ask an aesthetician keratosis pilaris


Each week we explore your questions in Ask An Aesthetician with Seti Mayet; former instructor at the International Dermal Institute and founder of skin care practice, Enliven Your Skin, in Los Angeles, CA. Check out last week’s question – “Does eating dairy cause breakouts?” – and if you have any, send us your questions via social media or email! 


Hi Seti, I have little bumps on the back of my arms. What are they and how do I get rid of them? 

Seti: What you’re describing sounds like a classic case of KP or Keratosis Pilaris. Keratosis pilaris (KP) is keratinization of hair follicles of the skin; basically an exaggerated build-up of dead skin cells. It is an extremely common benign condition that manifests as small, rough folliculocentric keratotic papules, often described as chicken bumps or chicken skin, in characteristic areas of the body, particularly the outer-upper arms and thighs. 

So, what to do about it! Are you sitting down, because this is exceptionally easy and works FAST!

Go get yourself a pair of exfoliating gloves, not a loofah or bath cloth but the textured gloves you can find at any convenience store like CVS or Walgreen’s and use them with a salicylic body wash which you can find in the bath and body aisle.

When cleansing, take care to wash in a round circular motion as opposed to up-and-down to effectively exfoliate and that’s the name of the game here…exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. 

I’ve been using exfoliating gloves for years. They’re easy and very cost-effective because they require very little product unlike dense wash clothes. Most importantly, daily use makes my entire body soft and smooth; just go light in your delicate areas but power it up in the areas that tend to have more build up like the knees, elbows, feet and in your case upper arms.

Finally, make sure your body lotion/sunscreens are not heavy and occlusive (pore blocking). Keep it light and you’ll notice a huge difference in as little as one week.


Written by aesthetician Seti Mayet; former instructor at the International Dermal Institute and founder of skin care practice, Enliven Your Skin, in Los Angeles, CA. Photographed by: Wing Ta. 



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