What is the dry, bumpy skin at the tops of my arms?

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What is the dry, bumpy skin at the tops of my arms?


A fairly common problem, we often speak to clients who are embarrassed about the skin on the tops of their arms.  Rather than appearing smooth, it can take on a slightly raised appearance, with small bumps under the skin.  It is also sometimes drier than usual, and nothing seems to shift it… so what is it?

It could be a skin condition known as Keratosis Pilaris.  If the skin on the tops of your arms (or buttocks, or fronts of your thighs) looks like its permanently covered in goose pimples, you may have this.  The pimples are usually raised, almost with a spikey feel, and are sometimes pink or red in colour, though often there is no colour change on the skin .  Occasionally they may feel itchy, but most often this is a skin condition with no sensation associated with it; it just feels a bit rough, and sufferers feel it looks unsightly.  It is not contagious.

Usually, Keratosis Pilaris runs in families; so you can blame one of your parents! Keratosis pilaris occurs when too much keratin builds up in the skin’s hair follicles. Keratin is a protein found in the tough outer layer of skin, which causes the surface of the skin to thicken, hence the name “keratosis”.

The excess keratin blocks the hair follicles with plugs of hard, rough skin. The tiny plugs widen the pores, giving the skin a spotty appearance. It’s often associated with other dry skin conditions, such as eczema and ichthyosis, which make the rash worse.

There’s no cure for keratosis pilaris, but you may be able to improve it by using soap-free cleansers, moisturising, and gently removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin (exfoliating).  When in the shower, traditional shower gels may be too drying, which can make the problem worse.  Use a soap free cleanser instead, which is kinder to your skin.

Exfoliation is key!  But you don’t want to use something too harsh, and risk scratching your skin.  Swissdermyl’s Body Exfoliator Scrub comes highly recommended, and is effective at removing the unnecessary keratinized top layer of skin, without stripping harshly. Use it 2 to 3 times a week for best results. Alternatively, a session or two of Diamond Microdermabrasion may help to smooth the area, but not if there are any scabs, or skin irritation.

Treat your skin! After removing the excess dead cells, it’s important to treat your skin with something that’s going to help.  Swissdermyl’s Skin Renewing Serum will do just that. It is a restorative treatment, formulated with fruit acids and glycolic acid, and stimulates the natural process of cell renewal by speeding up the exfoliation of dead cells; exactly what you need, daily, if you’re a Keratosis Pilaris sufferer!

Moisturise your skin!  As this condition is made worse by dry skin, using an effective moisturiser is essential.  Body Perfect from Swissdermyl contains a highly mineralized marine emulsion with caffeine that is rapidly absorbed by the skin. It is also rich in hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and firms the skin.

Diamond Microdermabrasion treatments are available at Nay Nay’s Beauty Boutique with Angela and Karen, and cost £55 per session.  Swissdermyl products are available to order. For more information, call the salon on 01903 367483, alternatively you can book an appointment by clicking here

Angela Moulding
Angela Moulding
Angela is the go to girl for all things skin care related. She has 9 years experience training the trainers in advanced electrical equipment and is our skin care specialist! Along with advanced skin care knowledge, Angela brings with her qualifications in intimate waxing, lava shell massage and eyelash lifting!

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