little bumps on the back of arms.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know how to get rid of these?
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#2 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Both of my sons have these bumps and I have consulted with a naturopath about them. Apparently it could have something to do with an essential fatty acid deficiency. I have tried EFA oil supplementation and it has not helped get rid of them. I would also love to hear what others have to say about this issue.

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#3 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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i used to have the all over the back of my arms and in several places on my legs. turned out it was caused by dry skin. i moisturize EVERY TIME i get out of the bath or shower and they're gone. took about 6 weeks to disappear completely.

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#4 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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i just posted this on the traditional food forum. I think it is called Keratosis Pilaris. DH has this all over his body and we went to the doc this morning and that's what is his diagnosis.
I was trying to look for some natural remedy to help relieve the symptoms.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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I think it is called Keratosis Pilaris.
That's what I was going to say. The fatty acid info is interesting, I'll have to notice if mine and DS2's KP act differently depending on diet.

I've been exfoliating and moisturizing more than I used to, and that seems to result in nicer arms.

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#6 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Mine went away with a high quality cod liver oil. I buy carlsons at www.vitacost.com
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#7 of 27 Old 07-13-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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i used to have the all over the back of my arms and in several places on my legs. turned out it was caused by dry skin. i moisturize EVERY TIME i get out of the bath or shower and they're gone. took about 6 weeks to disappear completely.
This is what works for me. I had people tell me I needed to exfoliate there. But just moisturizing does the trick.
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#8 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#9 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Ohhh... I have wondered this for a long time. Thanks for the info! I have tried exfoliating with no luck. Will try moisturizing first, since thats easy.
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#10 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 12:52 PM
 
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WHAT IT IS: You are describing keratosis pilaris (keratosis pilaris alba, if the bumps are skin tone or white; keratosis pilaris rubra, if the bumps are reddish). It's a very common, benign, inherited condition characterized by an overgrowth of keratin. The bumps are usually on the backs of arms. But, some people get them on the backs of thighs. And, a small number get them on the face - but, that's very uncommon. There is no cure but there are things that make it better and things that make it worse.

WHAT MAKES IT WORSE: Cold, dry conditions make it worse. So, it is usually worse in winter months and a humidifier might help. Hot showers/baths can make it worse too. So, keep the water tepid. Vit. A deficiency can worsen symptoms too. But, since Vit. A supplementation can lead to a toxic dose (Vit. A accumulates quickly in the body) and true Vit. A deficiency is a rare condition, I mention it only as an FYI and not as a suggestion for treatment.

WHAT MAKES IT BETTER: Exfoliate the area with a loofah or Buf-Puf when you shower (this wears down the keratin bumps), apply an acid solution daily (this breaks down the bonds between the keratin bumps and the rest of your skin) and follow with a moisturizer (since dryness can exacerbate the problem and because the acid can dry your skin). This routine should turn the whole thing into a non-issue before the end of a week.

Salicylic acid (common in acne products), glycolic acid (common in anti-aging products), lactic acid, any alpha or beta hydroxy acid - any would do the trick. Urea is helpful too and it is often found in combination with salicylic acid.

You can go "natural", but that's the expensive approach. A middle of the road product is made by Nature's Gate http://www.drugstore.com/products/pr...BUY-PLST-0-CAT. Otherwise, any acne astringent/toner, scrub or body wash with 2% salicylic acid, the recommended strength, will do the trick.

Follow the acid treatment with a light moisturizer. Using an acne moisturizer will save you a step.

Neutrogena used to make a moisturizer specifically for keratosis pilaris! It was called Neutrogena Skin Smoothing Body Lotion and was marketed to "smooth away small bumps common on arms and legs". It was a light moisturizer with salicylic acid and worked great. I haven't seen it in awhile and just assume it's not made anymore.

My personal routine is to scour the area with an acne pad (Stirdex, Neutrogena, Noxema - all make acne pads with 2% salicylic acid) and follow with a light moisturizer. That's it. During the summer, twice a week and no moisturizer keeps it under control. I've used glycolic acid pads before and they work well, but they are much more expensive.
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#11 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I've recommended (and use this myself) -- baking soda, of course. I'm not sure if I had true keratosis, and I'm not sure if EVERYBODY with the crusty bumpy upper arms all have keratosis, but scrubbing with baking soda (or if you really need some moisturization, mix the baking soda with some olive oil, or apply a good moisturizer after showering).

My upper arms are smooth as a baby's butt and a couple of my friends and mom always notice that they're nice and smooth.

Coconut oil has also helped. I tend to agree with the previous posts that it's a combo of exfoliating and using a great moisturizer. Trying not to use scalding hot water in the shower also helps with the moisture problem too.

As for glycolic acid and other acids, you can find natural glycolic acids in things like honey and brown sugar, and natural alpha hydroxy acids in lemons, apple cider vinegar, strawberries, kiwis, and citrus fruits.

If you want to create a home-made alpha hydroxy serum, you can combine olive oil and lemon juice (or ACV), or mix some lemon juice with your favorite lotion. Leave that on overnight - and shower in the morning as usual. Don't wear this combination out in the sun. Like any alpha hydroxy, skin becomes more prone to burns if you have alpha hydroxy acids on it. Another option, if you do no-poo already, scrub your arms with the baking soda, and spray some ACV on your arms and rinse. Moisturize with lotion or oil or whatever afterward. You should see a great improvement in the scaly bumps.
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#12 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm not sure if I had true keratosis, and I'm not sure if EVERYBODY with the crusty bumpy upper arms all have keratosis ... you can find natural glycolic acids in things like honey and brown sugar, and natural alpha hydroxy acids in lemons, apple cider vinegar, strawberries, kiwis, and citrus fruits.
Keratosis pilaris is said to affect more than 50% of the population. So, I suspect almost everyone describing those crusty bumps on the upper arms is dealing with keratosis pilaris.

That said, it is beyond my understanding how anything affecting more than half of a population earns a Latin name and designation as a medical condition. It just seems like a variation of normal past a certain %; and, once you get past 50%, it seems that *not* having the condition is the aberration. I'm sure it will soon have an acronym and a TV commercial for pharmaceutical intervention. Heck, they're now treating RLS like it's a diseases akin to plague when no one ever gave it a second thought just a few years ago. ... stepping down ... sorry, pet peeve. Getting back on topic ...

I tried and had inconsistent results using fresh fruit acids - various citrus and pineapple (which I sometimes use on my face). They didn't work as well as the commercial products on the bumps and were more costly to use on a daily basis. Even apple cider vinegar fell short for me, except that it is sometimes enough during the summer (when the bumps are fewer) if I've been good about keeping-up with exfoliating. If I'm without salicylic acid pads, I do use a spritz of ACV - the bottle is already in my shower for my hair routine.

It was explained to me that the acids have to be more concentrated than what occurs naturally in order to have a good effect. But, certainly, if someone's got an extra slice of lemon or pineapple - it's worth a try.
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#13 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Yeah, I don't even bother with the acids. A good scrubbing with baking soda and then perhaps moisturizing (cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, lotion, whatever is around) alone does it for me.
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#14 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 08:25 PM
 
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taking cod liver oil cleared it up for me, and i have had it since i can remember.
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#15 of 27 Old 07-14-2007, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great info!! Thanks
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#16 of 27 Old 07-16-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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yep...they are inherited. mine must not be too obvious cause I've been w/ DH for 10 years now and he just noticed them last month!

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#17 of 27 Old 07-16-2007, 02:57 AM
 
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So *that's* what I've had my whole life!? Ha!!!

My DS (3) just started showing signs of these on backs of upper arms and some on thighs in the past 2 months or so. I switched to Aveeno baby wash and moisturizer as I thought it might be an allergy or something. I'm careful to give him an extra rinse at the end of every bath to be sure there's no residual suds.

I just started the Aveeno thing so I'm not sure if its working yet.

Can I do the acid exfoliation thing on such a little person's skin? I can try the baking soda paste thing but I'm not sure if he'll be much of a fan of it. I wonder if the pads with the 2% solution would be better. Thoughts?

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#18 of 27 Old 07-16-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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Acids are a type of exfoliation, and I don't recommend them on tykes. You can try using a nubbly washcloth during bathtime and get it soapy. Buff the skin with gentle, but firm (if that makes sense) circles. Moisturize the skin after the bath.
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#19 of 27 Old 07-16-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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Forgot to mention - on babies, it's a bit of a different skin issue, and for them, it's called milia, not keratosis. You can look up how to get rid of milia on the internet.
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#20 of 27 Old 07-16-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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Forgot to mention - on babies, it's a bit of a different skin issue, and for them, it's called milia, not keratosis.
Babies certainly do get keratosis pilaris. The condition usually starts in childhood.

Milia is a separate keratin disorder, characterized by keratin-filled cysts that often look like they can be "popped", like whiteheads. The variant of milia seen in infants usually appears on the face and disappears after the first few weeks of life. It is believed to arise in sebaceous glands that are not fully developed, explaining the high prevalence in newborns.

In response to the pp's question about a child with keratosis pilaris, if you feel you must do something, I agree with Spastica - just a little extra *umph* with a textured washcloth (or, a gentle Buf-Puf - it comes in regular and gentle). You might switch to a cold process goat's milk soap **. The lactic acid in milk is mildy-keratolytic, and the naturally-occurring glycerin in handmade soap is moisturizing. But, IMO, that's the limit because this is just a subtle cosmetic issue.

If my child was self-conscious, the bumps were on the face (a less common variant of keratosis pilaris), and my child was old enough to participate in an informed decision, then I might consider salicylic acid. But, I'm thinking about teenage years. While salicylic acid is supposed to be safe to use on younger children, at the very least if can be drying and irritating - even adult skin. I just wouldn't go there with a young child.

It's not something that leaves scars and, for about half of those affected, it fades as you age - though, that has not been the case for me or anyone in my familial line. We're all still bumpy into adulthood. The bumps on the backs of our arms and thighs allow us to recognize family members in the dark.

(** A cold process goat's milk soap is gentle enough for children. All the naturally-occurring glycerin is retained with cold process soap, so it is moisturizing. If you are not familiar with soap making, you might be surprised to know that the glycerin that results from the process is usually removed. Glycerin is valuable and is sold off to be used in the cosmetics, food, and other industries. Even so-called "glycerin" soaps are usually soaps from which all the glycerin was first removed and, then, a little is put back-in! You can find cold process goat's milk soap through a variety of outlets including natural food markets, WAHMs and others selling through eBay, and private internet sellers such as www.mosoap.com. Just make sure you are buying cold process soap because some sellers tag their product "handmade" but are selling something other than cold process soap. I just bought a 2-1/2 lb loaf of unscented, cold process goat's milk soap, enriched with shea butter, for $15. That translates to 10 big bars. We all use it as it helps my DH's dry skin, helps my keratosis pilaris, and side-steps my DSD's sensitivity to chemicals.)
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#21 of 27 Old 07-17-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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I've had them as long as I can remember and a rough scrubbing with a loofah controls them enough for me. I get them on the upper arms and thighs.
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#22 of 27 Old 07-17-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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My dd has KP on her upper arms. She likes to use honey and baking soda on her arms and then we Kiss My Face Peaces and Cream alpha hydroxy moisturizer. Now that it is summer she has fewer bumps and neither of us is that diligent about the scrubbing and moisturizing. I keep thinking I should give her CLO but I don't think she would take it.

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#23 of 27 Old 07-17-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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You know, I haven't had them since I started using Cold Liver Oil too.
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#24 of 27 Old 07-18-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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Any ideas about how to get CLO into a 3 year old? :

First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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#25 of 27 Old 07-26-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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Any ideas about how to get CLO into a 3 year old? :
Mix it into a smoothie!
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#26 of 27 Old 07-26-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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Any ideas about how to get CLO into a 3 year old? :
my 2 yo loves it right off the spoon!
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#27 of 27 Old 07-27-2007, 04:31 AM
 
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Mix it into a smoothie!
Great idea! Got a favorite recipe?

First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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