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11 Things You Really Need To Know About Those Annoying Bumps On Your Arms

The condition is called keratosis pilaris, and it affects a third of the population.

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Have you ever found yourself looking at your upper arms and thighs and wondering what that weird, bumpy skin is that WON'T GO AWAY, no matter what you do?

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It's called keratosis pilaris (colloquially known as "chicken skin"), and it's easily recognisable as pinkish, rough skin that's similar to permanent goosebumps.

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And there are a few things that you should probably know about it...

1. If you have KP, you're not even slightly alone.

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According to the NHS, KP affects up to 1 in 3 people in the UK, and it's not a reflection of your general health – it regularly affects people who are otherwise completely healthy.

2. And it's more likely to affect you if you're young, female, and fair-skinned.

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Although, of course, it can affect people of any age, gender, and skin tone.

3. While it's not contagious, KP is hereditary.

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According to the British Association of Dermatologists, there is a 50% chance that you will inherit the condition if one of your parents has it.

4. And there's no need to worry – it's completely harmless!

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It won't affect your health, and is an entirely cosmetic problem. It's just ~one of those things~.

5. It typically appears during childhood, and gets worse during puberty – but it also gets better during adulthood, and often disappears completely.

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Yup, as if puberty wasn't bad enough, the condition affects 50-80% of adolescents. It's also at its least common among the elderly.

6. It's caused by some pretty darn science-y stuff...

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According to the NHS, the condition is the result of an excessive build-up of keratin (a protein found in hair follicles) in the outer layer of your skin. The excess keratin blocks the hair follicles and, in turn, causes your skin's pores to grow in size and become rough and bumpy.

7. While it's most likely to affect the skin on your upper arms and thighs, in rarer cases it can be found on your forearms and upper back.

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There are also several even rarer variations of the condition that can affect the face, neck, scalp, and eyebrow area.

8. It's symmetrical!

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This probably isn't that important, but it's still kind of cool. KP will always appear on both arms, both legs, or both sides of your face.

9. It's often more prevalent during winter, because of the colder, less humid weather.

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KP is essentially a variant of very, very dry skin (which is why it's so common in people with eczema), so the cold, dry air during winter tends to make it worse.

10. It can't be completely cured (sorry!), but there are several measures that you can take to improve the appearance of your KP.

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There's no need to go to a dermatologist to treat your KP – there's no way to cure it completely, so that would pretty much be a waste of your time. However, there are things you can do, according to the NHS, that will improve the condition. It's recommended that you regularly use a gentle exfoliator, use moisturisers that contain salicylic or lactic acid, and use non-soap cleansers instead of regular soap on the affected area.

11. The most important thing to know is that you shouldn't feel insecure about it. Not only do a lot of people have KP, it's also highly likely that it will go away as you get older.

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So don't let it get to you – have confidence in yourself!