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Pimples on Arms Causes, Pictures, Treatment and How to Get Rid of Arm Bumps

Pimples on Arms

Pimples can appear anywhere on the body; face, chest, back, arm fold, shoulders especially due to clogged pores. Infected hair follicles are major cause of acne, zits, bumps or boils. Pimples on arms can be caused by keratosis pilaris, waxing, allergies, diseases and genetics etc.  Androgens and Estrogens can cause pimples on arms of males and females. Pimples on arms may cause discomfort or even make it difficult to wear tank tops backless or strapless clothes. Apple cider vinegar and other methods discussed can be used to get rid of arm bumps pictures.

What Causes Bumps On Arms?

Arms and back are particularly more vulnerable to develop bumps. Arms acne has similar causes as acne on elsewhere on the body. However, the extent of occurrence of the pimples on different areas of the body varies and from one individual to the other.

Arm pimples and bumps.

What the difference of the arms bumps with other pimples? Skin of the arms is thicker than skin in the face which allows larger pores. Increased pores size makes it a little bit difficult for them to clog. If they happen to clog, they cause a lot of pain than those bumps on the face. The main causes of arm pimples include

1.Waxing arms or after shaving armpit

Do you get pimples after waxing? Pimples on arms are generally itchy sore and worse than regular ones. Everyone loves a soft smooth skin but pimples are true spoilers. Waxing may lead to development of pimple for many reasons including;

  • Using the wrong technique especially shaving in wrong direction
  • Pulling hair out in wrong way
  • Using harsh chemicals; with skin irritants
  • Using old blunt razors that irritates the skin
  • Sensitive skin under arms to pulling and tugging of hairs

Tweezing, waxing, rough shaving can lead to ingrown hair in arms or underarms. Ingrown hair irritates the hair follicles and leads to pimple formation.

2.Deficiency of Vitamins and Essential Fatty Acids

Do you know skin is the largest body organ? Skin reflects the overall health. According to Dr Susan Evans, health and beauty expert, “Small red bumps on the back of your arms can occur due to vitamin A and E, zinc, and essential fatty acid deficiencies”.

  • Vitamin D deficiency may cause pimples on the arms. This may be addressed through sun tanning although it may not be the healthy method. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that enable the body absolve calcium to form strong bones. The nutrients also help in starving certain disease like cancer and heart diseases.
  • Vitamin A plays a vital role in keeping beautiful health proliferated skin. Deficiency of vitamin A may make the skin become scaly dry and hyper keratinized thus aggravating pimples formation on the affects mucus secretion making the raised pimple on the arms
  • Vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids deficiency causes Small red bumps on the back of the arms.

The consumption of certain vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds in the diet is one of the most effective ways to treat skin conditions and improve the look and feel of one’s skin” says Chriskresser

3.Hormones Shift or Changes

Hormonal shifts are more common in female than male. Commonly, hormonal changes occur due to pregnancy, during menses or even after pregnancy.

  • Androgens hormones typical in males can lead to acne, pimple formation. The androgen makes the sebaceous glands bigger resulting to more production of sebum. Excessive production of oil leads to clogged hair follicle and acne, pimples on arms and back.
  • Estrogens hormones in female triggers bumps formation on the arms. The levels of estrogen when women menstruate varies widely and can lead to zits, acne formation. Use of birth pills may help in some women’s and or worsen the problem in others

4.Clogged Pores

Sebaceous glands are more in areas like arm, back and neck and secrete a lot of sebum causing arm pimples, bumps, zits and acne.

Clogged pores can also cause bumps on arms.
  • The more excess oil is produced, makes the hair follicles prone to getting clogged with dead skin cells and dirt causing irritation to your skin developing pimples on arms.
  • The people who have active lifestyles are also prone to this kind of pimples due to excessive sweating and working in dirt environment.

5.After Tattoo Pimples

Tattoos pictures is an increasing form of body art. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it results in increased complications like allergic reaction, more serious infection and skin reactions mimicking skin cancer. Most common effect expected to occurs is itching bumps or rashes that can occur days, month or years after tattoo pictures.

 6.Keratosis pilaris

According to MedlinePlus, keratosis pilaris is condition caused by protein (keratin) buildup that plugs the hair follicles. This makes the hair get trapped under the skin causing inflammation that causes bumps on the skin.

The condition is hereditary and normally manifest itself in the first 10 years and may worsen as you approach adolescent before easing in adulthood. However, this is not a serious condition to cause panic and it usually disappears as you approach adulthood. Those prone to asthma, eczema and allergies are more likely to be affected infected by these pimples.

7.Skin cancer

Skin cancer can occur in the arm or within a tattoo picture. If the tattoo artist places a tattoo over an existing mole, it results to a bump on arm that mimics skin cancer and may ruin the whole tattoo art. This kind of bump may result to squamous cell carcinoma. You should know it is hard to distinguish the tattoo bumps with cancer and it requires biopsy. Pimples on arms can occur as a sign of cancer or itself be cancerous.

8.Sunburn and Sweating

Sweat is an indicator of good health skin. However, sweating while exercising, working out may irritate the present or form pimples. It may also cause your skin pores to open up for additional bacterial infection. Living in a place with humid, hot weather also contributes to bumps formation on your arms and back.

9.Infected hair follicle or Folliculitis

Shaving causes folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles which causes pimples on arms. Friction from shaving usually damage the hair follicles which becomes infected with fungus or bacteria (like staphylococcus). Folliculitis may also be caused by ingrown, curl back around the skin or even clothing friction.


itchy, red and tiny bumps of blisters may be caused by eczema. It is a skin inflammation that leads to thickening of your skin, Dryness, Scaling, Colour changes and flaking. There are different kind of eczema depending on size, shape and location. Mostly eczema is related to allergies or coming to contact with irritating substances. The irritation mostly comes from

  • Medications
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaning products
  • Nickel in earring
  • Deodorants
  • Chemicals in fragrances, clothing, shampoos, shoes and skin lotions and creams

11.Skin infections

Skin infections can occur in the arm especially if there is a cut or opening that allows bacteria to build up like tattoos. According to American Academy of Dermatology, an outbreak of mycobacterial infections has been traced back to contaminated tattoo ink. These kind of pimples are itchy, painful and red especially during the first months after the procedure.

  • Sunburns may also cause arms bumps. This happens especially if you are addressing vitamin D deficiency through over exposure to sun tanning.
  • Carbuncle is another skin infection that forms when a lump on the hair follicles gets infected deep in the skin and can occur This usually forms a mass filled with pus.
  • Shingles is another cause of arms bump as a result of chicken pox virus. They start as raised rash, tingling and becomes painful blister that can take weeks or months to subsidise.

12.Hives and other allergies

Hives on arms can also appear as bumps on arms.

Hives pimples on the arms develop as result of an allergic reaction to food, medication and environmental conditions of the surrounding. Allergic reaction of your skin to ingredients of the cloth fabric, laundry detergents, diets and dryer sheets. These allergic reactions may inflame and irritate your skin causing pimple formation on the arms or the back. An allergic reaction can also occur as a result of tattooing causing pimples on the arms. The skin may be allergic to some tattoo ink that is being used.

  • Impetigo, a very contagious skin condition that normally affects It is another source of pimples due to irritation caused by injury, animal and insect bites. It rarely affects adults. It spread also through skin to skin or bedding contact

13.HIV and STDs’

The rash associated with HIV (maculopapular) is usually reddish, rough and itchy bump to touch. The pimples may be caused by medication or diseases itself. They occur as a sign or at the advanced stage of HIV and STD’s disease. Typically, they occur on the arms, chest, legs and face or any other part of the body.

  • Syphilis is one on the sexually transmitted disease that can cause red or reddish brown rash in any part of the body. These symptoms manifest themselves in secondary syphilis which begins in 3-6 weeks after infections. These pimples disappear within weeks without treatment
  • Human deficiency virus (HIV) affects the immune system ability to fight disease-causing This may cause skin infections in any part of your skin like arms. This may lead to the development of pimples on arms.
  • The three main classes of anti HIV drugs can cause skin rashes on the user.


Rubbing your skin excessively may cause acne or make the existing ones worse. Wearing tight restrictive clothes may cause friction and irritate the skin and potentially pimples on the arm. These pimples can affect toddlers, children, adolescent and adult female and males. Acne Mechanica may be caused by heat, pressure on skin or when skin is not exposed to air. Other common causes include wearing musical instrument and tight fitting or tight synthetic clothes.


  • Genetic skin disorder especially if the pimples are red on your upper arms

Pimples On Arm Fold

Pimples on your arm fold or elbow may be caused by dry skin. Cold or hot environments combined with low humidity levels makes your skin dry out and causes itching elbows. The other major causes of arm fold pimples include;

  • Irritation and allergies reactions to toxins or chemicals
  • Parasites infestations such as lice and scabies
  • Skin infections like hives, dermatitis and psoriasis

These condition may affect skin at your arm joint causing inflammation and pimples on arm fold.

Pimples On Forearm Pictures

Pimples on forearm is caused mostly by folliculitis. This may start due to cloth friction or even blockage of the hair follicles. The friction damages the follicle allowing bacterial infections like staph and arms pimple formation as a result. Topical antibiotics and loose fitting clothes can help alleviate the symptoms. In case of continued severe forearm pimples visit your doctor.

  • The real cause of forearms and any other body part is not yet known. However according to Mayo Clinic irregular shedding of dead skin cells, overproduction of sebum and skin oil are known culprit for irritating the hair follicle.
  • Bacterial build up on clogged pores and dead skin cells leads to the formation of pimples on the fore arms.

Over the counter treatment such as topical creams that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide help in healing forearms pimples. Isotretinoin and antibiotic may also be prescribed by your dermatologist for severe pimples on forearm.

Pimples On Lower Arm  

Pimples on lower arms may be caused by infected follicles or keratosis pilaris.  Your Sebaceous gland may secrete excess sebum to lubricate your skin blocking the pores and bacterial infection. The affected area may become inflamed or formation of pimples with pus as the immune system fight the blockage.

Pimples On Upper Arm

According to MedlinePlus, bumps like pimples is caused by buildup of keratin protein which plugs your hair follicles. Trapped hair under the skin surface causes inflammation which forms small red bumps on upper arms. This condition is hereditary and appears in the early years of life and worsen puberty, adolescent before easing in adulthood. Gentle exfoliating and applying gel lotion and creams that have salicylic acid helps in removing dead skin cells.

Pimples On Armpit  

Armpits is one of the region in your body that folds and rub against each other, have plenty of hair follicle, sweat glands and also the sebum glands in the skin. You may form red, large pimples on armpits due to hidradenitis suppurativa.

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that affects the sweat and hair follicle of the affected area. Normally, it is obstruction of the hair follicle, inflammation and infection of the sweat glands in the body areas that rubs against another skin surface. This causes break out of pimple or boils on armpit. Sweat and bacterial in these areas; groin, armpit, between buttocks, inner thighs, under the breast and the armpit causes infection, inflammation or pimple formation

Young adults especially women are more prone to the infection. Family history (genetic factors) with the condition plays a role in the spread of the diseases and formation of armpit pimples. Ant-bacterial soap and over the counter antibiotic, creams or ointment may be applied on the mild cases.  Avoiding tight clothes and shaving when the area is inflammation is present is advisable.

Itchy Bumps On Arm  

Pimples on the arms range from very small and painless to large and very itchy or painful. Itchy painful bumps are mostly accompanied by redness, swelling or even pus.  Eczema allergic skin reaction usually produces red skin itchy pimples on the skin. Insect or animal bites, sebaceous cyst, furuncle (boil) cancer and skin infections or diseases may cause itchy bumps on your arms.

Red Pimples on Arms

Small little itchy red bumps appearing as patches on your arms are as a result of genetic skin disorder. Eczema, allergic reaction, bug bites, rubbing from fabric and sun allergies may also cause red arm pimples.

White Pimples on Arms

White bumps on arms may be itchy or not- itchy. White arm pimples are caused by sun tanning, trapped protein or viral infections like HPV.

  • Milia, stress and dirt may cause mild pimples on the arms. Over reactive sebaceous glands, hormones and cosmetic allergies can cause more harmful pimples on the arms.

How to Get Rid of Pimples on the Arm 

The following are ways you can adopt to prevent, reduce or get rid of the symptoms of pimples on the arms depending on the causes. They include

  1. Keratosis pilaris – this is a hereditary condition and disappears by itself with time however gently exfoliation, use of lotion or gel containing salicylic acid help to ease symptoms and removing dead skin cells.
  2. Friction – wearing loose cloth made of natural fibres like cotton to prevent rubbing off your skin and trap sweat and bacteria. Avoid clothing made of synthetic fibres
  3. Wash the skin on your arms every day with body wash/cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Spread gel or lotions containing 2.5% of benzoyl peroxide on each arm
  4. Use glycolic acid lotions since they contain alpha hydroxyl
  5. Waxing – if you get waxing pimples, take right precaution and follow the right way of waxing to deal with after waxing bumps on the arms
  6. Tattoo- this kind of pimples are treated with topical steroid ointment or creams and in severe cases immunosuppressant medications. Don’t pick, squeeze or treat this kind of pimples with creams and ointment allow the area to dry and heal naturally.
  7. Eczema- phototherapy can help improve atopic dermatitis combined with psoralen drugs. However, it affects the immune system. Probiotics, oolong tea and Chinese herbal medicine are also known to ease symptoms
  8. Avoid steamy shower and eat healthy diet to supply the skin with needed vitamins.
  9. Moisturize your skin after taking a shower with lotion or cream to keep your skin moisturized

Home Remedies of Pimples On Arms

According to American Academy of Dermatology, wash your skin with warm water and little soap as possible and apply lotion, gel or ointments. Other remedies include

1. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti- inflammatory properties that cleanses the skin, prevent infections and enhance healing.


  1. Measure one table spoon apple cider vinegar and pour on the wash cloth
  2. Dilute the vinegar on the wash cloth with little water
  3. Gently wash the affected area
  4. Mix ½ cup sugar and coconut oil/ grapeseed oil
  5. Apply gently as you massage for 3-5 minutes
  6. Rinse with warm water

2. Apply Mixture of Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon and honey have anti- inflammatory, antioxidants and antibacterial properties to get rid of acne.


  1. Mix half table spoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 table spoon of honey
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave it for about 5-10 minutes
  3. Repeat daily for effectiveness
  4. You can add tea tree oil to achieve best results

3. Apply Tea Tree Oil

According to medical research, tea tree oil gel contains 5% benzoyl peroxide which is a medicinal element that help to get rid of arm bumps.


  1. Mix 4-8 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or jojoba oil
  2. Apply on the affected area and massage it, leave it for 5-8 minutes
  3. Rinse with water
  4. Repeat the procedure regularly

4. Apply Papaya


  1. Blend fresh papaya until smooth
  2. Wash your face with water and wipe it dry
  3. Apply the blended papaya to the affected areas and leave it for half an hour or until dry
  4. Wash with warm water and pat dry
  5. Apply moisturizers
  6. Repeat daily for best results.


5. Papaya with Honey methods

Method 1


  1. Blend the mixture of, 4 papaya chunks mixed with 2 table spoon raw organic honey
  2. Apply the blended mixture on the affected area and leave it for 30-45 minutes
  3. Rinse lukewarm water and wipe dry
  4. Repeat the procedure daily

You can add one eggs or half mashed apple or few drops of papaya oil for more benefits

Method 2


  1. Peel and chop quarter of ripe papaya to small pieces
  2. Blend it with half tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey
  3. Steam to open your skin pores
  4. Apply the blended mixture to the affected area, leave it for about 15 -30 minutes
  5. Rinse with lukewarm water followed by cold water to close the pore
  6. Repeat once per week

Method 3  


  1. Mix 1 tablespoon pulp of papaya with honey and ground oatmeal
  2. Apply the mixture on the affected area and massage it gently for 3-5 minutes
  3. Leave it for 15-20 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water followed by cold water
  5. Repeat regularly for best results

Method 4


  1. Mix 2 table spoon of ripe papaya pulp and cocoa, 2 table spoon of honey, 3 tablespoon of minced/powdered oatmeal
  2. Apply the mixture on the affected area, leave it for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry
  4. Repeat regularly

6. Apply aloe Vera

Take a fresh Aloe-Vera gel and apply on your arms. Leave it as long as possible. Repeat the procedure 3 to 4 times a day to reduce redness, get rid and aid healing of pimples

Vitamin A and E Creams and Cod Liver Oil

Cod-liver oil contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin


  1. Squeeze 2-3 cod liver oil capsules
  2. Add to vitamin A and E creams and mix well
  3. Apply the mixture on affected areas and massage it in
  4. Repeat the procedure regularly for best results

Vitamin A keeps the skin healthy. It encourages cell turnover and prevents the hair follicles.


  1. Squeeze oil from 1-2 vitamin capsules
  2. Apply in the affected area and massage gently for 3-5 minutes
  3. Leave it for about 15- 20 minutes
  4. Repeat the process regularly

Vitamin E has an antioxidant effects on the skin and also inflammatory.

  1. Squeeze oil from 1 vitamin E capsule
  2. Apply and massage the affected area. Alternatively add a few table spoon to your bath water and soak in it for 30 minutes
  3. Repeat the procedure regularly

Eat fruits rich in vitamin E (carrots, papaya, grapes, strawberries and tomatoes) for better results.

7. Use baking soda

Take a cold shower and dry your skin dry and follow below step to get rid of arm pimples;

  1. Measure 2-3 table spoons of baking soda
  2. Mix with a quarter glass of water
  3. Apply the affected area and scrub gently for about 3-5 minutes
  4. Rinse with water, repeat the steps regularly for effectiveness
  5. You can add 2 tablespoons of table salt in the mixture for extra benefits.

8. Use coconut oil

Coconut oil contains unique absorbable fatty acids that moisturizes the skin, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help get rid of bump on arms.


  1. Mix 2 part of virgin coconut oil with 1 part of each white and brown granulated sugar
  2. Apply the mixture in affected area and scrub gently for 2-5 minutes
  3. Rinse with water
  4. Repeat the steps regularly for best results

You can add tablespoon of vanilla extract or honey for added benefits.

9. Apply yoghurt

Yogurt contain lactic acid that reduce excess keratin and moisturize the skin


  • Apply 3-4 tablespoons of yogurt on the affected area
  • Take about 15 minutes before washing
  • Repeat regularly for best results

10. Habits changes that can help prevent pimple acne breakout in your arms;

The below habits may help to prevent, help to get rid or relieve of pimples.

  1. Drinking a lot of pure water
  2. Avoid eating too much junk food, fried or refined sugar and flour
  3. Avoid using strong detergent or low quality detergents for laundry
  4. Avoid squeezing, scratch or popping them
  5. Avoid using coloured creams
  6. Exfoliate properly regularly
  7. Avoid extreme hot showers, they can worsen keratosis pilaris
  8. Dry your skin with soft towel and avoid rubbing harshly.
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