Rough & Bumpy Skin: Causes and Treatments

Rough & Bumpy Skin: Causes and Treatments

Rough and bumpy skin can appear throughout the body and face; showing up as dry, scaly skin on the legs, bumpy patches on the backs of the arms and thighs, and rough patches of skin on the face and neck. Rough and bumpy skin conditions can affect both men and women of all ages and is usually a result of excessive dryness or a specific skin condition. We take a look at various skin conditions and behaviors that can contribute to rough and bumpy skin, along with helpful ways to soothe and restore them. 

Skin Conditions 

Keratosis Pilaris 

This condition occurs when a skin protein called keratin builds up and begins to block the opening of the hair follicle. These 'plugs' can lead to patches of rough and bumpy skin. Keratosis Pilaris shows up as small, hard, painless bumps on the backs of the arms, legs and buttocks. These bumps can be surrounded by red, scaly skin, and they can become itchy especially if skin is dry, and can be exacerbated during winter months.

Dry skin can aggravate keratosis pilaris symptoms and make them appear worse, which is why moisturizing is vital for improving the look of these bumps on the legs, arms, or buttocks. Some dermatologists have theorized that this condition is genetic but no specific causes of keratosis pilaris have been identified. A lot of the time the condition clears up on it's own over time, and with age. 


This condition causes red, itchy, and rough patches that commonly occur around the elbows and inside the knees, although it can appear anywhere. This is a chronic condition that most discover during childhood and can be triggered by particular environmental factors. 


This is another chronic condition that leads to inflamed patches of red skin that are covered with thick white scales. There are different forms of eczema but the most frequent shows up in large regions on the body. It also regularly accumulates on the knees, elbows, but also the lower back, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Psoriasis requires ongoing treatment to help relieve these inflamed patches and prevent them from reoccurring. 

Ichthyosis vulgaris

A very common genetic skin condition, ichtyosis vulgaris prevents dead skin from naturally shedding off of your body. As a result, the accumulation of dead skin can appear like fish scales on top of the skin. This can be managed easily with consistent moisturizing in most cases. 


Paired with making small shifts in your usual routine that can help minimize dry skin, using hydrating skincare products such as moisturizer and body wash can help with dry, scaly skin. Hyaluronic acid is a useful ingredient that has the ability to draw moisture from your environment and hold up to 1,000 times it's weight in water. Utilize gentle and non-abrasive exfoliation with ingredients like lactic acid can also help smooth the feel and appearance of areas of dry skin. 

We recommend you avoid long, hot showers, harsh soaps or body washes, and scratchy or itchy fabrics. 

If over-the-counter skincare products don’t help improve the appearance of scaly skin, it’s best to seek the help of a dermatologist who can diagnose the cause and suggest additional treatment options.



Tags: dry skin, dry skin treatments, eczema, keratosis, psoriasis, skincare tips, tips for dry skin


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