Acne and keratosis are two common causes of blemishes on your arms. Acne can include small, pus-filled bumps on the skin; keratosis is characterized by small red bumps that do not contain pus. Acne may cause irritation or mild pain; keratosis generally is not painful. One cause of acne is overactive sebaceous glands that clog pores with too much sebum. Dry skin, or too little sebum, can cause keratosis. A cleansing and moisturizing routine may help either of these conditions clear up, returning your skin to normal. Check with your doctor for treatment advice; different types of acne lesions exist that may require different treatments.
Cleanse your arms with mild soap made for sensitive skin; rinse and dry thoroughly. Wash gently only one or two times daily to avoid irritating the acne.
Apply a mild over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide cream to your arms. Use a small amount in the palm of your hand, and rub it gently on the opposite arm. Avoid scratching or picking any pimples.
Apply an oil-free moisturizer to the affected area to prevent over-drying. Oil-free lotion will say "water-based" or "non-comedogenic" on the label.
Wash your arms or bathe in warm water, using mild soap. Use soap made for sensitive skin to avoid chemicals that may cause irritation.
Use a washcloth or an exfoliating scrubber, such as a buf-puf, to remove dead skin cells. Be gentle; avoid harsh scrubbing.
Apply intensive moisturizing cream several times a day, rubbing it in well. If you see no improvement, try a medicated cream that contains urea or alpha-hydroxy acids to help remove dead skin cells. Use the medicated creams no more than once or twice daily, and discontinue if irritation develops.
Discontinue any treatment that causes your condition to worsen.