What factors cause red dots on the skin?

A person may notice red spots on their skin for a variety of reasons, from allergic reactions to heat exposure. According to Medical News Study, many causes of red spots on the skin are harmless and resolve on their own. Others may require home treatment or the use of over-the-counter medications.

When to seek emergency help?

Rashes come in different sizes, colors and textures. Not all rashes require immediate medical treatment. However, if a rash occurs and the following symptoms are observed, people should see a doctor immediately:
A rash that covers the whole body
Blister or open sore
Difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing
Swelling of the face, eyes, or lips
neck stiffness
sensitivity to light
Drowsiness or unresponsiveness

heat rash

Heat rash or miliaria occurs when the sweat glands become blocked and trap sweat in the deeper layers of the skin. While anyone can have heat rash, this condition is more common among infants and young children with immature sweat glands. Symptoms of heat rash include:
Small red bumps called papules
Firm and fleshy protrusions
itchy feeling
Sweating in the affected area
Inflammation and pain

Treatment of heat rash

Heat rash usually goes away within 24 hours. Treatment includes using lotions to relieve itching, irritation, and swelling. People can also keep the skin cool and avoid wearing tight clothing.

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris or chicken skin (Keratosis pilaris), is a common skin disease that causes small red, white or fleshy bumps on the skin. It most often affects the outer parts of the arms, but it can also be seen on the arms and upper back, but this is less common. Symptoms of KP include:
Skin that feels rough or dry
Small and painless bumps on the skin

Treatment of keratosis pilaris

People can treat KP symptoms by:
Moisturizers containing urea or lactic acid
Alpha hydroxy acid
Glycolic acid
Lactic acid
Salicylic acid
Laser or light therapy

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis occurs when a person comes into contact with a substance that causes skin irritation or an allergic reaction. The symptoms of this disease vary depending on the severity of the reaction. The symptoms of contact dermatitis include the following:
A rash that appears in patterns or geometric shapes
Dry, flaky, cracked skin
Bright and red skin rash
Clusters of small red dots on the skin
Hives or itchy rashes on the skin
Severe itching, cramping, or burning sensation
Fluid-filled blisters that ooze and crust over
Dark and thickened skin
Sensitivity to sunlight

Treatment of contact dermatitis

Treatment of contact dermatitis depends on the cause and severity of individual symptoms. Mild to moderate symptoms improve when the person avoids contact with the irritant or allergen. If possible, people should:
Avoid skin care products that contain harsh or irritating chemicals
Avoid gold and nickel plated jewelry
Avoid taking foods or medicines that cause allergic reactions
Wear protective clothing in the workplace or in areas where there are poisonous plants
If the dermatitis is limited to a small area, a person can use a 1% hydrocortisone cream. A doctor can prescribe stronger topical or oral antihistamines for people who do not respond to over-the-counter medications.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. There are several types of eczema, including:
Follicular eczema: This type of eczema affects hair follicles.
Papular eczema: This condition appears as small red bumps on the skin, which health professionals refer to as papules.
In addition to red bumps on the skin, eczema can cause the following:
Severe itching of the skin
Heat and swelling of the skin
Dry and scaly skin
Clusters of small, fluid-filled blisters
Blisters that leak fluid and crusts

Treatment of atopic dermatitis

People can control the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and even prevent flare-ups with the following treatments:
Taking prescribed medications such as steroids and antihistamines
Under phototherapy or light therapy
Use moisturizer to treat dryness and chapped skin
Use of fragrance-free detergents
Avoiding irritants such as dry air, stress and allergens
For severe atopic dermatitis that does not respond to the above treatment options, a person should see a dermatologist.

Acne rosacea

Rosacea is a skin disease that causes skin irritation, redness and small pimples. Although anyone can develop rosacea at any stage of their lives, the condition most often occurs in adults between the ages of 30 and 60, fair-skinned people, and postmenopausal women. Symptoms of rosacea include:
Irritated or red skin on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin
Blood vessels that are visible under the skin
Clusters of bumps or small pimples
Thick facial skin
Red, itchy, or watery eyes
Inflammation of the eyelids
blurred vision

People can treat rosacea with different methods and drugs. Some strategies that can help relieve rosacea include:
Avoiding irritants such as UV light, alcohol and harsh chemicals
Wash your face with pH balanced cleansers
Often using moisturizers
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
People should also avoid caffeinated products and spicy foods because these substances can irritate rosacea. Medical treatments for rosacea include the following:
Brimonidine tartrate
Azelaic acid
light therapy
Topical ivermectin
Oral tetracyclines
Some infections can also cause red spots on the skin. If a person suspects a skin infection, they should consult a doctor. Examples of these are:

Chicken pox or shingles

The varicella zoster virus causes these infections to produce red, itchy, fluid-filled blisters that can appear anywhere on the body. Chickenpox usually occurs in infants and young children. However, adults can also get chickenpox. Shingles occurs in adults who have previously had chicken pox. Shingles usually affects one area on one side of the body.


This contagious viral infection causes a characteristic rash of small red or pink spots. The rash typically starts on the face before spreading to the trunk, arms, and legs, and rubella infections also cause fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that measles is a relatively rare infection in the United States due to the widespread use of the MMR vaccine. This vaccine is available for infants and children between 9 months and 6 years of age.


Meningitis is a medical emergency, an inflammation of the membrane that covers the spinal cord and brain, usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms of meningitis include:
neck stiffness
sensitivity to light

Staphylococcus aureus infection resistant to methicillin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as “a type of bacteria resistant to several antibiotics.” This disease often infects the skin and leads to the creation of painful areas of inflamed skin, and it is also possible for people to experience discharge of pus from the affected skin and fever. Other bacterial skin infections may also cause painful and inflamed areas of the skin. If a person suspects a skin infection, they should consult a doctor.

scarlet fever

Streptococcus bacteria cause this infection. These bacteria naturally inhabit the nose and throat and cause red rashes on the neck, armpits and groin. The rash consists of small red dots that are rough to the touch.

When should you see a doctor?

If a person suspects a skin infection, they should always consult a doctor. If her rash still doesn’t improve despite using over-the-counter or home remedies, she should talk to her doctor. People should seek medical attention in case of skin rash with the following symptoms:
Severe head or neck pain
Joint pain or stiffness
difficult breathing
Frequent vomiting or diarrhea

Home treatment

If a person suspects a skin infection, they should consult a dermatologist before trying any home remedies. To relieve and manage skin rashes, people can try the following home remedies:
Using mild and odorless soaps, body washes and cleansers
Avoid bathing or showering in hot water
Keep the damaged skin dry and clean
Avoid rubbing or scratching the rash
Using a cold compress to relieve swelling and pain
Apply aloe vera to the affected skin to reduce swelling and relieve pain
Using moisturizers to hydrate dry and flaky skin

There are several possible causes of red spots on the skin, including heat rash, KP, contact dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. Red spots on the skin can also be caused by more serious conditions, such as a viral or bacterial infection. If people suspect a skin infection, they should see a doctor instead of using home remedies.
People can treat some skin rashes and accompanying symptoms with home remedies and over-the-counter treatments. These include avoiding the source of irritation and using over-the-counter anti-itch ointments. If symptoms persist despite using home remedies or over-the-counter medications, people can contact a doctor or dermatologist. A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose the root cause and provide appropriate treatment recommendations.

Translator: Goddess Zarei

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