Red Spots on Skin

Red Spots on Skin
Red spots on the skin can be entirely harmless, or they may be a symptom of some severe disease. There are several underlying causes for this condition. Let's have a look...
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2018
Red spots are amongst the most common type of skin ailment. Almost every skin disease has red spots, as one of its primary symptoms. Red spots can appear anywhere on the body. Sometimes, the affected site of the body helps identify the accurate cause of red spots on one's skin. Although, these red spots on skin are most likely to be harmless, it is imperative that you keep a close watch on them. The seemingly harmless skin rash may be an indication of some lethal disease. In certain cases, they may indicate an onset of a disease.
Red spots may be accompanied by itching, pain, swelling, etc. Some red spots may also be filled with fluid. On the other hand, you may have some red spots which neither hurt, nor change their appearance over years. While it is natural to consider them as harmless, it is better to get them checked, more so, if they have formed during adulthood. In this article, we have presented some of the causes of red skin spots, that should identify the nature and scope of your individual condition.
Causes of Red Dots on Skin

Acne
Acne marks are red or brown in color. They are called 'macules' and are flat in shape. Macules are the scars which are left by acne after healing. These marks are not permanent and often fade away with time. However, exposure to sun may prolong the recovery procedure.
Birthmarks
Birthmarks, also called hemangioma, are pigmented spots which are visible immediately after the birth. However, they can also develop later. Hemangioma is mostly concerned with blood vessels. Birthmarks can be distinguished from other red spots, since they mostly develop during early childhood.
Blood Spots/Petechiae
Reddish or purplish dots found on the skin can be an indicator of petechiae. Red spots first begin to appear on the leg, which then spread to other areas of the body. Trauma, strenuous coughing, etc. can cause the capillaries to bleed into the mucus membranes of the skin, which appear as tiny red dots on the skin.
Dermatofibromas
These are in the form of small, firm, red or brown bumps. Dermatofibromas are a result of accumulation of soft tissues called fibroblasts. They are often found on the legs and torso. They should be reported to a physician, if their occurrence is associated with itching or pain.
Pyogenic Granulomas
Pyogenic granulomas is commonly seen in children, and occurs as a result of overgrowth of blood capillaries. The large number of accumulated blood vessels result in small red spots on the skin surface. These spots may also appear blue, purple or brown. They are often a result of trauma or injury, which caused damage to the blood vessels. Although the exact cause is not known, this condition is not cancerous, and is not passed on genetically.
Rosacea
The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it often runs in the family. Mostly, people with very fair skin are affected by rosacea. A spate of red, pimple-like pustules appear on the skin, which gives a blush-like appearance to the face.
Cherry Angioma
Cherry angioma is associated with appearance of large, red spots on the skin. If the spots become even larger, their color changes from red to blue. Like rosacea, cherry angioma also runs in the family. However, the development of cherry angioma is not restricted to face alone, and can develop on any part of the body. Cherry angioma is not associated with any disease or disorder, and is harmless.
Hives
Hives appear as smooth, elevated wheals on the skin. They vary greatly in size, with a diameter ranging from a few millimeters to few inches. They fluctuate greatly, meaning they may rapidly change their size or their position. Bee stings, drug allergies, etc. are some common causes that trigger hives. The tendency to develop hives is mostly genetic.
Folliculitis
It is a common type of skin rash, appearing as small red bumps at hair follicles. There are about 10 to 100 bumps, scattered on a particular body part. The rash may appear at any place where there is hair growth. Bacteria is mostly responsible for the spread of rash.
Heat Rash
Also referred to as sweat rashes or prickly heat rashes, heat rashes are a classic cause of red spots on skin. They develop when sweat glands become clogged, thereby trapping sweat inside the skin. This leads to occurrence of little bumps on the skin. Tight clothing, creases in skin etc., are some common factors triggering heat rashes.
Diaper Rash
Red spots found on the baby's diaper region, is most likely to be diaper rash. This rash can be caused by anything, right from moisture left behind by diapers, diet, allergy, infections or even antibiotics. The red spots are accompanied by burning sensation, which stings during diaper change.
Measles
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection, whose symptoms surface a week or so, after getting infected. Initially, grayish-white spots (Koplik's spots) appear inside the mouth, however, a couple of days later red spots begin to appear on the skin. Besides red marks on skin, one may also suffer from fever, fatigue, watery eyes, sore throat, etc.
Insect Bites
Red dots on skin can also be the result of nasty mosquito bites. Red splotches on skin can be due to bed bug bites. Flea, lice, ant, and mite bites also appear as red spots. The insect bite can be itchy or even painful in some cases. Bites can also trigger allergic reactions.
Treating Red Spots on Skin
➦ The treatment for red spots cannot be generalized, simply because the cause varies, and depending on the underlying cause, necessary mode of treatment and medicines are prescribed.
➦ If the red spots are symptoms of diaper rash, one should try avoiding diaper completely for a few days. Moreover, in the meantime, keep the diaper area clean and dry. If the diaper rash does not heal on its own in the next few days, consult your child's pediatrician. Never try ointments without seeking medical guidance.
➦ Rubbing the inner portion of aloe vera pieces on heat rashes, will help cool the skin and reduce inflammation. Soaking oneself in an oatmeal bath will also soothe the rashes.
➦ Home remedies should not be used before consulting the health care professional. Applying something without knowing the underlying cause can have adverse effects.
If the occurrence of red spots is a recent phenomenon, check out for any change in food, cosmetics, laundry, soaps etc. Certain allergies can also lead to red spots on skin. In any case, it doesn't hurt to see a physician and get yourself tested.
Disclaimer: The information presented above is for educational purpose only and not for self-diagnosis. We do not encourage its usage as an alternative for medical practitioner's advice.