When I was about eight years old, I noticed that my arms were getting bumps on them that other people’s arms didn’t have. They may have been there from a younger age, but that is when I started paying attention to them. These red bumps made me self-conscious about wearing sleeveless shirts even though I lived in a warm part of the South. My arms felt rough and had red spots all over them that I would pick at, looking pretty much like this the arm in this image:
My mom tried to help. She took me to an allergist who called this condition Keratosis Pilaris and made what I called a “witch’s brew” in order to freeze the bumps. It was scary and a little painful, but I would be so hopeful that it would help. My arms would be somewhat smoother for a short while, but then they go back to what, for me, was normal. No one ever mentioned to me that the rash on my arms might indicate an allergy. I think they didn’t know that was the case any more than I did.
The rash on my arms didn’t change as I got older. I came to believe there was nothing to be done for them and tried to ignore them. This was just what my arms looked like. When I was in my 30s and discovered that I needed to go off of gluten products for the sake of my digestion, more than my stomach started changing. Along with joint pain starting to lessen, I started to notice my arms were feeling smoother. I would walk around rubbing my upper arms, especially the left one, marveling that it didn’t feel so rough.
While my arms never became completely smooth, I was very pleased with the improvement of the rash. After about a year completely off of gluten products, my arms seemed to be as smooth as they were going to get. I was happy with them, especially since I hadn’t known they would ever be any different than they were when I was growing up.
A couple of months ago, though, I started doing research on essential oils to help my son’s eczema. After I had treated him with a rotation of different oils to help the inflammation and extreme dryness he was experiencing, I would take the extra oil that was on my hands and rub them on my arms. The very first night I tried this, I woke up calling to my husband, “Feel my arms! Feel my arms!” Smoother in one night? I felt amazed.
I have continued using this rotation of oils and my arms have continued to heal. They are still not perfect. In fact, I wonder if I have some scarring from having the rash for so long, but they have never felt smoother. I feel much less self conscious about how my arms look and feel, though. I had been happy with the improvement that had already occurred, but am so very pleased that essential oils could take the healing to a new level.
As an added benefit, my hands are looking younger than they did a couple of months ago. Maybe I should write an entire post about this in the future, but they are definitely more supple than they were.
Oils I have used on my arms and hands, all mixed with either almond oil or fractionated coconut oil: