Confession: I've got tiny red bumps on my upper arms, and no matter how much I scrub, they don't want to go away.
I buzzed Dr. Kenneth Beer, a Palm Beach derm, to find out what the heck it is. His phone diagnosis:
"Sounds like keratosis pilaris to me. This happens when skin proteins plug up hair follicles, and it's common to get it on your upper arms or thighs," he says. P.S., It's often hereditary, too. Thanks, Mom.
So how the heck do I get rid of the stuff?
"There isn't a permanent fix, but you can make the bumps go away for a while with glycolic and lactic acid treatments, which will diminish buildup and make your skin feel softer," says Beer.
Beer suggests a prescription such as Am Lactin, Lac Hydrin, and Theraplex FT. "And for some people, Retin A works well."
Two over-the-counter fixes with glycolic and lactic acid: DermaDoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Moisturizing Therapy for Dry Skin, $36 and DDF Glycolic Body Lotion 10%, $42.
It takes about two months for the bumps to make themselves scarce. In the meantime, Dr. Beer warned me not to get impatient. "Exfoliation with mechanical procedures"--or picking-- "will only make the bumps worse," he says.
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