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What are these small bumps on my toddler's arms and legs?

For as far back as I can remember, my almost 3-year-old has had these small bumps on the back of his arms (above the elbow) and on his legs (front to side of his thighs). They're mostly flesh-colored, but some do seem to have a white head and some have a more pinking head. (To me they look like the same bumps I get in the same area on my arms.)

His ped never worried about them, so I never did either. He would recommend using Cetaphil soap and lotion, but I never really saw any difference with it. I'm just wondering what they are? They've never gone away, but they did seem to be less when I used one particular brand of baby soap on him (by Burt's Bees); anything else, they either stayed the same or became worse. I usually also wash him using a soft washcloth, but again, doesn't seem to make a difference if I scrub with a cloth or just my hand.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Answer Question

Asked by phoofy at 12:38 PM on Sep. 19, 2010 in Kids' Health

Level 14 (1,655 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • sounds like eczema( dry skin), try some aquaphor after his bath, it is pretty greasy but should work fairly quickly. Also use a mild soap and luke warm water for baths, hot water drys out your skin more. My kids are only supposed to have baths every other day because of thier dry skin, sometimes you cant help that though :)

    Answer by foxracing43701 at 12:43 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • It could be from the products you use. Try using no soap and giving a bath only once or twice a week. Wash the babies clothes in a product like 7th Generation or one that says Free and do an extra rinse. It would be good to wash your tops and any sheets and blanket he touches the same way. Burt's Bees bar soap is OK but there is something "bad" in the liquid soap if I remember right. There is a problem with one of them. I will do more research. I am allergic to propylene glycol and formaldehyde. Many chemicals release formaldehyde that are in personal care products. My 24 mo grandson is having horrible allergy problems and no soap is the allergist recommendation.


    Answer by Gailll at 12:48 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Here are some articles about carcinogens and formaldehyde and allergic reactions and specific products.


    Answer by Gailll at 1:02 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • is it a dry itchy patch? try the oatmeal bath ( walmart has it) or the body wash St. Ives oatmeal &shea butter. that has helped my son alot bc he has eczema. hope this helps :)

    Answer by wildcatsgurl06 at 1:04 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • I couldn't find which Burts Bees is better. I can use the bar soap fine. I've used Kiss My Face Obsessively Natural Kids Self-Foaming Shampoo & Body Wash with no parabens, no artificial colors, no fragrances, no kidding, Orange U Smart (what a name!) on my grandson and he or I haven't had problems. I like the foam and the natural orange smell. I usually just use water on my grandson but use this if his feet are very dirty or to wash his hair if he starts to get cradle cap (an issue in our family). Your baby could just have normal baby pimples. It is good for everyone to avoid carcinogens and formaldehyde since there are products you can use that don't have them. The alternative products may cost a little more but often they are better than the bad stuff (smell better, feel better, work better).


    Answer by Gailll at 1:09 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • It's nothing at all. My Son has it too and so do I. It must be hereditary so either you or your Husband probably has it too.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:11 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Keratinitis. My daughter has it. I have's nothing harmful. When they get a bit older, a loofah to wash with helps :)

    Answer by mainemusicmaker at 6:19 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • Thanks for all the replies! I looked into Keratin Pilaris a bit more, and it sure does look like what my son has (as do I).

    Comment by phoofy (original poster) at 6:47 PM on Sep. 19, 2010

  • It actually sounds like Ketosis Pilaris. My son has it, and I used to have it on the backs of my arms. My dermatologist gave me a cream to apply to the area. I didn't do it regularly it just seemed to clear on its own.

    Answer by jenrcohen at 2:02 PM on Oct. 15, 2011

  • Sorry Keratosis Pilaris (dang spellcheck)

    Answer by jenrcohen at 2:06 PM on Oct. 15, 2011

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