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564434 tn?1219981753

sandpaper skin?

I have what someone a long time ago told me was "sandpaper skin" on my upper arms, part of my forearm and a little just above my knees on my thighs.  My little sister as well as my son have it on their upper arms too, so obviously this is genetic or something.  Mine is worse than my sisters and my sons.  I feels like rough dry skin with little bumps.  Lately i have been getting what looks like white heads mixed in with the other bumps and they do have white  stuff that comes out of them of i pop them.  Is that normal?  is there anything i can do to treat it?  i hate how my arms feel and done like anyone to touch them.  I feel like i have acne on my arms, i have never had pimples or acne on my face, so this is annoying to me.  any help?
3 Responses
564434 tn?1219981753
564434 tn?1219981753
Avatar universal
What you're describing sounds like Keratosis Pilaris. It is a genetic skin disorder. I have it and my father has it too. It is found mostly on the back of the upper arms, but can be everywhere except the palms and soles of the feet. I've read that it occurs in over 40% of people, but the severity varies. I am a black west african and I've only seen it on like two white females, but never on any black people. I always felt so abnormal because of that, and never exposed my arms after age 12 when they started appearing.  I was like, "why am I the only black person with this". Because I'm black, caramel brown complexion, the bumps appear dark brown, almost black on my body so it is very visible. On the  white people I've seen it on it is more pinkish. Over the past 8 years it has spread over 65% of my body. There are many treatments, but no cures. OTC lotions and creams work for few (like eucerin skin therapy body creme), prescription cremes work for some. Others use natural oils  rubbed on (coconut oil) or ingested (flax seed oil or fish oil with omega 3's). Some try a combination of things like using a loofah to exfoliate during showers, a paticular lotion or oil that works for them, along with some change in diet like ingesting the appropriate amounts of fish oil or carrot juice. There seems to be a link to Vitamine A deficiency. So you have the gene but not that many bumps and then your Vitamine A levels go down then you get more bumps and when people like that start drinking carrot juice regularly it goes away. That doesn't work for everyone. Whatever does work for a particilar person once they let up on the treatment the bumps come back. There is a world wide KP (Keratosis Pilaris) Forum that you can go to, to look at pictures and read about different treatments.
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