Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition in which there are numerous rough follicular spots, which may be skin coloured, red or brown. This is usually referred to as chicken skin or goose flesh. They are painless and generally do not itch and most often they arise on the outer aspect of the upper arms, thighs and cheeks. They are inherited and are more common in low humidity, those who are overweight, or have atopic dermatitis or ichthyosis.
This is caused by a build up of keratin, which blocks the hair follicles in the skin and results in the formation of small bumps . This usually resolve on its own and has a tendency to recur. Aside from soaking and gentle exfoliation, frequent moisturization may also help. If not, have this evaluated by your dermatologist. Prescription creams or skin resurfacing techniques may also help. ( Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratosis_pilaris)
Thank you so much for your comprehensive answer! It sounds very much like what I have. They seem to be 'under' the skin, but do have a slight raised appearance. Thank goodness they are skin colored. I have just gotten an RX for Retin A which helped my blackhead issue years ago, and the dermatologist did say that this might help them over time. Thanks again!