Why Are There Red Dots On My Skin?

By Marc Peterson
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Why Are There Red Dots On My Skin?

Why Are There Red Dots On My Skin?

Our skin is sensitive, and prone to breakouts, bumps, and marks of all types, but we’ve all asked ourselves the same question at one point or another: Why are there red dots on my skin? Red spots on the skin are one of the most common medical complaints, and these markings can be attributed to a variety of causes. Usually, these blemishes are harmless and will go away on their own, but it’s important to know when a red dot on your skin is a cause for concern. Learn about the common causes behind red dots on your skin and make sure you know how to manage these blemishes when they come up.

After seeing a red mark on their skin, most assume they’re dealing with a pimple or some type of acne breakout. Acne Vulgaris is a common skin condition that affects tens of millions of people in the United States each year. This localized skin inflammation arises when the skin secretes too much sebum within the oil glands. This oily substance combines with dead skin cells and bacteria, resulting in painful, red bumps directly on or below the skin’s surface.

There are many different types of acne, and knowing how to spot pimples, pustules, and cysts can help you come find the best treatment options. However, a red bump sighting might not be a pimple at all. Before calling your dermatologist and throwing on the pimple cream, be sure to check that the red dots on your skin aren’t from another type of medical condition. The following are some of the most common skin disorders and conditions that feature red dots on the skin.  

Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a skin condition characterized by dry, sensitive skin, itching, dark colored patches, scales, and oozing or crusting. Eczema is usually very itchy and can become inflamed. Over 30 million Americans have eczema, and while there aren’t any known cures, this skin condition is controllable. Stress and allergens can make eczema breakouts worse, while daily bathing and regular moisturizing can reduce breakouts.

Cherry Angiomas

If you notice a tiny mark that looks like a red mole, you may have cherry angiomas. These are quite common, and most usually seen in people over the age of 30. These marks appear red because a blood vessel has broken beneath the skin. Experts aren’t quite sure about what causes Cherry Angiomas, but they do believe there’s a connection to genetics. Generally, these little red dots on your skin are harmless, but see a doctor if you see these red marks growing, changing shape, or turning a different color.

Keratosis Pilaris

Run your fingers along the red spots on your skin. Does it feel rough and raised? You may have Keratosis pilaris, which is characterized by small red bumps. This condition is caused by a genetic disorder, and the severity of the symptoms can fluctuate by the season. Usually, the bumps will go away or get smaller in the summer but get worse in the winter months. Generally, moisturizing regularly can help this condition, but there’s no known cure.

Petachiae

Have you noticed patches of skin that have pinpoint size red dots on your skin? Petachiae are rash-like growths that come about due to bleeding, and most often show up in clusters. They can appear on eyelids or even inside the mouth. These red spots are very common, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them because they can indicate different medical and health conditions. Usually, clusters appear in response to an allergic reaction. They may also arise in situations of injury, cases of autoimmune diseases, or viral infections that affect the blood’s ability to clot. Those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation may also experience Petachiae more regularly. Usually, if the bumps are caused by an infection, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics that will clear them quickly.

Hives

Hives occur during an allergic reaction. This reaction could be in response to food, pollen, and even medication. Hives are characterized by a rash of raised, terribly itchy welts that may or may not burn. Hives can occur anywhere on the body; they may come in small patches or join together across the body. Usually, hives will disappear completely within a few days. If you often experience hives, be sure to get a skin allergy patch test done on your skin to learn what you should avoid.

Skin Tags

If you’ve noticed a flesh or brown-colored flap on your skin, you may have skin tags. These generally look like a flap of tissue connected to a stalk. These are most often found in places where the skin rubs together: under the breasts, on the neck, in the armpit, or under fat folds. Women and older people are most likely to get these skin tags. Luckily, these are completely harmless.

Shingles

Shingles are caused by the chickenpox virus. You’ll first notice a section of raised dots that may tingle. These dots then begin to blister and become painful. It can take weeks and in some cases months for the rash to totally subside. If you had chickenpox when you were younger, you’re at risk for shingles.

Capillaritis

Although its name might be intimidating, Capillaritis is pretty much harmless. This skin condition is characterized by red or brown patches on the skin. These darkened patches are caused by leaking capillaries under the skin. Usually, red blood cells leak from superficial blood vessels. Those with Capillaritis often see patches of Petachiae. Generally, this condition doesn’t need treatment, and will go away on its own within a few weeks’ time. It’s most often seen in people whose jobs require them to stand for long periods of time. You may also hear this skin condition referred to as Schamberg’s Disease.

If you’ve spotted red dots on your skin, don’t panic. Consider any other symptoms you may have and consider whether one of these common conditions is responsible for the red marks on your skin.

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