During my teenage years I hated summertime due to a skin condition called Keratosis pilaris. This condition caused red, pimple-looking bumps to break out on my upper arms and thighs. I became self-conscious whenever wearing short sleeve shirts, sundresses and bathing suits. I felt I needed to cover up even though the humidity living in Georgia made it uncomfortable.
After spending a couple of years complaining about the condition, I decided to find out more. My father had the bumps on his arms so I assumed it was hereditary and nothing could be done. The bumps were never painful and rarely itchy; just very annoying. Some friends would ask about them and I couldn’t tell them much other than I had them for as long as I could remember. Sometimes I would have to reassure them that it was not contagious.
When I finally asked my doctor about the bumps, she was able to give it a name and told me that Keratosis pilaris is a very common condition. She prescribed a cream and every morning after my shower I would spread the cream on my upper arms and pray the bumps would disappear. The cream helped with the redness but the bumps were never all the way gone. If I forgot to use the cream for a couple of days, the redness always came back.
After finishing the cream the first time, I tried different other remedies. The remedy that was most successful was using an exfoliant skin scrub in the shower and applying a moisturizing lotion after drying off. This helped during the winter months especially when my skin was drier.
By the time I entered my junior year in college, the bumps were less of a problem. The redness was not noticeable and I had come to terms with having them. Now, at the age of 32, they are pretty much nonexistent. I still have bumps on the back of my legs and on my buttocks but they are not visible to others and are more apparent after taking a hot shower or bath.
I look back and think I most likely had a very mild condition of Keratosis pilaris but during my teenage years that did not comfort me. If I could go back and tell my younger self that it does improve with time, I would. I do plan to check often to see if my daughter has signs of the condition and I will try my best to encourage her if she does.