Beauty Clinic: Upper arm skin S.O.S.!
Q Can you recommend a product that will make the backs of my arms smooth and bump free and take away the corned-beef look? I never had a problem until I moved into a different flat 18 months ago and I wonder if it is the hard water? A. Teeny lumps and rough skin are a very common problem on the backs of upper arms. It may be due to a harmless condition called keratosis pilaris, often called “chicken skin”, which causes ‘tiny spiky bumps, which may be white, red or skin-coloured’, according to NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk). KP makes the skin look like chicken skin or permanent goose pimples, as well as feeling rough. Sometimes the skin is itchy and there may be inflammation and pinkness around the bumps. (We can’t find a connection to hard water but it seems plausible.)
There is some debate over whether exfoliating is advisable or not. In our experience, rough bumpy skin does respond well to regular gentle body brushing and exfoliation. We like the Mio skincare natural dry body brush, £14.50 from www.mioskincare.co.uk, which comes with directions for use. It was originally formulated for cellulite but works a treat to smooth and freshen skin everywhere.
There are lots of good scrubs on the market but please do avoid anything containing plastic micro-beads, which are known to threaten marine life (see www.beatthemicrobead.org for a list of freefrom scrubs). We are also fans of Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt, £19.95 from www.victoriahealth.com, a genius little glove that you use fortnightly to buff away dead cells.
Finally, award-winning Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Polish, £19.50 for 150ml, and matching Body Lotion, £27.50 for 200 ml, were formulated with key ingredients including lactic acid to target KP and other dry skin problems.
Pharmacist Shabir Daya writes about KP on the Victoria Health website, which explains more about the condition, now estimated to affect nearly 40 per cent of the population.