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Itchy Bumps on Arms

Itchy bumps on the arms is a condition in which small bumps develop on the skin and cause itching and irritation. These bumps are generally seen on the forearm or below the elbow. The causes of these bumps are many and varied. The bumps are generally not an overly serious matter. It is however worth noting that they can lead to skin cancer.

Therefore, if they persist for more than a week or two a doctor should be consulted.The bumps may be of the same color as the skin or a different color that is mostly red or pink. They can also differ in size depending on what triggered them. The larger ones are usually red and seem to be filled with pus. Even though these can appear on any skin type, oily skin is more prone to developing itchy, red bumps. Itchy bumps that come and go are not at all harmful and are usually triggered by excess heat or sunlight.

Symptoms of Itchy bumps on the arms

Picture of Itchy Bumps on Arms


When the red and itchy bumps appear on the skin they are usually associated with inflammation which happens either because the area becomes more sensitive or the sufferer scratches at the itching too vigorously, thereby causing skin abrasion and inflammation. The skin might also get inflamed if any chemical substance with irritants is applied on it like lotions and makeup. In cases where bumps that are bigger in size than normal develop, the inflammation can be painful whenever the area is touched or scratched.


The bumps that form are always itchy. No matter how big, small or the color they will always fiercely itch. It is however recommended to not scratch the itchy area to avoid infections.


The itchy bumps if big in size are always red in color. The bumps initially may not be red in color, but itching and the ensuing scratching cause them to turn pinkish-red. The itchy bumps that come and go are the result of some allergic reaction or irritation in the skin. But the ones that stay for a longer period of time should immediately get checked by a doctor.


Along with the itchy red bumps on your arms, pimples  can also develop on the skin. These pimples are fluid filled and usually bigger in size. They do not itch but cause pain and discomfort when touched. They are pinkish in color and turn red when scratched or popped.

Pain and dryness

The itchy bumps can sometimes occur in clusters and the whole area around it becomes rough and dry. In some cases, the skin tends to flake off and cause pain and redness.

Causes of Red Itchy Bumps on Arms

There can be a number of causes for itchy bumps on the arms. The most common are:


Hives develop on the forearm due to an allergic reaction to some specific food or a dusty environment. Some people after gardening or being exposed to some plants can develop small and itchy bumps on their arms. These can be caused by the skin being allergic to chemicals secreted by plants. Similarly, after eating certain foods like nuts, vegetables or fruits a person might develop redness and itchy bumps on their arms. This is one of the most common causes of this condition.

Some medicines can also cause allergies. When this is discovered taking them should be immediately discontinued. Also, during pregnancy the body can release hormones that might cause red and itchy bumps.

Insect Bites

Insects like bed bugs, mosquitoes, mites and fleas are the most common insects that bite humans and cause itchy bumps on their arms. They can occur just as one bump or a cluster of bumps. These are usually red in color and quite painful. In most cases the bumps later develop into rashes and the skin surrounding it becomes hard and dry.


Eczema is a skin disease in which the skin gets inflamed. It can appear on any part of the body, but is mostly seen below the elbow. The rash makes the skin itchy, dry and red.


Psoriasis is a skin condition in which flaky and red skin bumps appear all over the body. The skin becomes so dry that it starts flaking. The worst thing about psoriasis is that it keeps spreading to other parts of the body too.

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is like an allergy, except that it is caused by chemicals that come in contact with the skin. Things like cosmetic products, some soaps or even the UV rays of the sun can cause skin irritation. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin burn and result in red, itchy bumps on the skin. These bumps are painful and sometimes the skin around them swells up.

Acne or Pimples

Pimples are yet another type of skin bumps. The pimples are very rarely found on the arms. They are red, pus-filled bumps that cause intense pain when touched or pinched. In some cases the pus has to be drained out in order to get relief from the pain.


Boils are a type of bumps on the skin that have hair trapped in them. The hair needs to break the skin above it to come to the surface. Some small hairs are unable to break the skin and develop into pus-filled bumps. They are red and painful and only go away when the pus in them is drained. They can also be very itchy when dry.

Pictures of Itchy Bumps on Arms

Collection of Pictures, Images, Photos of Itchy Bumps on Arms


The treatment for itchy bumps on the arms vary depending on the seriousness of the problem. Treatment options include:

  • Finding the cause: The very first step before starting any treatment is to find the cause of it. In this case, if the cause is properly assessed the bumps can be easily treated with medication and cured in less than a week. Sometimes, a biopsy of the skin is taken to check whether the bumps are cancerous or not.
  • Covering up the skin: This is not a treatment, but an easy precaution that should be taken to avoid itchy bumps. To prevent negative sun reaction to the skin covering it up when going out on a very hot day is important.
  • Use of anti-inflammatory lotion: In most cases of itchy bumps the doctor merely prescribes an anti-inflammatory lotion that helps reduce the redness and inflammation of the skin.
  • Moisturization: Since the skin in most cases becomes dry and starts flaking, proper moisturization is very important. Sunscreen lotions and aloe vera-based moisturizers are the most helpful since they are good for the skin and in addition to moisturizing they help in reducing the inflammation.
  • Antifungal and anti-bacterial creams: In cases where bumps on the arms are caused by fungal or bacterial infections, the doctor prescribes these ointments and creams to kill the pathogens on the skin.
  • Surgery: In very rare cases, where the bumps grow really big and penetrate deep into the skin, small surgeries are done to drain out the puss and close the wound.
  • Medication: In cases of some insect bites and microbe-related infections, oral medicines are given to the patient in addition to a topical ointment.
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