Pimples On Arms

Pimples On Arms: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Pimples on arms can embarrass you. The bumps on your skin appear on different areas of the body like face, chest, back, shoulders or upper arm. These parts of the body have active oil glands. So, excess dirt and sweat can block the pores of your skin. In an aggravated state, the pimples can lead to the development of pustules and papules. Though the condition triggers no health complications, it results in discomfort. It can also affect your physical appearance negatively. The condition needs care and attention as early as possible to prevent further complications and permanent scarring of your skin. Want to know how to manage the condition? Read ahead to get more information about the condition and alleviate it.

Causes Of Pimples On Arms

Pimples on arms Pimples on arms can frustrate you. It can make you feel bad about your external appearance. To know how you develop the problem, you need to understand its underlying cause. So, what exactly triggers the problem? Your skin is sensitive. Several factors can contribute to the development of pimples on your arms. Therefore, it is a common problem among people around the globe. Most of the individual experience the condition in their teens or early adult life. The common factors triggering the problem are:

Hormonal Fluctuations

The imbalance or change in hormones in your body can result in breakouts. It can occur mostly in your puberty when the body undergoes several hormonal changes. The elevated levels of hormones can increase oil production in your body. These oils are a major contributing factor to pimples.

Bad Hygiene

You need to follow a proper skincare routine to keep your skin clean and healthy. Else, you can see more breakout in different parts of your body. When you wash your body with soap and water, it removes the dead skin cells and excess oil. So, the pores of your skin remain clean. Without washing, the dirt, sweat, dead skin, and excess oil can accumulate on the skin pore. It causes more pimples to form.

Use Of Skin Products

You tend to use different skin products to maintain good hygiene. But, all skin products may not suit your skin type. Some products can trigger a reaction and result in pimple formation. If you use skincare products that clog the pores, it can increase skin problems. So, choose products that work well for your skin.

Wear Tight Clothing

When you wear tight clothes, it cuts the blood circulation in the skin surface. So, you start sweating. Excess sweat not only causes malodor but also clogs the pores. So, wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes. If you must wear tight clothes (for workouts), then wash it properly before using them again.

Skin Conditions Triggering Pimples On Arms

When you see bumps on your arms, you naturally assume it like a pimple. But, there are other skin problems or conditions that appear similar to pimples. Several underlying issues can trigger breakouts. Pimples of arms can occur due to blocked pores or infections. It is essential to know the exact reason. The following skin conditions can lead to the development of pimples on arms. You need to see a dermatologist when you see the bumps to uncover the exact cause. It will help receive proper treatment that will manage the condition.


Acne is an extremely common condition affecting people during their puberty. But, it can affect you at any age. The inflammatory skin problem is chronic. It can result in the development of pimples and spots on face, shoulder, back, and upper arms. The pimples can appear red or black. People of any sex, race, or age can suffer from the problem. It mostly occurs due to an active sebaceous gland. Hormonal fluctuations can trigger the problem.


When your androgen levels are high, it causes the oil glands present under the skin to grow. So, the enlarged gland produces more oil or sebum. High levels of sebum break down the cellular walls of the pores. It mixes with the dead skin cells and blocks the pores. It can lead to bacterial growth and infection triggering the development of pimples.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris

It is a skin condition that can result in tiny bumps on your upper arms. The harmless skin condition can result in dry and rough patches on your skin. Other than your arms, the condition develops on your cheeks, in front of the thighs or buttocks. When you suffer from keratosis pilaris, it can trigger sandpaper-like bumps on your skin. In some cases, the condition can cause itching.

Keratosis pilaris occurs due to the accumulation of keratin. Your body produces a hard protein to protect the skin. So, it saves your skin from harmful substances as well as infections. When keratin forms a plug blocking the hair follicle opening, it collects dirt and dead skin cells. So, your skin develops patches of rough and bumpy skin. With keratosis pilaris, many keratin plugs are formed causing your skin to develop pimples with a slight pink ring around it.


Pimples on arms

Pimples on arms can occur when you suffer an allergic reaction. The condition develops suddenly and results in small bumps that cause itching. It is commonly known as hives. You can develop hives anywhere on your body. The bumps develop when your body produces histamines as a response to allergens. It includes:

When the body releases histamine, the capillaries can leak fluid. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels in your skin. When the fluid accumulated, you can develop a rash or bumps on your skin.

Pyogenic Granuloma

Pyogenic Granuloma

It is the skin growth that looks like a pimple with blood in it. It appears round in size. Since the growth contains a large number of blood vessels, you become vulnerable to bleeding. The problem can affect children, young adults, and pregnant women. But, people of all ages can develop growth. The exact cause of the skin problem remains unclear. But, it is commonly linked to hormonal changes in your body. The growths are benign. But, it causes cosmetic issues as the skin problem can affect the visual appeal of your skin.

Staph Infection

Staph Infection

Serious causes of staph infections can result in pimples in your body. But, you can mistake the pimples for acne or other problems. MRSA bacterium triggers the problem in people. You can get staph infection when you come in contact with an infected person. So, the skin-to-skin contact with a person infected with the bacteria. It can cause serious problems in your body. Therefore, you need immediate medical attention.

Diagnosing Pimple On Arms

It is important to consult your dermatologist when you see pimples on arms. Mild cases of pimples are formed when dirt and sweat accumulates and clogs the pores. In some cases, the bumps on the arms indicate serious issues like a staph infection. It needs immediate medical attention. So, consult your doctor to diagnose the problem. With a proper diagnosis, you can access the right treatment for managing the skin condition. So, your doctor performs the following diagnostic tests to detect the issue conclusively:

Physical Examination

In the majority of the cases, a thorough physical examination can help your doctor determine the exact cause of pimple breakouts on your arm. The doctor inspects the affected skin thoroughly and checks the bumps. You need to answer questions about your medical history and lifestyle habits. It helps your doctor make a proper diagnosis.

Lab Testing

Your doctor can take a tissue sample from your arm for checking the presence of bacterial infection. It is mostly suggested when your doctor suspects staph bacteria as the cause of pimples. The sample is placed in a dish containing nutrients and allowed to grow. The bacterial growth is tested to check for staph DNA.

Skin Biopsy

For severe underlying cases, your doctor suggests a skin biopsy to check cancerous cells in it. A small sample of skin is extracted from the affected area and sent to the lab for analysis. Depending on the biopsy results, your doctor can suggest necessary cases. With no cancerous presence, you need to see a dermatologist.

Treatment For Pimples On Arms

For mild cases of pimples on your arms, you can try some home remedies. In most cases, it heals on its own. But, severe cases need medical attention as they can only heal with stronger medications. The treatment options available are:

Home Remedies For Mild Cases Of Pimples On Arms

Mild cases of pimples need some care and attention at home for swift healing. So, you can follow the remedies suggested below for healing.

Avoid Touching

When you develop pimples on arms, you tend to touch it frequently. But, the action can only worsen the problem. It can transfer the bacteria and oil from your hands to the affected skin surface and cause infection. So, try not to touch the breakouts.

Refrain From Sun Exposure

People with bumps on their arms and body need to avoid the sun. Exposing your skin to the sun can trigger more oil production. So, it can result in the development of pimples.

Keep The Area Clean

You need to keep the skin surface clean. But, not to over wash the affected skin surface. Over-washing can irritate your skin. It can make the pimples appear swollen and red. So, you can experience more discomfort.

Avoid Popping/Squeezing

Some people tend to squeeze or pop the pimple. It can make you vulnerable to infections, irritation, and even scarring. So, avoid the action to prevent further damage.

Use OTC Skincare Products

You can use over-the-counter creams that have potent ingredients. The creams containing tea tree oil, aloe vera, and propolis can offer effective results compared to antibiotics. It reduces the severity of the pimples as well as the total amount of pimple. The creams can also offer relief and prevent scarring.

Apply Warm Compress

Pimples on arms can make you uncomfortable. The pimples can become painful when whitehead forms. So, apply a warm compress on the bumps. It offers relief and speeds up the healing process.

Medical Treatment For Pimples On Arms

The breakouts on your arms and body can frustrate you. But, finding the right treatment that suits you can make you even more frustrated. Some people try different methods with less success. While mild cases of the problem can heal with good skincare routine and care, severe cases need medical attention. The doctor can suggest prescription treatment for clearing the breakouts from your arms. Making an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist can seem like a big hassle, but, in the long run, you save your time, effort, and money. The treatment options provided by your doctor can offer you better results and make you happy. So, your doctor can suggest the following treatment options:

OTC Anti-Acne Medications

The first line of action is to use over-the-counter creams or lotions. It contains ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. But, the products can cause dryness. So, you need to moisturize your skin while using the OTC anti-acne medication.

Prescription Medication

Your doctor can prescribe a stronger dose of medication when home remedies or OTC treatments can fail to provide results. So, your doctor can prescribe the following medication to see results:

  • Topical Creams
  • Antibiotics (for example, doxycycline)
  • Prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical retinoids

Coping With Pimples On Arms

Pimples on arms may not bother everyone. But, some people can feel embarrassed due to the problem. If the bumps on your arms bother you, then you are not alone. Many people feel that the pimples on the exposed body parts like arms can make them feel ashamed or embarrassed. You may wear full sleeve dresses to cover the affected parts. In most cases, people with skin problem tend to choose conservative clothing that reveals as little of the pimple as possible. So, you tend to avoid sleeveless shorts or tank tops. It is specifically hard for young people (teens or adolescents). Undressing in a locker room or wearing a dress of their choice can become frustrating. So, it can affect self-esteem and self-confidence.

You tend to refrain from participating in recreational sports or participate in activities like swimming. The thought of baring your arms in a swimsuit or sports uniform can make you feel bad about yourself. It can result in stress and anxiety. Some people can suffer from depression due to the problem. So, how can you deal with it? Here are some coping techniques to deal with the emotional upheaval occurring due to pimple appearing on arms.

Acknowledge The Feeling

Remember, all you feel is completely normal. So, acknowledge the feeling. Never feel you need to talk yourself out of what you feel or justify them. When you come to the realization, it becomes easy for you to deal with the problem. If you feel bad, then talk to a counselor or other healthcare professionals to ensure peace of mind

Follow Treatments

You need to consult a dermatologist to start the treatment for severe cases of pimples. You need to follow the instructions provided by the doctor religiously. Never stop the medications when you see improvement in the condition.

Learn Relaxation Techniques

At times stress can trigger the breakouts on your arms and body. So, try to manage stress. It will promote physical and mental health. Try some effective relaxation techniques that can help you manage the stress and ensure peace from within. You can try the following to keep yourself free from anxiety:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Autogenic training

Preventing Pimples On Arms

Is it possible to prevent the development of pimples on your arms? Yes, you can prevent it from occurring. Pimples are a common problem that anyone can face at any time. But, you can adopt some steps to ensure they cause you no bother or make you feel bad about your appearance. The common methods to prevent the issue are:

Wash Your Skin

To prevent pimples, you need to remove the excess sweat, dirt or oil accumulated on the skin surface. So, you need to wash your skin daily. It is important to remove the sweat and dirt after any physical activity. If you fail to remove, then the dirt and oil can clog the pores in the arm and result in the development of pimples.

Wash Your Clothes

Wearing sweaty clothes without washing can cause skin problems. Apart from experiencing armpit odor, unwashed clothes can also cause pimples. So, wash your shirts, dresses, and towels before wearing them.

Implement A Regular Skin Regime

Like you take care of your facial skin, you need a regular skin regime for your whole body. You can follow the suggestions provided below:

  • Use medicated body washes to clean your skin, including your arms. You need to choose a product that contains salicylic acid. It can help you manage bumps, pimple, and blackheads.
  • You need to exfoliate your body at frequent intervals. But, never scrub the skin on your arms vigorously. It can scrub the top layer of your skin off. Use a soft body cloth or shower puff to scrub away the dead skin cells on the body and arms.
  • Moisturize your body with oil-free lotions or creams. It is important to avoid oil skin products as it can cause breakouts on the skin. Also, avoid over-moisturizing as it can harm your skin.
  • Use sunscreen while going out or while you swim. Try to cover your arms with protective clothing to prevent issues like sun poisoning rash and pimples.

Soak In Warm Baths

Instead of taking a bath, you can try soaking in a warm bath. It will loosen the dead skin cells. So, you can scrub away the dead skin cells without causing any harm to your skin. The cellular debris can slough away. So, you can keep the pores on your skin clear and open. Adding Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt in the bathwater can also heal inflamed pimples.

Eat Healthy Diet

Try to include a healthy diet. Certain food items can influence the health of your skin. Eating foods that raise your blood sugar can cause excess oil production. Pimples on arms can develop due to the excess oil production by the oil glands. So, include a healthy diet with vitamins and minerals. Choose food items that are beneficial for your skin like:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Spinach (dark green and leafy vegetables)
  • Orange and yellow vegetables/fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans


Pimple on arms can make you embarrassed. Pimples anywhere on the body can make you feel self-conscious about yourself. But, the good news is, you can get rid of them without any complications. You can also prevent their recurrence with good skincare routine. Taking good care of your skin and maintaining good hygiene can prevent the development of pimples on any part of your body. It is important to get rid of anything, which can lead to the oil buildup on the skin. If the condition is severe, then you need to get the opinion of your dermatologist. It will avoid stress and anxiety associated with the condition. With medical assistance, you can deal with the problem properly.

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