Dots on forearms and thighs? (keratosis pilaris)

A lot of people suffer from Keratosis Pilaris on their arms & thighs. Its quite common! We guide you to the best treatment & skincare here!

Author Mads Timmermann

Mads has 14+ years of experience as a skin expert and has written/read this article.

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Question: “Dots on forearms and thighs? (keratosis pilaris)”

Hi Mads

I hope you can help me. I have a whole bunch of little red and white dots on my arms and thighs. They look much like small and hard pimples, but there’s just no inflammation and they are quite tough.

I cant really say that the dots looks gross. There is no inflammation and it’s just red dots, but they make my skin very uneven. My skin on the arms is completely ruffled and bumpy with lots of those little red dots.

I hope you can help me to get rid of those red bumps on my thighs and upper arms. They irritate me tremendously and I do not feel my arms and thighs are neat. I therefore choose to never go around with bare sleeves and short skirts. I always use long-sleeved shirts and blouses. Just as I prefer pants and jeans rather than skirts. Dark stockings together with a dress is fine, but its certain that my nylon stockings gets destroyed and I can not use them again. The hard bumps on my thighs simply creates small holes in my stockings, so I rarely dress in anything other than pants and jeans.

I would love to get rid of these red bumps on my thighs and upper arms, so I like everyone else can go around with short sleeves, bare legs, stockings and skirts :-D 

I have had these dots for several years now and they are just tremendously annoying!

Fingers crossed! I hope you can help me.

Hopeful, Line

Answer to: “Dots on forearms and thighs? (keratosis pilaris)”

Hi Line

I will certainly love to help you! I could very easily tell you what these dots are. And I will be happy to help you with advice on how to best treat the bumps on your thighs and arms, so you can get a nice even skin.

First of all, then I would just hasten to interject that I am of course very sorry to hear you have this skin problem. And I’m really sorry to hear that you have been struggling with the problem for several years. You do not write about what you have tried, but i would truly have wished you had written earlier – so I could be allowed to help you to get rid of those red bumps on your thighs and arms.

The dots you are troubled by on your thighs and upper arms is, as you mention, not pimples or whiteheads. These small dots are most likely a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris.

Keratosis Pilaris is a very common skin disorder, which mainly occurs on the upper arms. But Keratosis Pilaris can also appear on the cheeks, thighs and buttocks. Keratosis Pilaris is exactly as you describe them, small and hard dots.

The color of the dots is usually white, but if you are scrubbing and scratching them, then they become red – so when you are irritating your skin, they will become red. And the vast majority who is suffering from Keratosis Pilaris would argue that the dots are red – it is quite easy to irritate the dots, so they turn red. Many can not resist scrubbing and scratching the dots and other things, like clothes (e.g. tight jeans) rub up and down the thighs, so the dots becomes irritated.


Keratosis Pilaris is – as I said – a very common skin disorder that causes small pimple-like dots on the arms, thighs, cheeks and buttocks to appear. The small dots are often white, sometimes red and itchy.

BUT Keratosis Pilaris makes the skin very rough and bumpy, so many claws and scratches the affected areas of the skin – and this creates small scratches that will itch.

The skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris are red bumps on thighs and arms – and sometimes on the cheeks and buttocks. Most often the red dots appear on the upper arms. The red dots are clusters of protein in the hair roots of the skin – which is very similar to whiteheads, but they are not whiteheads.

Whiteheads are small white bumps under the skin, which is quite hard – whiteheads almost looks like a nice little gem when pressed out, and consists of dead skin cells. Conversely, Keratosis Pilaris is simply the accumulation of protein (keratin) which accumulates under the skins surface and the hair follicle is pressed against the skins surface, – there is no “gem” or “pearl” in the dot, but only a little pus because an excess amount of keratin.

Keratosis Pilaris can be a frustrating condition because it can be difficult to treat. Although the skin disorder is not exactly nice, it is completely harmless and will often disappear by itself, but it may take several years before this happens. However, it is quite easy to keep the condition down until it disappears, by using different skin care products.


Anyone can get the skin condition Keratosis Pilaris, which are small hard bumps in the skin. In fact, it is estimated that about 40-50% of the adult population suffer from Keratosis Pilaris in a greater or lesser degree. So you’re far from alone in fighting against these annoying bumps on your thighs and upper arms.

And therefore I would like to answer your question thoroughly so that even more people can benefit from it. Even though Keratosis Pilaris is difficult to treat and remove 100%, it is quite easy to alleviate the symptoms – and with time the skin disorder will disappear completely.

Despite 40-50% of adults suffer from Keratosis Pilaris, the skin disorder is most common in children and adolescents and it is estimated that as many as 50 – 80% of young people have Keratosis Pilaris. Especially newborns are often plagued by Keratosis Pilaris – most know a child who had dozens of small white bumps on the legs, arms and even in their face. However, for infants these dots disappear quite quickly – usually within a few months, when the newborns skin has become accustomed to the outside world.

Besides babies, it is especially teenagers who are affected – and especially girls, when they start getting their menstrual periods. You can’t say that Keratosis Pilaris is caused by hormonal changes in the body – nevertheless, the skin disorder remains frustrating and should be treated.

Or at least, make sure to do something to alleviate the symptoms – you cant remove the skin condition entirely, but you can do so the dots are not there anymore. And it’s probably almost the same as talking about being cured – but it will require that you continue with the treatment of the skin, so the studs do not come back. Also the skin condition will disappear by itself in a few years.

Precisely years and age play much in relation to Keratosis Pilaris. It is a skin condition, which improves as you get older. Some experience that the condition disappears after puberty, but many also experience the condition continues up through the 20s, 30s and 40s.

Most people experience however Keratosis Pilaris disappear by itself before or around 30 years of age, but some adults in their 40s and 50s still have Keratosis Pilaris.

And just because some have come through adolescence and puberty without getting Keratosis Pilaris, it can suddenly appear.

But let me just interject again the symptoms is so easily treatable. And despite there being no 100% cure to the skin disorder, you can easily get the symptoms to disappear completely if you take great care of the skin – so that none can see the studs.

I can also add that, unfortunately, more women than men is affected by Keratosis Pilaris.


Buds from Keratosis Pilaris occurs as mentioned earlier, because the body produces too much keratin, a natural protein in the skin. So it has nothing to do with the protein we eat – and Keratosis Pilaris can not be removed or minimized if you stop eating protein.

The excess keratin encloses the hair follicle, creating this knob in the skin – a miss follicle.

Although you often have the condition the year round, so the climate has nevertheless an importance as the cool and dry winter climate worsens the condition and humid and hot climate can improve the condition.

Evidence suggests that Keratosis Pilaris is hereditary. A large proportion of those who have the skin disorder is related to others who have or have had it. So if your mom or dad has suffered from Keratosis Pilaris, the risk that you’ve got the skin condition is bigger. Just as it is very probably that you will give the skin disorder to your children …

But to this I will just hurry – back again – to inject that the skin disorder is quite harmless. It may be frustrating and not very nice, but beyond that, it has no meaning. Which is probably also one of the reasons that it is a skin condition that hasn’t been research very much – and why there is still no cure for Keratosis Pilaris.

And let me jump to the subject how to best treat Keratosis Pilaris and remove these bumps on your thighs and arms.


There are, as mentioned no miracle cure for Keratosis Pilaris. Nor is there a miracle treatment that can remove the dots – nor minimize the dots – in a few days.

Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris takes time – that treatment of the symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris skin condition will continue to be there. And it should be emphasized that it is important to continue the treatment – even when the buds are no longer seen. Otherwise, you risk that the buds come again.

The treatment of Keratosis Pilaris is really quite simple. The best solution is achieved with daily exfoliation with a salicylic acid product, which will loosen the skin, clean pores and follicles and ensure that the excess keratin just run out on the skin surface.

You would benefit from using my Perfect Skin Power Treat, which is good to remove the bumps on thighs and arms. Perfect Skin Power Treat contains salicylic acid, while Perfect Skin Power Treat contains a series of soothing and nourishing ingredients to the skin.

Use Perfect Skin Power Treat once a day when you have showered and washed the body with a mild cleaner and dried your body.

Perfect Skin Power Treat should be put on dry skin and should just sit 2 minutes before pulling clothes on – or else the product will just get on your clothes.

Do you find that you become dry after treatments with Perfect Skin Power Treat, after you’ve been waiting for 2 minutes apply a good body lotion.

It couldn’t be more simple! :-D And you will begin to see results in a matter of weeks, but you should probably expect 3-5 months of treatment before all the bumps on the arms and legs are completely gone – and you no longer experiencing bumps on your thighs and arms.

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