It is impossible to have a smooth, flawless skin. Most people have to deal with one or more skin condition at one time in their life. One of these problems is having small red spots on the legs. This is a condition that can affect anyone regardless of gender, age or even race.
The small red spots can be found on the lower or upper leg or both. They can also be itchy, or the red bumps might not be itchy.
In this article, I am going to elaborate on the causes of the small red bumps on legs. As you might be guessing, there are several causes of little red bumps on legs. Most of them could be minor disturbances that will often go away on their own after some days while a case of red patches on legs could be a sign of a serious illness like cancer.
Insect bites and stings
Bed bugs, ants, mosquitos, and fleas can all cause red spots on legs. The difference between a bump caused by an insect bite and other bumps is that these ones will always disappear on their own. Even though, they will re-appear if you have a bedbug infestation or a flea infestation. A red itchy rash could be a sign of a flea infestation. Insect bites will not only cause red bumps on legs but also on other exposed parts of the body. Some insects like mosquitos and fleas cause diseases. Female mosquitos can cause Malaria while fleas may lead to hives. Insect stings is the main cause of bumps on skin.
This condition is commonly known as razor rash. It is an inflammation of the hair follicles usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. At first it looks like small itchy red bumps on the leg or any other part of the body that it forms. Wearing tight cloths or cloths that trap heat may increase the chances of developing folliculitis. Shaving your hair may also damage the hair follicles thus leading to this condition.
People who have chronic diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS are at a great risk of getting folliculitis because of a weakened immune system. Even though the condition is not life-threatening, a severe case can lead to boils and permanent hair loss.
Do you have painless patches of dry skin that resemble goose bumps on your upper legs and arms? Do you see rough or sand paper like bumps on these areas? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are dealing with a condition known as Keratosis pilaris. It is a common and harmless skin condition, in fact some medics view it as a variant of normal skin. It occurs from the build up of Keratin (a substance that protects the skin from infections) on the skin
It mostly affects young children and disappears on its own before one attains 30 years. Even though it cannot be cured or prevented, applying moisturizers can help hide them and improve the normal appearance of the skin.
Red spots on the skin can be a side effect of certain medication. A good example of this is the cytotoxic drugs used to treat arthritis. These drugs cause bleeding under the skin which results to red bumps on the legs.
You may develop an itchy red rash on your legs if your skin comes in contact with certain substance like brushing on plants with poison or certain detergents, certain substances like pollen grains, cosmetics, fabrics and even drugs used to treat skin conditions like acne. You may already know some of these substances or no. Contact dermatitis may affect other areas of the body which encounters the substances.
Cherry angiomas are red (can also be purple) and harmless papules on the skin which have no relation to cancer. They develop the reddish appearance from the collection of blood capillaries. They may also grow on your legs, shoulders or torso and can bleed if scratched.
Even though the exact cause of angiomas is yet to be found, they often appear in older people who are over 30 years. They have also been inked with pregnancy and research is still being carried out to find if they have any genetic relationship. The spots are harmless and do not require treatment, but you should discuss with your dermatologist for the best way to remove them if they are unappealing.
Hives are red, itchy, raised welts on the skin that appear on the skin in varying shapes and sizes. They may appear as the body’s reaction to some allergens or for unknown reasons. They may also burn or sting and can appear anywhere else on the body. Hives will often disappear within a period of 24 hours.
Heat rash is a common condition that affects babies in diapers. It can also affect adults in hot humid weather and is caused when sweat is trapped in clogged sweat pores. It is always red in appearance and maybe itchy. The heat rash will often disappear once the skin temperature cools.
Vasculitis is a condition caused by inflammation of blood vessels in certain areas of the body. It can cause red blotches to appear on the legs. You may also experience a weakness in the legs and lack of appetite. Other infections like Erythema Nodosum can also cause the appearance of little red bumps on the legs accompanied by a fever and body weakness.
These are tiny round red, purple or brown spots on the legs though they might also appear on arms, legs and even buttocks. Petechiae is caused by bleeding under the skin or a reaction to certain medication like the ones used to treat arthritis. Even though they appear like a rash, they won’t turn white if you press them. They may also be a sign of an underlying skin condition like bone marrow cancer or leukemia.
Red spots on legs, cancer
Unusual moles that maybe reddish in color could be a sign of skin cancer. Other symptoms of the cancer could be a sore that doesn’t heal on the skin or change in sensation of a pimple. There is a good chance of catching skin cancer early because most of types develop where they can be seen. You can discuss any unusual condition on your skin with your doctor who will give you further directions.
Other causes of red spots on legs could be;
Treatment for small red spots on legs
As you have seen, there are several causes of red bumps on legs that will only require examination of a physician who will prescribe the right medication. But you need not worry so much about your condition because it could just be a minor irritant that will go away on its own after a few days. You can apply cold compresses to reduce the pain of red spots caused by folliculitis. You should only seek medical attention if the spots do not disappear even after trying out topical medication or they keep recurring.