Do you have little or small red dots on skin? These spots, marks or bumps can occur anywhere on your skin. Depending on the symptoms of these spots, some are temporary while others (blotches) are long-term skin disorders or conditions. What are the red things that you see appearing on your body? Could they be cancer symptoms or something else?
This article gives information and looks into causes, symptoms and possible methods of treating and preventive measures where possible.
How do they look like – pictures?
Red spots could be a skin rash or symptoms of a skin condition. Certain cases of these spots are usually flat spots. These spots can be as small as the head of a pin, or even large and patchy.
Those raised may be bumpy or papules or pimple-like spots especially if they appear to develop under the skin. When they appear on the skin or develop, they could be bright red or dark red.
Common areas of body affected
The body parts where you are likely to find them, skin rash or bumps will depend on the causes and what influences the occurrence. As we shall see, you are likely to see them in various body parts including the face, scalp, neck, chest, and ribs, on thigh area, legs, buttocks and the back. These are the common areas but don’t be surprised to get them on the lips, nose, and breasts.
What causes red dots or small red spots on or under the skin? Read on to know what conditions and infections that cause them. Modes of treating them can differ because there are many causes.
Petechia or Petechiae – Blood spots
Petechiae in the simplest terms refers to the blood spots under the skin. In a real sense, these spots appear Petechiae or petechia appear “when capillaries bleed, leaking blood into the skin,” without actually making its way to the surface. They are surely tiny or little red skin spots that also appear brown or purple.
The causes can range from physical processes, infections to medications. Tiny or little red spots on the face could result from following.
- Crying for too long
- During childbirth
Certain medicines will also cause the red spots to appear all over the skin and these include Indocin, Penicillin, Atropine, and Naproxen just to mention a few.
Infections linked to petechiae are mostly viral but certain bacterial infections can lead to the little spots appearing on the skin. These are strep throat, sepsis, mononucleosis, meningococcemia, and viral hemorrhagic fever.
The above is not the only possible causes. Injuries, severe sunburns, Leukemia, Vasculitis (Leukocytoclastic) and deficiency in vitamin C, K, are also the reasons that account for the red spots.
The face, legs, eyelid skin are common areas for petechia spots. They form in cluster patterns and appear rash-like in normal situations.
If you get them in the face, it would be due to sunburns, coughing, vomiting and even during childbirth.
Cherry angiomas – Campbell de Morgan spots
“An angioma is a benign growth that consists of the small blood vessel.” [aocd.org]
There are numerous types of angiomas but we are going to look at cherry angioma. No one knows the causes of cherry angioma like other types of this skin condition. Due to occurrence with age, doctors think they are influenced by age.
Cherry angioma is comprised of a cluster of capillaries nearer the skin surface. Cherry angiomas are bright flat red blood spots. Sometimes the color could also range from red to purple. If they grow, they are slightly raised and can increase in small millimeters across their diameter. The spots will bleed when injured or scratching.
Cherry angiomas do not need treatment but due to unappealing look, some people consider to go for removal. Methods used in treating these spots include laser, shave excision, cryotherapy, curettage and electrodesiccation. As it were, talk to your primary doctor before you go for these treatments.
NOTE: Cherry angiomas are non-cancerous skin growths.
Actinic keratosis or solar keratoses
It is characterized by red or dark red or pink patches on sun-exposed areas of skin after a long-term exposure. The patches due to keratosis are usually not harmful to health although they are sometimes itchy, and cause soreness. Solar keratosis can increase the risks of developing squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). The skin cancer risks are minimal but cannot be ruled out of the possibility to occur.
Common areas affected include the face, forearms, and hands, on scalp and legs. Those at risk are the individuals with a fair skin and the older people.
Individuals who suspect themselves of this condition must make regular visits to health centers for diagnosis.
Learning how to manage this condition is crucial when it comes to treating it. Common methods of controlling the patches include the following.
- Application of creams and gels
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
These methods of treatment should be subject to careful consideration because the condition is not harmful.
Rosacea subtype 2
What is rosacea? Rosacea is a complex and chronic skin disease especially when the symptoms flare up.
There are various types of rosacea. They include rosacea sub-type 1, sub-type 2, subtype 3, and ocular rosacea. While subtype 1 is responsible for redness of the facial skin, the sub-type 2 is symptomatic of small red acne-like spots. It affects many more women than other specific individuals.
Risk factors for rosacea include consumption of spicy foods, beverages with alcohol, facial infection and intestinal bacteria.
Cutaneous candidiasis or candidiasis of the skin are infections caused by the Candida albicans (yeast infections) that affect mostly the moist and warm parts.
The common symptoms include itching that is moderate to intense, presence of red rash in skin folds, in the trunk, genitals, underarms or armpits, neck, the groin area, etc.
Cutaneous candidiasis treatment
Treating it is simple when treated in good time usually before it causes more damage to the skin.
For the fungi to be controlled well a diagnosis is required. Prescription antifungal creams, oral medicines, and body lotions are quite effective. In some cases, cutaneous candidiasis can improve and clear on its own.
Acrodermatitis is common in childhood and teenage. The estimated age bracket affected by acrodermatitis lies in 3 – 15 years among the young people.
The spots appear purple when acrodermatitis begins. The symptoms include
- Itchy red or purple blister-bumps on the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes that are also sore when touched
- Swelling and tenderness in the abdomen
The symptoms could last up to three months in which the symptoms vary.
This syndrome may not require treatment on condition that it goes away without any signs of discomforts in your child. Common treatments to relieve the itching include hydrocortisone and antihistamines. A professional doctor must administer these treatments.
Prior to treatment, your doctor will ask you to get a differential diagnosis and a series of tests including blood tests.
Young children must be taught how to keep up hygiene at the individual level for this can minimize the occurrence of acrodermatitis.
Outlined below are some skin infections that cause these red-colored spots or bumps.
A. Chickenpox and shingles
Chickenpox is a contagious skin illness that causes red rash or spots, which are itchy. A virus causes it.
It is common in childhood but the young people and adults can get it as well. If you have chickenpox virus and sneeze or a cough, the virus (varicella-zoster) can transfer to the person next to you. Sharing drinks and foods is also another way through which the virus spreads (i.e. contact with the infected person who has developed the blisters).
Symptoms and treatment
Common symptoms include fever, headaches, coughing and sore throat. Blistering occurs in a matter of 1 or 2 days after the spots have appeared on the skin. Afterwards, the blisters dry out causing crusting.
Now, even if you received vaccination but the virus remains inactive in the immune system, the symptoms may appear again, after sometime when the virus is ‘activated’. If this occurs when you get shingles or herpes zoster. Shingles are usually symptomatic of blistering (red blotches) accompanied by pain, burning in the skin. According to the Healthline, it is almost impossible to transmit shingles but if you attend to a person with shingles, you are at risk of catching the virus.
Medications to reduce fever and headache is the most common way to treat the condition. However, patients can sometimes use antiviral medication.
If you get an itchy and red rash or spots – avoid scratching.
Measles or Rubeola is another viral infection of the skin.
The early signs, which appear after about 2 weeks after infection, include a runny nose, flu, and fever. Thereafter, patients (children commonly) will develop a rash starting from the upper quarter down the trunk and spread to the legs including the feet. The rash is normally reddish that covers virtually the whole of the body.
According to the World Health Organization report, measles was responsible for a 134 200 death of individuals in 2015 alone (most of them were children). This infection is also contagious and spreads through coughing or sneezing particularly in crowded populations. If untreated, measles leads to complex ear infections that could spread to the brain.
Apparently, there is no real cure for measles. Therefore, this calls for good personal care and practicing recommended preventive measures.
C. Ringworm infection – scalp and body
The most common ringworms are those caused by Candida albicans.
Hives are red raised bumps appearing anywhere on the skin. They are little red or dots because of an allergic reaction and certain environmental conditions such as cold and exposure to the sun. Sometimes they could be due to a physical pressure on the skin.
A substance known as histamine is the most common form of allergy – a chemical substance released by the immune system to counter the effects of another suspected and potentially harmful substance.
Other allergies (developed) include foods, medications, substances released by animal pets, pollen and insects.
In addition to what we have discussed, the following are other causes of the spots that look or appear red or reddish on various body parts and specific parts of the skin.
- Acne characterized by papules and pustules
- Bites and stings
- Autoimmune disorders such as Pemphigoid
- Cold sores (around mouth – on edges of lips, lip line, under nose and on genitals
Red spots or red rash accompanied with itching can be a hot spot for discomfort. The more you itch and scratch the more the condition of the skin worsens. Some of the bod parts where sweating occurs, for example, the armpits, thighs, genital area and groin, are more liable to an itchy rash.
From our discussion, certain conditions and infections can cause itchy red spots whether they appear as bumps or flat skin spots. They include urticaria (hives), allergy, and papular acrodermatitis of childhood, cutaneous candidiasis and chicken pox. Solar keratoses can also cause itching although this is not typical of the skin condition.
Red raised bumps on skin
Raised spots or bumps on the skin can raise fear and a lot of concern. These spots may have no health-related concerns and most of them are benign growths. Even if that is the case, they should be subject to keen observation thus; you need to pay close attention.
Can you prevent them?
Sometimes it becomes difficult to control and properly treat certain skin problems associated with red rash or spots. When there is totally no cure, prevention is best. There are various methods to prevent infections or conditions related to the formation skin spots. They may be at the individual level or global response through health initiative programs. These include
- Vaccinations and immunization programs. Every parent should take responsibility to ensure that their children are immunized especially at infancy and childhood life
- Reducing duration of time spent in the sun
- Limit consumption of spicy and alcoholic beverages
- Reviewing a medical history of past skin disorders and infections with view of administering systematic treatment
- Clinical trials and tests in which volunteers are encouraged to participate in or before approval for treatment.
- Maintaining a healthy eating a well-balanced diet
Reference and sources