Do you have rough and bumpy skin? Discover possible causes and what treatment options are available to help you achieve smoother-looking skin.

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Rough And Bumpy Skin: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Everyone dreams of soft, smooth skin. But when you rub your hands over your face and body, do you find rough and bumpy skin instead?

To help you get the skin of your dreams, let’s look at some possible causes of rough and bumpy skin. We’ll also explore treatment options to help you achieve a smoother complexion.

Table Of Contents

Symptoms Of Rough And Bumpy Skin

Woman’s leg with rough, bumpy skin

As the name suggests, rough and bumpy skin is characterized by rough patches and bumps on the skin's surface. When you feel your skin, you'll notice an uneven texture. It may be rough like sandpaper or covered in tiny bumps like goosebumps.

Except, unlike traditional goosebumps that only appear in cold temperatures or when you're frightened, these can be present all year round.

Where Is Rough Skin Common?

Rough and bumpy skin can appear anywhere on the body. However, you’ll often notice these symptoms on your face, arms, legs, and back.

Possible Causes Of Rough, Bumpy Skin

Rough and bumpy skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including eczema, psoriasis, and excessive dryness. Let's look at some possible causes in more detail.


Eczema is a skin disorder that causes rough, itchy patches of skin. You may also notice redness around these areas or the beginning of cracks.

Environmental factors such as stress, pollen, and pet dander can negatively impact eczema. Genetics, allergies, and certain medications are also potential causes.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause rough and bumpy patches of red, scaly skin. While there are different types of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is one of the most common. It causes a buildup of skin cells, leading to scaly areas called plaques.

Scientists believe an overactive immune system partly causes this condition. Other potential causes include stress, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors.


Young man looking at acne in the mirror

Different types of acne can cause rough and bumpy patches of skin.

Acne occurs when sebum, bacteria, dirt, or dead skin cells clog your pores. This clogging can lead to red bumps filled with pus on your face or body. Whiteheads and blackheads also have a bumpy texture.

If you have acne-prone skin, rough and bumpy patches can occur even after the acne has cleared. This is because the bacteria and inflammation that cause acne can damage your skin and leave scars.

Buildup Of Dead Skin Cells

When your body does not shed enough dead skin cells, the old cells remain on the surface for too long. This can give your skin a rough texture.

Typically, the shedding process is supposed to take about a month, but it slows down as you age. Other factors, such as cold weather, can also affect the rate at which your skin sheds.

Keratosis Pilaris

A common skin condition that's considered harmless, keratosis pilaris causes patches of tiny bumps on your skin. You may notice these bumps on your upper arms, thighs, or cheeks.

This condition is caused by an excess production of keratin, a protein that helps form the protective outer layer of your skin. Experts believe keratosis pilaris is hereditary, so if your parents have it, you may also inherit it.

Excessive Dryness

It's not unusual for rough textures to occur when your skin is dry. Your imperfections are more noticeable whenever your skin doesn't have enough moisture.

Many things can cause dry skin, including:

  • Frequent use of hot water when cleaning your skin
  • Harsh soaps and cleansers
  • Not using moisturizer after washing your face or body
  • Cold weather conditions
  • Environmental factors such as air pollution


Diabetes doesn't only impact your endocrine system, it also affects your skin. People with diabetes often experience rough patches of dry skin on their legs and feet. This is caused by high blood sugar levels, which can lead to decreased circulation and dryness.

Razor Burn

If you notice bumps shortly after you shave, you could have a case of razor burn. This condition occurs when your razor blades pull or tug at your hair follicles. This irritates the area and produces an inflammatory reaction.

With razor burn, you’ll notice red bumps, ingrown hairs, or rough patches of skin. You may also experience some pain or itching.

Treating Rough And Bumpy Skin

Woman getting moisturizer to treat rough and bumpy skin

No one wants rough and bumpy skin! Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help improve your skin’s texture and make it smoother.

Moisturize Daily

Your skin needs moisture to stay soft and supple. Without it, your skin will dry out, and you'll be more likely to develop rough patches.

To avoid this, add a high-quality moisturizer to your regular skincare routine. Any time you bathe or shower, apply moisturizer immediately afterward. This helps seal in moisture so your skin stays smooth.

Restore Your Skin’s Natural Barrier

Your body has a natural barrier to help protect its largest organ, your skin. This barrier sits on the outermost layer of your skin and helps protect it from irritants and environmental damage.

When this barrier is weakened, rough patches can develop more easily. To help strengthen your skin's natural barrier, take care of yourself from the inside out. Eat a nourishing diet, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. In addition, take time to relax. Stress is terrible for your skin (and the rest of you!)

Use Soothing Ingredients

You may be tempted to use rough cleansers on your skin, but this can irritate it further and cause even more damage. Instead, opt for gentle cleansers with soothing ingredients that are designed to cleanse without stripping away too much of your natural oil.

Since your skin absorbs everything applied directly to its surface, be careful what you rub on your body. Look for products that contain soothing oils, such as almond or jojoba oil, for hydration. Salicylic acid, vitamin B3, and colloidal oatmeal are other good ingredients.

With so many options on the market, it's important to find a reliable skincare company that you can trust, such as Bodewell. We use clinically tested ingredients and soothing botanicals to help you achieve clearer-looking skin over time.

Exfoliate Regularly

Woman applying a body exfoliating scrub

As mentioned above, a buildup of dead skin cells can cause rough skin. Regular exfoliation helps remove these rough patches, revealing softer, smoother skin.

But too much exfoliation can also cause damage, so finding a balance that works for your body is important. Start slowly, exfoliating once a week. Use a gentle scrub at first, and watch for any adverse reactions. As you get used to exfoliating, adjust your schedule as needed.

If you notice any redness, stinging, or burning after exfoliating, stop immediately and reduce the frequency. Everyone's skin is different, so you may need to experiment before finding the perfect routine for you.

Treat Underlying Conditions

If an underlying condition, such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, is causing your skin's texture, treating the condition can help improve the roughness. Here are a few tips for you to try:


  • Wash your face twice daily with gentle cleansers
  • Apply products with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  • Don't pick your pimples or touch your face



And if you have other health conditions affecting your skin, such as diabetes, make sure you talk to your doctor about your rough patches or bumps. They can help you find the best treatment to get your skin back to its smooth and healthy state.

Talk To A Dermatologist

Sometimes, you need professional help to get your skin looking the way you want it to. So don’t be afraid to speak to a dermatologist.

They can examine your skin and diagnose any conditions you may have. They can help you customize a skincare routine that works for you and suggest additional treatment options.

Smoother-Looking Skin Is On The Way!

Woman with beautiful skin

While you may not immediately notice your rough and bumpy skin improving, keep trying! With the right care and a bit of patience, your rough patches can give way to softer, smoother skin.

In the meantime, keep relying on Bodewell to produce high-quality skincare products, like our Eczema Daily Calming Cream and Psoriasis Soothing Spray, to help improve your skin over time. With Bodewell by your side, you can confidently tackle rough patches.

Smooth skin, here we come!


ACS: Chemistry for Life
American Academy of Dermatology Association
National Psoriasis Foundation

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