I think you may be talking about keratosis pilaris which is a hereditary skin condition affecting roughly half of the population (although not all have the redness along with the bumps). Most commonly found on the upper arms and thighs (sometimes face, and other areas). As I understand it, the bumps and irritation are the result of over-production of keratin in the hair follicle which forms a hard plug (sometimes there's even a little hair curled up in there too). Keratosis pilaris doesn't need to be treated as it is only seen as a cosmetic concern, but there are several different types of treatments to try...they do not cure the condition...only help improve the appearance. AM-Lactin lotion (12% lactic acid) is available over the counter, Umecta (40% urea) mousse is prescription only, some people recommend using a loofa to exfoliate and help minimize the bumps (although some people say this makes it worse for them), and apparently sunlight exposure can help (although not worth the risk of skin cancer) probably by masking more than anything, keeping the area moisturized may help, and a friend of mine is currently using neutrogena pore reducing wash, lotion, and astringent with some success. Many people say that you have to stick to a treatment for several months to start seeing any significant improvement.
I have this problem too...as I'm getting older and especially after having a baby, the condition has worsened and spread (on arms and legs). I have personally tried several of the treatments mentioned above...loofa helped with bumps, but not redness; moisturizer did nothing; AM-Lactin lotion kind of burns after using a loofa and seemed to make the redness worse temporarily (gave up after a month with little improvement), and currently trying Umecta prescription...not sure if it's going to help. Sunlight definitely helped, but I'm too fair-skinned to treat it that way.
Hope this helps! And you're not alone if you do indeed have this condition!
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