What causes red itchy dots on your legs? A closer look at the red spots on legs that are itchy, dots, patches, blotches, causes and how to get rid of them.

small red dots on legs

small red dots on legs

Red Spots on Legs Causes

It’s very likely that you will panic when you see spot some red spots on legs. In most of the instances, you shouldn’t. But red bumps might be itchy and much unsightly. Sometimes, red bumps on the legs are an indication of a very serious condition.

Red bumps can be brought by allergies, infections, and a number of skin conditions. The sources of the bumps and rashes normally vary by age as well health condition. If you’re wondering about the red bumps on the legs, consider some of the most common culprits.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris are the small red spots on legs or white bumps that resemble goose bumps on the fleshier areas of the thighs and arms. They don’t itch or they itch very little. This is a common condition that affects approximately 40 percent to 70 percent of teens, and 30 percent of adults, according to the studies.

Keratosis pilaris happens when the pores are clogged with keratin, a protein that is found in the skin, nails, and hair. You’re more likely to get it if you have dry skin or eczema. Although the condition is harmless, you may want to talk to the doctor about use of medicated creams. In very severe cases, laser therapy is used.

Folliculitis

Small, red spots on legs or even the pimples that happen on parts of the body that you shave or where clothing rubs the skin an indication of folliculitis. You may understand it as razor rash.

This skin condition is brought about by bacteria or fungi that infect the hair follicles. Shaving, tight clothing, or the combination of heat and sweat, gardening gloves are usual source of folliculitis. You can also get folliculitis at any age, but there are some risk factors. You’re at risk if you:

  • have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, AIDS, or other low immune condition that makes you more susceptible to infection
  • have acne or eczema
  • have skin that has been injured
  • have frequent hot tubs

Folliculitis may be itchy and much uncomfortable. But it’s not a very serious unless it progresses to a more the very severe type of infection, including boils, and cellulitis. Folliculitis normally clears up on its own. If it lasts longer than 15 days or if it worsens, you should see the doctor.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

If the red spots on legs combine in patches and itch too much, you can be having eczema, a common skin condition. Eczema might be dry and scaly, or it can blister and ooze a clear fluid. Eczema also tends to flare up at times. Common triggers are:

  • soaps and detergents
  • cleaning products
  • animal fur
  • wool

The cause of eczema is not fully known, but there are some several common patterns.

  • Eczema normally runs in families.
  • You have a greater chance of getting eczema if you or a family member has asthma or other seasonal allergies.
  • Eczema is very common in the urban areas with high levels of pollution and in the colder climates.
  • Children who are born to the older mothers are more apt to have the condition.

Although people of all ages can experience eczema, the studies indicate that 80 percent of cases happen in children who are under the age of five. The research also adds that about 45 percent of adults who had eczema as a child continue to have some symptoms of the same in adulthood.

A number of medications are applied to treat eczema, including antibiotics, and corticosteroids.  The doctor will assist you find the medications that are effective for you. The doctor also will work with you to identify the agents that trigger the eczema and reduce exposure to them.

Like most of the skin conditions, eczema may become infected. Additionally, if you experience eczema, avoid being around people who have cold sores or chicken pox. Exposure to the viruses that leads to these conditions puts you at a greater risk of getting eczema herpeticum, rapidly spreading infection.

Hives

About 22 percent of people can get hives in their lifetime, indicates the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  Hives, also known as urticaria, are the raised, itchy red spots on legs or even the skin-tone welts. They normally turn white when you press their center. Hives might appear anywhere on the body, and people of all ages can get them.

You might get hives in response to a wide range of triggers, like:

  • some foods
  • medications
  • latex
  • heat or cold

Hives are also associated with some conditions, which includes:

  • sinusitis
  • hepatitis
  • autoimmune diseases

Hives are normally not very serious unless they’re accompanied by a more systemic allergic reaction. If you have trouble in breathing or swallowing, or swelling of the face or tongue, seek very urgent medical attention.

Insect Bites

The little red spots on legs can be bug bites — more especially if they itch so much. Common culprits in the insect kingdom include:

  • mosquitoes
  • fleas
  • lice
  • bed bugs
  • gnats

Itching can be helped by the oral or topical corticosteroid, or even the application of calamine lotion.

Red Spots on Legs not Itchy

red spots on legs

red spots on legs

Red non-itchy red spots on legs can be very harmless or they may be an indication of some serious underlying condition. Such spots are normally accompanied by the additional symptoms like swelling, fluid-filled bumps, or pain.

But, even if red spots do not itch, change color or the appearance, or elicit any other signs, it is better to consult a doctor as the spots can be malignant.

Some of the common causes of red spots on skin that do not itch are listed below:

  • Birthmarks: Also known as hemangioma, birthmarks are the congenital pigmented or non-itchy red spots on legs. They can also form after birth in the childhood. In most of the cases, birthmarks have associations with the blood vessels.
  • Acne: Also known as macules, acne are the brown or red spots or the flat bumps on skin that can or may not itch. A macule normally refers to the scar that remain post healing of an acne. Such marks are much temporary and also disappear after some time. But, recovery can be delayed because of prolonged sun exposure.
  • Dermatofibromas: These spots normally appear as solid, brown or the red bumps on skin. They can or may not cause itchiness. Usually affecting the torso and legs, dermatofibromas are caused by ‘fibroblasts’ soft tissue buildup. They do not itch; but consult a doctor if the spots lead to pain or itch.
  • Petechiae or the blood spots: The condition is brought about by vigorous coughing, trauma, etc. which cause bleeding of the capillaries into the skin’s mucous membrane. Such bleeding are very visible as the purplish or even the red non-itchy spots on skin. Petechiae usually affects the legs first and then transfers to other parts of the body.
  • Pyogenic granulomas: Normally affecting children, pyogenic granulomas happens because of blood capillaries overgrowth, which in turn may happen because of injury or trauma that can damage the blood vessels.

Buildup of several blood vessels is what leads to the formation of the red spots on legs that do not itch. Such of the spots can also be brown, or even blue in color. Even though the exact cause is not established, the condition is not inherited nor is it malignant.

  • Lyme disease: It is brought about by infection by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that normally pass into the humans through the bite of ticks living in forested or grassy areas. The tick bite can leave a tiny red bump on the skin, which in turn develops into a reddish bull’s-eye like the rash after some few days.

Spread of the infection can lead to multiple rashes that are featuring itchy or non-itchy red spots on legs. Additional symptoms of the Lyme disease are the joint pain, fever, and also flu-like signs. The condition may be cured completely if treated during the initial phases of the illness.

  • Cherry angioma: It is a very harmless condition which is marked by spontaneous formation of large purplish or red spots on skin that do not itch. If the spots become larger, then they may turn blue in color.

The condition usually runs in the family, may affect people of all the age groups, and may happen on the face and anywhere else on the body. Treatment options are electro-surgery, intense pulsed light, or even pulsed dye laser.

  • Heat rash: It is one of the most common causes of the red spots on skin that may or may not itch. Also known as prickly heat rash or the sweat rash, heat rashes are brought about by trapping of sweat below the skin surface because of clogged sweat ducts. Trigger factors are increased sweating, wearing of the tight clothes, excessive creases on the skin, and also the prolonged sun exposure, etc.
  • Hives: They are raised, smooth wheals on the skin. The wheals or even red spots on the skin tend to differ much in size and may grow anywhere between 3 mm to 4 inches or more. Hives tend to quickly change in position and also the size and are normally itchy.

Drug allergies, stings etc., commonly lead to the onset of hives, and people with a genetic predisposition to hives are most susceptible.

  • Measles: It is a contagious condition brought about by infection by a virus. In the initial stages, Koplik’s spots or also the white-grayish spots normally form within the oral cavity and after a few days itchy or non-itchy red spots on legs may develop. Additional symptoms are fatigue, fever, and tearing, etc. The first symptoms normally happen a 7 or more days after infection.
  • Rosacea: It is a chronic inflammatory condition that is marked by the formation of the tiny reddish pus-filled bumps or the red dots on skin. Normally the red spots happen in groups making the face appear flushed. The condition typically affects adults, and has no known cure. Treatments are aimed at alleviating the symptoms.
  • Folliculitis: This common skin rash is that is marked by formation of the red spots or even the bumps near the hair follicles. It might affect the area of the body that has hair growth. Folliculitis rash normally spreads because of the bacterial infection. The red spots may or may not itch.
  • Diaper rash: The condition causes small itchy or non-itchy red spots in the diaper area of the baby. It might get triggered due to several factors like diet, moisture from the diapers, infections, or as a side effect of the antibiotics. In most of the cases, the rash involves burning and also stinging sensations that are predominantly felt by the baby during a diaper change.
  • Insect bites: Bites from insects like mosquitoes, ant, bed bugs, and mites may also lead to red spots on skin that may or may not itch. Sometimes, the bites can lead to a lot of pain and even trigger very bad allergic reactions.

Itchy Red Spots on legs

red blotches on legs

red blotches on legs

Red itchy bumps on the legs can be much frustrating, but they are normally nothing to worry about. You can experience the bumps from the feet all the way up to the top of the thigh.

Most of the time, these bumps are very small, and don’t burst open. However, in some other cases, the bumps may burst and crust over. You may have itchiness anywhere along this rash on the legs, and it may come and disappear.

In general, the red spots on legs are not a cause for alarm. Most of the doctors have seen this type of rash before and understand how to diagnose. You can feel the urge to scratch these bumps, but that is not very much advisable. You may open up the skin and lead to an infection by over-scratching. But, if you have already scratched them open, then use some Neosporin to the skin area to assist prevent infection.

Red Spots on Lower Legs

The severity of the red spots on legs depends on its underlying causes. These come about due to different medical reasons and external factors. The spots can hurt or also bleed; they may also spread to other areas of the body. It is very vital to understand the nature of the red spots in terms of sizes and color in different causative conditions so as to better cope with it.

The causes of the red spots on the legs or even the leg rashes vary from meager to acute medical reasons. They may be because of skin pigmentation or an infection. When trying to know the red spots, take note of their attributes as they describe its root causes.

Study the shape as well as the color of the spots. The spots may appear reddish, purple, or even brownish yellow; they may also be flat, or bumpy. Different conditions can lead to red spots on legs. Besides being on the legs, these often happen on the hands, and torso. It’s a very common symptom features the red spots or even the bumps. Take note that some will be itchy while others won’t hurt. Some of the red spots on the legs can require speedy medical attention and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  1. Psoriasis

Psoriasis comes about when the skin cell production is above the normal level. It affects about 7 million people in the US and does not have a given treatment. Plague psoriasis is the most common type and is normally characterized by the red spots on legs that appear silver white and also scaly. Though it cannot be eradicated completely, it is well managed through various medications.

  1. Allergies

Like other allergic reactions, red spot allergies vary so much. If the spots are brought about by insect bites, they can be itchy. These will often happen when you expose the skin to outdoor activities such as camping or even the hiking among others. For example the bee or wasp sting effects will appear big, and itchy with very painful hives. Some allergies causing red patches could be due to the skins reaction to cosmetics and medication.

  1. Infections

The human body is very vulnerable to contamination or external irritation. The skin is normally very sensitive to any abnormality in the body due to such contamination. A good case in point is bacterial infections that leads to red lesions on the skin that take time to heal.

red spots on thighs

red spots on thighs

How to Get Rid of Red Spots on Legs

About 60 % of all men and women suffer from red, rough, and then itching bumps on their thighs, or back.

The appearance of the little red spots on legs can be the cause of great frustration, since most of the people compare the problems to acne.

These little red bumps are known as keratosis pilaris and can appear when skin cells get stuck in the pores, which leads to inflammation. The reason for this is unknown.

The daily use of an effective exfoliant or peel can actually help with getting rid the little red bumps (keratosis pilaris).

Please note the relevance of using an effective exfoliant with salicylic acid (also known as BHA) instead of a scrubbing product using grains or a rough towel.

The reason that an exfoliant that has salicylic acid is very effective than a scrub (which will only make the problem worse) for getting rid of the red bumps, is that salicylic acid will assist to get rid of the dead skin cells both on top of and in the pores.

At the same time, salicylic acid can reduce inflammation drastically and so reduce the redness. An extra benefit when using salicylic acid on the little red bumps is that the ingredient can also kill the bacteria in the skin.