Acne and keratosis are two common causes of blemishes on your arms. Acne can include small, pus-filled bumps on the skin; keratosis is characterized by small red bumps that do not contain pus. Acne may cause irritation or mild pain; keratosis generally is not painful. One cause of acne is overactive sebaceous glands that clog pores with too much sebum. Dry skin, or too little sebum, can cause keratosis. A cleansing and moisturizing routine may help either of these conditions clear up, returning your skin to normal. Check with your doctor for treatment advice; different types of acne lesions exist that may require different treatments.
Cleanse your arms with mild soap made for sensitive skin; rinse and dry thoroughly. Wash gently only one or two times daily to avoid irritating the acne.
Apply a mild over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide cream to your arms. Use a small amount in the palm of your hand, and rub it gently on the opposite arm. Avoid scratching or picking any pimples.
Apply an oil-free moisturizer to the affected area to prevent over-drying. Oil-free lotion will say "water-based" or "non-comedogenic" on the label.
Wash your arms or bathe in warm water, using mild soap. Use soap made for sensitive skin to avoid chemicals that may cause irritation.
Use a washcloth or an exfoliating scrubber, such as a buf-puf, to remove dead skin cells. Be gentle; avoid harsh scrubbing.
Apply intensive moisturizing cream several times a day, rubbing it in well. If you see no improvement, try a medicated cream that contains urea or alpha-hydroxy acids to help remove dead skin cells. Use the medicated creams no more than once or twice daily, and discontinue if irritation develops.