Also known as keratosis pilaris, these little bumps on the arms can be treated with regular application of creams containing glycolic acid, lactic acid, ammonium acetate, urea or retinoids. Keratosis pilaris is caused by the chronic build up of skin cells around the hair follicles, as reported by WebMD. These creams either help with shedding of skin, or soften the plugged follicles.
Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that affects up to 50 percent of the population, though women are slightly more likely than men to develop it, as stated on DoctorOz.com. The condition is the result of a chronic build-up of the protein keratin and skin cells around the hair follicles. In many cases the hair even becomes trapped under a hard plug, becoming ingrown.
These little bumps can be treated to reduce their appearance and smooth out the skin over time. Occasionally exfoliating the skin with a bath scrub or even a microdermabrasion treatment can help kick start the process. DoctorOz.com suggests that the core of the treatment is regular application of creams containing ingredients that help the skin shed these cells and soften plugged follicles.
Creams containing either glycolic or lactic acid work on the problem by encouraging exfoliation and acting as humectants to keep the skin soft. Products containing urea work by helping with the breakdown of skin cells and debris so they are easier for the body to shed. Retinoid creams, used sparingly, are a good choice for keratosis pilaris that is complicated by acne problems.