25 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: I’ve hundreds of tiny bumps on my arms

I suspect you have a skin condition called keratosis pilaris (KP)

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir
27 Sep 2016 | 10:40 am

I’m an 18-year-old girl suffering from a peculiar skin condition. My arms and upper back are riddled with tiny reddish pimples.

I suspect you have a skin condition called keratosis pilaris (KP). This is quite a common complaint. Those with atopic preponderance (an increased tendency for bronchial asthma, childhood eczema, allergic rhinitis) are the most frequent sufferers of KP.

Your affected skin areas are typically involved. In addition, the back and outer sides of upper thighs are also affected in a majority of cases. In some instances it can be quite itchy.

There is a strong hereditary influence that makes certain individuals more prone and vulnerable to this condition.

A cure is not yet available for KP; symptomatic remedial efforts are the mainstay of most treatments. Many types of keratolytic preparations with salicylic or glycolic acids are usually prescribed. They offer an exfoliating action, but the degree of exfoliation depends on the concentration of active ingredients.

Combining certain steroidal creams in cases with prominent inflammation associated with itching provides quick relief. Scrubbing with loofahs during baths helps. Use of moisturisers after bath can help combat any extra skin peeling due to use of exfoliants. See a dermatologist for a proper care routine.

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Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir

is a specialist dermatologist and founder and president of Dermacare Skin Health Services.