41 answers

Bumps on Skin

Hi there! So I meant to ask the Peditrician all these things at our 2 year check up with my daughter. Its so funny I had a list written out of all the things that I wanted to ask. So what do you know, I forgot the list, of course! Okay so my daughter has these white bumps on her arms and legs. First I thought it was acne because they sort of look like white heads with puss in them, but they are really small. Does anyone know about this? What are they? What causes them? How can I treat them? And will they ever go away? Thanks so much! Hope your having a great day!

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as other have mentioned it is most likely Keratosis Pilaris. My sons has quite the cases, different times a year it flairs up more than others.

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KP. Depending on how aggravating it is, St.Ives has a scrub with salicylic acid that does a fabulous job - on a baby I'd be more likely to use Dermarest 3% salicylic acid shampoo, though.. and follow either one with Dermarest salicylic lotion.

The SA is a Beta Hydroxy Acid - and it is the only thing that I have found that works. I've had KP since I was a kid, as do both of my children... a week with the scrub or a couple of weeks with the shampoo + lotion and the bumps are gone until I get lazy about it again.

S.

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My daughter had these too. Her pediatrician said that it was dry skin. We treated it with Eucerin cream and nothing improved. When we went to an ENT/Allergist for an unrelated condition, she asked about this rash. We told her that the pedi said it was dry skin. She said that it was excema due to a food allergy. She did a skin test on her and we found out that my daughter was allergic to yeast. We cut out most forms of yeast (it is in almost everything) in her diet, and her arms and face have completely cleared up (it took over a year).
My son now has them too. We plan on taking him to the ENT/allergist soon.
Good Luck.

More Answers

Our pediatrician says it's Keratosis Pilaris. I googled it and it says: KP occurs when the human body produces excess keratin, a natural protein in the skin. The excess keratin, which is cream color, surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in the pore. This causes the formation of hard plugs (process known as hyperkeratinization). Bearing only cosmetic consequence, the condition most often appears as a proliferation of tiny hard bumps that are seldom sore or itchy. Though people with keratosis pilaris experience this condition year round, it’s during the colder months when moisture levels in the air are lower that the problem can become exacerbated and the “goose bumps” are apt to look and feel more pronounced in color and texture.

Many KP bumps contain an ingrown hair that has coiled. This is a result of the keratinized skin "capping off" the hair follicle, preventing the hair from exiting. Instead, the hair grows inside the follicle, often encapsulated, and can be removed, much like an ingrown hair, though removal can lead to scarring.

There is currently no known cure for keratosis pilaris, however, there are effective treatments available which make its symptoms less apparent. The condition often improves with age and can even disappear completely in adulthood, though some will show signs of keratosis pilaris for life. Some treatments are largely symptomatic and may need repeating. Regardless, exfoliation, intensive moisturizing cremes, lac-hydrin, topical retinoids such as Retin A and medicated lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids or urea may be used to temporarily improve the appearance and texture of affected skin.

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My ex hubby and his daughter have had white bumps on their skin even as adults. They gave him some exfoliation cream gel to put on it. Amyway has that same stuff. I forget what it is called. G. W

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Probably Keritosis polaris, not sure on the spelling. What is really means is the hair folicles are enlarged. It is hereditary and their are creams to use to keep the hair folicles from getting clogged with dead skin, which makes them look like pimples. I have it, and my son does too. It is mainly on the backs of my arms and when I was younger on my cheeks. My brother has it really bad on his cheeks and wouldn't you know shaving irritates it. Double check with your ped. and see if they want to prescribe something or if they want you to buy the creme over the counter. I think the cream is called Lac-hydrin. It is a high concentration of lactic acid and does sting a little until you have been using it for a while. I really moisturizes well, but the main thing is it keeps the skin exfoilated so the hair folicles don't get clogged.

Jen D.-Frisco

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as other have mentioned it is most likely Keratosis Pilaris. My sons has quite the cases, different times a year it flairs up more than others.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.! Sounds like Keratosis Pilaris - more commonly known as "chicken skin". I'm very familiar with the condition. I actually had it myself and as I've grown older, it's almost completely gone. My first born had a pretty severe case of it, so I took him to a dermatologist when he was a toddler. (By the way, his 1st born has it, too.) That's where I learned about the diagnosis. It's very common & completely harmless. KP is hereditary and there's no medical cure. Being in the sun seems to make it better. The doc directed me to lightly use a "buff puff" when bathing him followed by a hypoallergenic lotion such as Cetaphil or Lubriderm. Here is a website that has a lot of info + a picture that you can compare your daughter's "bumps" to. Hope this helps! D.

http://www.medicinenet.com/keratosis_pilaris/article.htm

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My son has Keratosis Pilaris and has had it since he was 2. He has it on his cheeks, back of his arms and thighs.
My doctor never mentioned that it was allergy related but did say to use a soap that was hypo-allergenic and non drying.
It gets worse for my son during the summer when he is in the sun and spends alot of time swimming and in the winter when the air gets particularly dry. We always keep lotion on him but apply lotion heavily during the times when he is bothered by it the most.

The only way to know if this is what your daughter has for sure is by asking the doctor but here is a link to some info on Keratosis Pilaris if that is what it is.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/keratosis-pilaris/DS00769

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As others have said, it's probably keratosis pilaris (our ped. calls it "chicken skin." It's genetic and doesn't go away. I have it and so do my daughters. Another option is something called molluscum, you may want to google that and see if you think that's what it may be. It's a skin infection that can last 12 to 18 months. My 3 year old has that right now. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

KP. Depending on how aggravating it is, St.Ives has a scrub with salicylic acid that does a fabulous job - on a baby I'd be more likely to use Dermarest 3% salicylic acid shampoo, though.. and follow either one with Dermarest salicylic lotion.

The SA is a Beta Hydroxy Acid - and it is the only thing that I have found that works. I've had KP since I was a kid, as do both of my children... a week with the scrub or a couple of weeks with the shampoo + lotion and the bumps are gone until I get lazy about it again.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Ok so I took my 2yr old to the doc yesterday with the same problem. And what I was told is the same thing that this poster said...... This is nothing to worry about!! Just use lotion everyday and it will go away!!

From:
Debbie O

Date:
Wed. Oct. 08, 2008

Hi T.! Sounds like Keratosis Pilaris - more commonly known as "chicken skin". I'm very familiar with the condition. I actually had it myself and as I've grown older, it's almost completely gone. My first born had a pretty severe case of it, so I took him to a dermatologist when he was a toddler. (By the way, his 1st born has it, too.) That's where I learned about the diagnosis. It's very common & completely harmless. KP is hereditary and there's no medical cure. Being in the sun seems to make it better. The doc directed me to lightly use a "buff puff" when bathing him followed by a hypoallergenic lotion such as Cetaphil or Lubriderm. Here is a website that has a lot of info + a picture that you can compare your daughter's "bumps" to. Hope this helps! Debbie

http://www.medicinenet.com/keratosis_pilaris/article.htm

T., I have no idea if this is what your daughter has, but I have the same thing (and have my whole life) and it's called Keratosis pilaris. I think it is just a condition where the skin around the hair folicles doesn't "shed" fast enough causing bumps. I have never been able to get rid of it. I think they have really good lotions now, not like when I was little, that can at least make them less visible. I can't wait to see the responses you get. I know exfoliation and sun help mine. Good luck!

Yes, it's a marker for allergies. I have them, they don't go away and don't pick at them, it'll make them worse.

You can minimize them by putting a good moisturizer on her skin, like Aquaphor (my favorite) or Eucerin. And cleansing her skin with gentle soap... Cetaphil is good, but honestly, I just use Dove.

The bumps have a name... something picarius... I forget now. Someone else will probably tell you. It's common and not a problem. That may be why the doc didn't say anything... if he saw them. But you should ask next visit. Also, you should ask if she needs any allergy meds, especially if she shows signs, like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes.

Just want to add that I had it since I was little and if you're doctor isn't familiar with it, you should ask that he refer you to a dermatologist. And my allergist said it is a marker for those with allergies. My son has it too, but not my daughters, so not everyone gets it. One daughter has allergies, the other does not... so it's not something all people with allergies gets.

Its hard to tell without looking at it but...
This is very common and is usually caused by a dairy allergy.
First I would cut dairy and see what happens.
The reaction is a buildup of dead skin cells. Daily exfoliation is required. Get a loofah or body scrub and gently scrub in circular motions-on moist skin....like in the tub. You really shouldnt use much pressure because of the delicate nature of childrens skin... it will help over time. From there you should try a dermatologist.
good luck

I also found out about this on mamasource...I have the bumps and a few months ago, other people said that if you eat more leafy greens, it should get better. I tried it and it did work. The one week we were out of lettuce and I didn't get more right away, the bumps came back. So barring getting your child to eat a salad 2x a day, look for some vitamin supplements that provide the same nutrients in greens.

It sounds to me that it is molluscum because you mentioned the bumps looking like there was puss in them.
We first brought our little bumps to our pediatrician's attention with our daughter and they said that it was molluscum. Molluscum is viral and comes from the pox family. We were told there was no cure and they would go away eventually on their own as her body fought it off. When we first went to the pediatrician we had 3 little bumps on her thigh but they rapidly spread down her thigh, on her knee, under both arms and slowly on her other leg. After tons of research online about molluscum (which all the sites either said there was no cure or they were trying to sell you their special potion to cure it) and a recommendation from the allergist, we went to the dermatologist. They took one look at her and said of course there is treatment for molluscum!!! So they applied a topical medicine called "beetle juice" and that was supposed to dry up the bumps and make them flake off and were also given a prescription for Aldara which we put on the bumps every other night. It hasn't even been a month since we started treatment and now she has 3 bumps left and then she will be nice and clear!!

My advise is to have this looked at by a dermatologist instead of a pediatrician as soon as you can. Pediatrician's can diagnose but skin issues aren't their specialty!

Our only regret is that we didn't go to the dermatologist when we just had 3 bumps but waited until they had spread to almost 100 bumps on her little body!

If you don't have a good pediatric dermatologist I'll be glad to give you the name of ours!

Best of luck!

sounds to me like excema. I'm not sure I spelled that right. Its not uncommon.

My granddaughter has those and her doctor said they are clogged sweat glands. Just use a shower scrubby when bathing and lotion and they eventually go away.
M.

I am by no means diagnosing anything but it might possibly be eczema. I have heard of other children having those bumps and the dr. diagnosed it eczema. If you call the nurse and just ask they may be able to give you some ideas over the phone.

Hi, T.! Both my husband and 18 year-old step-daughter have had these bumps their whole lives, and strangely, I have had them off and on after two of my four pregnancies. The dermatologist did prescribe some lotion for my step-daughter, but she was never consistent in using it, because she said it stinks. :-) The one thing that has seemed to help her is to use unscented Dove body wash, which the dermatologist recommended. When she uses Dove consistently, the bumps for the most part go away, but not completely. According to her dermatologist, the bumps are in no way any indication of a more serious health issue, so I hope that is some comfort to you, even though they can be bothersome and I know for my daughter, she has been self-conscious about them at times. Hope this helps, and good luck!

T.,
It could be any of the below or even eczema. Have you tried any of Arbonne International's baby care products? They have a wonderful line for baby's and children up to 10 years of age...even adults with super sensitive skin (i.e. Rosacea) use some of these products.

The ABC Line has a Hair & Body Wash, Body Lotion, Body Oil, Diaper Rash Cream, and Sunscreen specificially for the sensitive, gentle skin of our children. These products are
• Botanically based and pH correct
• Pediatrician and dermatologist tested
• Non-sensitizing, non-irritating
• Formulated without nut oils
• Tear-free hair and body wash
• Not tested on animals
• Sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection.

I'd be happy to help you get some of these products if you are interested in trying them, as I am a consultant with Arbonne. My email is ____@____.com. Arbonne has a 45 day money back guarantee, no questions asked!

Arbonne's baby care line is all that I've used on my 4 year old daughter and she's had virtually no skin issues. I say virtually because she grew so much between 1 month & 4 months that she was so chubby...major rolls at the neck and ankles. She has some redness/chaffing. I soaked her in the ABC Baby Oil, along with the other products and within about 2 two weeks her chaffed skin was baby soft again. I continued that until she grew out of the rolls! :)

I truly believe in Arbonne products 110%!
Many Blessings,
D.

I used to get the same type of bumps, mainly on the back of my arms, from childhood to adulthood. One day we got a shower filter and within weeks the bumps went away and never returned. I believe it may have been a sensitivity to chlorine.

Sometimes a lack of essential fatty acids can cause this. I give both my kids Cod Liver Oil - nordic naturals tastes like orange.

Sweetie take your 2yr old to the peditrician, it could be a number of things, there are so many germs floating around in this day and time, please don't wait it could be something serious. the doctor can possible prescribe something for that. I pray that your baby will be ok.
Have a bless day.

S. K.

I would definitely call the pediatrician over the phone. I'm sure it is nothing harmful at all, but just good to know what you're dealing with. Last year, my daughter developed some bumps like that under her arm. They looked like puss filled pimples, but somehow I knew they weren't. Turns out they were warts. The doctor said to leave them alone because touching them could cause the virus to spread. We left them alone and they eventually went away (after about 4 mos.). My newphew also got bumps all over him similar to what you describe. I don't remember exactly what my sister said they were, but again they were harmless. If you call the pediatrician, they can probably help you over the phone.

I would vote for making another appointment just so you know for sure what you are dealing with. I have never heard of eczema manifesting in little white bumps, and I have two kids that have it. If it is the PK thing, they now make loufa products for kids so exfoliating is fun, whoohoo.

As this condition could easily wind up morphing into shingles or staph if it bothers your child enough for her to keep scratching, I would see what her doctor says and proceed accordingly.

it's probably a viral infection called hand food and mouth disease. they are white pimples that start out looking like little red bumps then fever blisters then puss....they are from fecal contact with another child...possibly daycare or play group. have her checked out. this can turn into a fever and worse. if they are on soles of feet and hands, you may also have them in her mouth. call your advice nurse or bring her in for a check up. it's highly contageious to adults too.

My son has small bumps on his arms that started out looking like whiteheads that wouldn't go away. My doctor said they were molluscum, which is caused by a virus. There's not a lot they can do to treat molluscum, and many kids have the virus without ever having the bumps appear, but they will (eventually) go away. Molluscum differs from other skin bumps in that you can usually see a small, shallow idention on the top of the surface of the bump - like a little belly button, for lack of a better description. Molluscum can take weeks to months to go away. In serious cases, my pediatrician said she'd freeze them, but only if it were serious enough to impair another body function (e.g., if it were on the child's eye, impairing vision). Good luck.

It could be molluscum. It sounds terrible, but really is just a little skin virus that is very common in kids under 5yrs. You will have to take her to the dr. to find out for sure so you get proper treatment. All you will have to do is either decide to let it go on its own, take an oral medicine, or have them put a liquid on them to make blister up and go away as it heals. My son had it last year, and is totally fine. It just took a while for it go away.

My daughter had these too. Her pediatrician said that it was dry skin. We treated it with Eucerin cream and nothing improved. When we went to an ENT/Allergist for an unrelated condition, she asked about this rash. We told her that the pedi said it was dry skin. She said that it was excema due to a food allergy. She did a skin test on her and we found out that my daughter was allergic to yeast. We cut out most forms of yeast (it is in almost everything) in her diet, and her arms and face have completely cleared up (it took over a year).
My son now has them too. We plan on taking him to the ENT/allergist soon.
Good Luck.

If they are concentrated around the elbows and knees it could be a result of dry skin. My son has these and I was told to use Cetaphil Cream (in the jar). It works best if you apply it to affected areas right after bathing. good luck.

Is her skin dry? My daughter gets them when her skin is overly dry on arms and legs. However when she was younger she would get these tiny white bumps on the back of her legs and they were some type of wart. Not at all like regular warts though. We were given some cream to put on them and they have never come back..that was probably 5 or 6 years ago now.

Hello!
My children had these. They seem common and seem to go away at tenn years. I have heard that it can be helped with vitamins.
You might try googling it.
Blessings to you ! Being a Mom is great! Children are the best!
Sincerely,
C. N.

Hi T. - they are probably molluscums. My son has them, and we were just at the dermatalogist today to have them frozen off. You should see a dermatalogist to have them checked since they are highly contagious and will spread if touched. My dermatologist said he would outgrow them by 3 or 4. He will be 3 in a month so hopefully we won't have anymore, since it took 4 visits to get rid of all of them.

Good luck,
C.

My son has the same thing. His pedi said it was a vitimin difficiency and to add a daily vitimin like flinstones to his diet.

My daughter has something similar and I kept forgetting to ask the pediatrition about it too! However, I finally did and was told that its from dry skin. It's weird because its only on her upper arms! She told me to only use mild liquid bath wash (no bar soaps!) and gave her a lotion prescription. I've only used it twice and the bumps are finally going away. The doctor was a bit surprised to see it on my five year old because its more common in teenagers but my daughters has had it since she was about two years old or so.

Make sure she doesn't have chicken pox.

Hi T., All the girls in my family have had them. We outgrew them as we reached puberty. My grandchildren now have them too, however, they have them on their torsos and face as well. My daughter has had them checked with peds and dermatologists, they want to call it exzema but none of the creams/lotions OTC or Rx have helped. I'm more inclined to see if they go away on their own as they get older. Sorry, I couldn't be more definitive.

Hi T., I know this sounds strange but my grandchildren had what this sounds like & it was a type of wart. I know it sounds awful but that's what it was. After several months of treating them with a creme from the doctor they finally got rid of them & haven'nt returned. I hope that's not what she has but it sounds like it could be. Take her back to the doctor or a dermatologist to be sure.
God bless you & yours

Sounds like pilaris keratosis. You can find additional information by doing a search on the web. This usually targets the back of the arms and legs.

keratosis pilaris - use gentle exfoliation on skin to remove build-up of skin cells!

Our 19 month old daughter has the same thing on her legs. When I asked about it when she was 15 months old & the doctor's assistant told me that it was a form of ecsema & that I can get lotion to help get rid of it. I tried almost every lotion out there for ecsema & it seemed to get worse. So at her 18 month check-up I asked the doctor & she told me that it was called keratosis pilaris aka chicken skin. There is no cure or treatment for it. Sometimes they grow out of it & sometimes they don't. She said that it was heredity & most people have it on the backs of their arms. I looked it up online & there are many different lotions out there that you can get (online) that might help it. We tried the Eucerin that was suggested & it didn't help at all. I'm hoping that it's just something that she'll grow out of eventually. I stopped using all of the special lotions on her & it looks like it has diminished some. The doctor also told me that it gets worse in the winter with the cold dry weather. At least they can wear pants & it can't be seen. Here's a link for it. http://www.keratosis-pilaris.org/ If you go to the bottom & click on treatments, it'll pull up a list of lotions & the Eucerin lotion is listed in there. It's probably the safest lotion to use on baby's skin. Who knows what's in some of those other lotions.

Good luck!!

My daughter too has these little bumps all over her upper arms and I also noticed some on her cheeks. The ones on her arms she kept scratching, even when I told her not to do that - but they are itchy. So we tried tea tree oil cream which helped somewhat as it has antibiotic properties. Well I read somewhere to try alpha hydroxy (for the face) so we bought some and my daughter tried it the first night with no problem, but on the 2nd night - when she woke up the next morning (and for 8+ days after) she had thousands of tiny bumps all over her entire face - looked like chicken skin, allergic reaction or more of this Keratosis Pilaris - its been over a week now, and her skin has NOT gone back to normal, even after stopping the alpha hydroxy. Not sure what to do now, I would not recommend using that. Here are a few pictures: http://threelittlecoconuts.blogspot.com/

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