)  I found that mine usually got better if I spent time in the sun and they have lessened with age.  (Probably around my early to mid-20's they became less noticable but they are STILL there...just not as bad.)  I really don't think there is anything you can do.  Except, as I said, they seemed to be better if I spent time in the sun...but then, the sun can cause other damage so be sure and use sun screen.  You know, maybe it was the chlorine in the pool that did it and not the sun.  The bumps that I had on my behind would virtually disappear after a day in the pool and that part of me never saw the sun!  Also with a little bit of a tan going, the bumps on the arms don't show up as much!  Maybe you can give your daughter a few visits to a tanning bed or if you are terribly concerned about the effects of sun and tanning beds, try the self tanning creams.
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just wanted to post regarding keratosis pilaris..i had a really bad case of it and tried everything that the doctors prescribed...creams l, lotions, buf pufs...retin a...everything...the most effective thing I found turned out to be something i found in a health food store...I started taking 3 to 5 tablespoons a day of Barleans brand omega twin for general health...it's a flax oil supplement...within about a week i noticed that the skin on the back of my arms was MUCH better.  I did some research on it and found in fact that essential fatty acid deficiency is a major factor in keratosis pilaris...i was shocked that all the derm's that i had seen had never suggested it...even people in my family commented on it and how much bettert it looked...my sister was like, it's GONE!  Months later, i have NEW SKIN!  Try it!
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I have rash like hives er my body in the warm areas of my body and they itche and burn, hurt also and is spreading like wild flowers I'm 49 yrs and I don't have time to be itcheing. tell me something and what to use
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I have rash like hives er my body in the warm areas of my body and they itche and burn, hurt also and is spreading like wild flowers I'm 49 yrs and I don't have time to be itcheing. tell me something and what to use
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Avatar_n_tn
My 22 year old son has the back of the upper arm red bumps and I thank you for the suggestions. They are, as you say, "normal" but distressing to young people conscious of their body image, etc. Thanks again. Will let you know what works!
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I have the same bumps on the back of my arms and my girlfriend has it on her arms and back. Although it doesn't bother me to much it does bother my girlfriend quite a bit.  She likes to lay out in the sun and says that it does bring some amount of relief. It seems that no one knows of a definate fix to the problem.
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I am trying to locate a flax supplement:  Barleans (brand)
flax oil supplement:  omega twin for general health.  
I cannot find this in my area.  Any internet suggestion?  I cannot find the brand-does that matter?
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Avatar_n_tn
Keratosis Pilaris or Foliculitis (folliculitis).  Mine sounds more like Kertosis Pilaris since it started on the back of my arms also.
I had the same thing growing up (and still do).  I can't remember not having them.  It started just a little on the back of my arms when I was a toddler and as I grew older it spread slowly over the years around my body.  My body hair is very light not hairy at all.  It seems to appear where the body hair starts to appear.  I am now 31 years old and it has appeared a little everywhere except my head, neck, hands, lower legs and privates.  I don't think it would spread as much on females since guys spring hair from all over as they grow older.  I went to half a dozen doctors growing up to try to find out what it was.  Growing up I explained the rash to my peers as not enough vitamin C, too much milk, to much sun, not enough sun,... most of these were the doctors explanations.  Everyone's body has flaws and the sooner you realize this the more comfortable and happy you will be.  I remember being very embarrassed about it and running around in a long sleeve shirt during the summer.  I wish I would have adopted this philosophy sooner but no matter what my attitude is I'm always open to suggestions.  I will give the alpha-hydroxy acid cream a try this time.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Also, the sun and salt water at the beach does seem to make the rash almost disappear for a short time.  Over the years the skin seems to slightly scar giving the appearance of small freckles.  I wish everyone luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem with the bumps on the back of my arms
and Im going to try the flax oil and esterfied vitamen C. I've
heard good results follow these treatments
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Hey  - I have been diagnosed with Keratosis Pilarus as well. I've had it since.. well, forever for my purposes. I have tried EVERYTHING. Ever since I was 6 I had creams, lotions, potions.. everything. Recently my dermatoligist gave me a mixture of lactic acid, water and, lac-hydrin. Few pharmacists will make up the mixture, but it DEFINITLY helped!!! Within one application, the bumps on my arms were gone. The ones on my face are going away. I found that if I skipped an application the bumps on my face would come back, but the ones on my arms would stay away for a little bit. But when I made it up again they would go away. I reccomend asking your dermatoligist about this. I dunno if anyone else with this problem also has this (a little wierd..) I do not have much eyebrow. I am guessing this is due to the Keratosis Pilarus.. but if anyone has this same thing and knows of something I can do, please let me know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey  - I have been diagnosed with Keratosis Pilarus as well. I've had it since.. well, forever for my purposes. I have tried EVERYTHING. Ever since I was 6 I had creams, lotions, potions.. everything. Recently my dermatoligist gave me a mixture of lactic acid, water and, lac-hydrin. Few pharmacists will make up the mixture, but it DEFINITLY helped!!! Within one application, the bumps on my arms were gone. The ones on my face are going away. I found that if I skipped an application the bumps on my face would come back, but the ones on my arms would stay away for a little bit. But when I made it up again they would go away. I reccomend asking your dermatoligist about this. I dunno if anyone else with this problem also has this (a little wierd..) I do not have much eyebrow. I am guessing this is due to the Keratosis Pilarus.. but if anyone has this same thing and knows of something I can do, please let me know.
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