Many of you would have noticed red dots on legs and other parts of the body. Having few red dots on the skin is not a matter of concern. Various factors can contribute for formation of red spots on legs and not all of them are serious. It gets resolved on few days without any treatment. Almost every person would have got red dots on legs at some point in his life, irrespective of age and sex.
Features of red dots are not the same for every person and it differs in texture, structure and size. For some people red dots are itchy but for others they are not. Intense scratching of red dots on legs can tear the upper layer of the skin causing open wounds which can give way for an infection. Hence it is wise to understand the significance of red dots to identify the underlying medical condition.
Symptoms Of Red Spots On Legs
Generally red dots on legs do not show any symptoms. It can be a nuisance for the affected person and it may affect his/her cosmetic appearance. Symptoms of red dots vary according to its cause and underlying medical problem.
- Red dots can either be flat or irregular in shape
- It can be raised bumps or bumpy ones
- Edges of red dots can be crusted, irregular or well defined
- In case of an infection, red dots can contain pus
- It may or may not be itchy and painful. For some people it can be consistently itching
- The size of red dots on legs may vary ranging from the size of a pin to big ones
- Red dots can be single or group/cluster
- Longevity of red dots on legs can be temporary (few days) or chronic (long periods)
In severe cases or any serious medical condition, red dots can be accompanied with fever, chills and flu like symptoms. Red dots may spread to other parts of the body and sometimes throughout the skin. It may cause other symptoms like headache, loss of appetite and nausea if there is any serious problem.
Causes Of Red Spots On Legs
Several factors can lead to red dots formation on the legs. Cause may range from mild to serious medical condition. And depending on the causative factor, red dots can remain on the skin only for few days or sometimes it can become chronic problem. The reason for red dots formation may range from simple cause like insect bite to more serious problems like hives.
1. Insect Bite
Insects and other creeping animals may accidentally bite you injecting venom into the body. This can trigger allergic response causing red dots to appear on the site of bite. In some cases insect bite can cause rashes on the entire body with itching.
2. Drug Interaction
Several medications can cause side effects including skin rash and digestive system disorders. Some drugs like cytotoxic medications contain certain chemicals intended to stop growth of cells (harmful) in the body. For instance cytotoxic drugs are prescribed for treating cancer and autoimmune problems like rheumatoid arthritis. This can cause side effects like red dots on legs which may disappear once the drugs are stopped.
Any kind of allergy including food, medications, insect bites and cold temperature can affect your skin. Small bumps would appear on the skin in addition to other signs like fever, chills, and drop in pulse rate or blood pressure and intense itchy feeling all over the body. Red dots appear not only in your legs but anywhere in the body. Eating any poisonous foods or drinks can trigger defense mechanism producing allergic response to indicate that something is wrong inside. Such kind of allergic response can also be caused by cosmetics since it is directly applied on the skin.
Folliculitis is the most common skin problem that causes red dots on legs and other parts of the body. It is caused by the inflammation of hair follicles and it affects people, irrespective of age and gender. Folliculitis occurs when the skin is triggered by irritating chemicals and rash shaving methods. Often folliculitis clears on its own without any treatment.
5. Schamberg’s Disease
Schamberg’s disease is a kind of long-term skin problem targeting people of all ages. It is also known as pigmentary dermatosis and is largely affect the legs forming red dots. It is more common in males than females and slowly it progresses from the legs to entire body forming red dots all over. This disease causes chronic discoloration of skin damaging the appearance.
6. Erythema Nodosum
Erythema nodosum causes painful red dots on legs. The size of the dots can range from 1-5 cm in diameter and is caused by imbalance in estrogen levels, fungal or bacterial infection, Behcet’s disease and inflammatory bowel problems like ulcer. It can be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections.
Psoriasis is a common skin disorder in which excess of skin cells are produced piling over the dead cells. This condition can cause red dots not only on the lower legs but in knees, elbows and even on the scalp. Psoriasis is a chronic disorder caused by autoimmune problem, vitamin D deficiency and strep throat infection.
Certain other factors like physical trauma, skin related disorders and a rare type of cancer can also cause red spots on legs.
Mere physical examination is enough for identifying red spots. However to rule out underlying medical problem your doctor may order for blood culture and other laboratory tests.
Red Spots On Legs Treatment
Very often, red dots on legs would fade on its own without any treatment. Red lumps triggered by small insect bites and food allergy belong to this category. You need to identify the food items that triggers allergy and totally avoid eating them in future.
If these red spots do not clear within few days you can check with your skin doctor to know the right cause and treatment. He may prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infection and steroid cream for other parasitic infections. Inflammation of skin layer can be reduced by taking anti-inflammatory drugs.
In rare cases red spots on legs becomes a chronic problem. In that case you can prevent additional symptoms with right medication. Having few red dots on legs is not a matter of concern. However you need to be careful with skin disorders and skin infection and take enough precautions to prevent it.