Skin problems on the arms

Author: Hon Assoc Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, September 2015.

Links to pages about skin conditions that favour the arms.

Arms: erythema without surface change

Erythema is less pronounced in dark skin.



Arms: red papules/pustules

Acne vulgaris

Insect bites

Lichen planus

Arms: erosions/crusting

Herpes zoster


Scabies rash

Arms: dry/scaly and very itchy

May also blister, swell.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis

Nummular dermatitis

Arms: dry and scaly with minimal itch

Keratosis pilaris


Arms: multiple skin coloured papules

Granuloma annulare

Pigmentary changes

Pigmentation is more pronounced in dark skin.

Postinflammatory pigmentation


See also pigmentary disorders

Related information

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Watch Dr Amanda Oakley presenting "Skin lesion photography" at The Australasian Skin Cancer Congress.

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