Many people will find that they have small lumps on their upper arms that in the past could have been attributed to sensitive skin. But these protuberances are actually linked to a health condition: keratosis pilaris. This is a harmless condition that can last a long time, but eventually it can go away on its own. The British Skin Foundation says that the condition may be present in half of the population.
It says it affected 50 to 70 percent of teens and about 40 percent of adults.
But why does it appear?
The UK skin charity explains: "Keratosis pilaris appears when additional keratin accumulates in the hair follicles. This usually begins in childhood and becomes more obvious during adolescence and adulthood.
"For reasons that are not fully understood, the condition seems to be better in summer than in winter, perhaps because in winter the skin often dries, while in summer the sweat makes it less dry.
"Keratosis pilaris may be associated with ichthyosis vulgaris and atopic eczema, however, this may be a coincidence."
What are the symptoms of keratosis pilaris?
The Mayo Clinic describes the following symptoms:
Small lumps without pain, typically on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks
Dry and rough skin in areas with protuberances.
It gets worse when the seasonal changes cause little humidity and the skin tends to be drier
Pieces of sandpaper that look like goose meat
According to the NHS, the bumps may be red, white, toned or darker than your skin, and sometimes the skin may feel itchy.
Should you see a doctor?
Treatment is not necessary for keratosis pilaris, but if you are concerned about the appearance of your skin, you should consult your GP.
If you can not talk to your GP and do not know what to do next, you can call 111.
How to get rid of Keratosis pillar
While the condition may go away on its own after several years, there are things you can do to help improve the appearance of your skin, says the NHS.