How to Get Rid of Small Bumps on Back of the Arms & Top of the Legs

by Wendy Rose Gould ; Updated July 18, 2017

Keratosis pilaris is a condition in which the skin forms small, hard bumps, typically on top of the thighs, upper arms and buttocks. The bumps associated with this condition are completely harmless, aside from itching in extreme cases. However, some people afflicted with keratosis pilaris find the bumps undesirable strictly for cosmetic reasons. An effective way to treat this condition is to increase the amount of moisture the skin receives.

Wash the affected skin with your normal body wash and a washcloth. Do not scrub the skin hard as it may worsen the condition. Be sure to rinse all of the soap off of your skin.

Pat your arms and legs dry with a towel. The skin should remain slightly moist after you dry off.

Apply lactic acid lotion to your arms and legs while the skin is still damp. Rub the lotion in until it completely soaks into your skin. Wash your hands to remove any excess lotion.

Run a portable humidifier in your house to add moisture to the air. A small, portable humidifier is best to use as you can carry it around from room to room.

Repeat the process on a daily basis. Even if the skin clears up, it's possible for the bumps to return.


  • If your skin feels dry throughout the day, you can apply the lactic acid lotion once in the morning and once in the evening.

Photo Credits

  • julief514/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned BA degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in lifestyle topics.