Large red spots on skin can occur due to several reasons. These spots, patches, or blotches can appear anywhere in the skin including the legs, face, stomach among other places. In addition, they can be flat or raised, itchy, or non-itchy painful or painless.
What causes them? How can they be managed or treated?
Their appearance and nature of these huge red spots on the skin will depend on what causes them i.e. they may slightly vary in size and shape and other characteristics. Also, their symptoms and severity will be influenced by their cause too. The spots on the skin also.
Causes of large red spots on the skin
Here are the most common causes:
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that affects some people. It makes the immune system mistakenly attacking and damaging the healthy tissues and organs. They are many types of lupus with different symptoms.
A good example is a discoid lupus. As Healthline notes, “discoid lupus occurs in people with chronic cutaneous lupus (CCLE). It produces a coin-shaped red, scaly rash on the cheeks, nose, and ears,”
Birthmarks are usually present at birth as colored spots on the skin that can either be flat or raised. They can be small spots or very large spots on the skin. Birthmarks can have various colors.
One type is the vascular birthmarks are the common cause of large spots on the skin that may be red, pink, or purple in color. This involves unusual blood vessels in the skin.
This is a rash that occurs due to a viral infection that usually lasts for about 9 weeks. Pityriasis rosea is characterized by a larger patch that is normally accompanied by minor patches. This rash is usually red or pink in color. They can be raised or be flat.
Shingles or Herpes Zoster
Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral disease that is accompanied by a painful rash alongside blisters in a localized area. It can also lead to large red blotches on the skin. Visit your physician for antiviral medications. Also, since this infection usually accompanies pain, you can also consider painkillers.
Impetigo is a bacterial infection that is very common in children than an adult. This is a superficial infection of the skin that can lead to those huge red spots on the skin.
Usually, they appear as sores especially around the mouth and the nose of the infants. This infection is highly contagious.
A boil is a skin infection that occurs on the hair follicles or the oil glands. It results in a red bump that can vary in size from small to large bumps that get filled with pus. The boils usually heal after bursting open or after the pus has been drained.
Angiomas are skin growths that can occur anywhere in the body. They occur when the blood vessel has clumped together posing as red domed bumps. They can occur on or beneath the skin.
Angiomas appear in different sizes and colors. They can be red, dark red or bluish. They are usually harmless and need no treatment unless for cosmetic concern.
This is a widespread autoimmune condition that leads to a rapid buildup of skin cells. It is usually accompanied by inflammation and redness and scaly skin. Psoriasis is accompanied by white-silvery scales. They would develop too thick red patches that would crack and bleed occasionally. This condition is not contagious.
This is a skin condition that is normally characterized by skin patches that are inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. There are different types of eczema with some cases of varied symptoms for children and adults. Eczema also refers to atopic dermatitis that is linked to diseases involving the autoimmune system.
Besides the above, other possible causes include
- Kawasaki disease
- Juvenile arthritis
- Even the insect bites can spread leaving behind a large red spot
- Sun Damage
- Tinea Versicolor
- Skin cancer
- Scarlet fever
- Diaper rash
Remember, in many cases, the large red patches or spots would be a symptom of an underlying condition. That is to mean, they themselves are not a disease. Therefore, apart from having them, one would still have other symptoms that would vary from mild to severe.
Small red spots on the body
Although our discussion is on big red spots, it is worthwhile to understand the fact that some of these big spots began as small red spots.
Depending on how severe your case is, causes like allergy, acne, insect bites, dermatofibromas, purpura, pyogenic granulomas, sun damage, rosacea, and hives often have small red dots which can grow and become big.
Red spots on skin not itchy
We mentioned the fact that these spots can be itchy or not itchy. Being itchy or not should not be used to determine severity. Besides, do not ignore them because they are not itchy since they could be because of a life-threatening condition.
Some of the causes for red spots on skin not itchy are birthmarks, angiomas, sun damage, dermatofibromas, pyogenic granulomas, acne pigmentations among others.
Treatments and prevention
Treatments will depend on the underlying cause. You can use home remedies, OTC products, or go for a prescription from your dermatologists.
Since each cause has its own unique treatment. We are going to discuss general treatments or ways to minimize the appearance of these spots as well as their symptoms.
Certain home remedies can be very effective (but not in all cases) for mild red spots especially those that are due to allergy, sun damage, or temperature changes.
Home remedies can also be used to temporarily relieves some of the symptoms such as itchiness, inflammation, and pain, while you prepare to seek further treatments from a professional.
Here are the common remedies you can give a try:
Aloe vera can help relieve inflammation and itchiness. It also has antibiotic properties that would help heal mild bacterial infections. It will also help fade the redness of the skin.
To use it, cut aloe vera leaf into two to extract the juice. Apply the juice on the red spots twice to three times a day until the symptoms subside.
An oatmeal bath can soothe irritation or itching.
Maintaining high hygiene would help prevent some of the cause such as acne. This would make sure that dead skin cells don’t build up and up, and that all skin debris are removed. Bathe in lukewarm water daily to get rid of the sweat, oils, and dead skin cells.
A good diet
You should consult your nutritionist for a healthy diet that would enhance your immune and reduce the vulnerability of developing to some of the causes.
Hydrate your skin
When your skin is well hydrated, reduce the vulnerability of dry skin, sunburns, and other causes of these big red spots on your skin. Drink plenty of water daily and make sure you moisturize your skin after bathing. This would greatly prevent those blotches from appearing.
Other natural products that can alleviate red spots and related symptoms include honey, essential oils, lemon juice, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and more.
However, before using any of these remedies, try a patch test as some may be very harsh on your skin.
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor when you develop the following conditions:
- A bump or a spot won’t go away despite trying various home remedies
- You discover the bumps or the spots is changing or getting aggravated
- If the cause is not known
- If you suspect the red spot is due to an infection or skin cancer
The doctor would carry out a proper diagnosis and establish the underlying cause before he or she can advise you on treatment options
Some of the treatment options may include topical or oral antibiotics, steroids, etc. In severe cases, radiotherapy, biotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgical procedures may be required. This depends on the causes.
Causes of Raised Red Spots on Skin
Almost everyone has ever had raised red spots, bumps, or dots on their skin. Although they could be a different color including black, brown, pink, or white, we are focusing on red ones. The raised spots are usually red in color, which may be big or small (tiny), itchy or non-itchy and bumpy in appearance
While some red spots on the skin are flat, there are those that are raised. The red color could be due to many things including them being blood-filled. They can appear anywhere, including the face, arms, back, neck, abdomen, and legs.
These raised spots could be rashes or something else. They are attributed to many factors such as:
- Skin infections
- Allergic reactions
- Skin irritation
- Clogging of sweat pores or hair follicles
In most cases, raised red spots are types of benign, i.e., they are not cancerous. They are rarely cancerous. Due to their raised shape and nature, the red spots are known as papules and due to their redness, they are referred to as erythema.
Identification and symptoms
There are many signs you can check to identify them. For instance, the small red dots on skin signify internal bleeding. The bleeding results from small blood vessels bursting. There are many other causes as we are going to see.
Small red spots on the skin take two main forms:
- Raised spots
- Flat spots
Due to their bumpy appearance, these dots or pimple-like spots are a real bother, especially when they occur on the face.
Just have a close look at your skin and check the red spots. Check your face, legs, abdomen or chest, other places, or spread all over your body. What causes them? Let us look at the most common causes of these red bumps which we have said can be small or bigger.
10 Main reasons for raised red spots on the skin
These spots may mean different things. When you first note them, you may think that it is acne or something minor you can just ignore. However, unless you know the cause, do not ignore them since according to bioclarity.com they may signify something simple or a serious skin condition.
Commonly, raised red-colored dots bumps on your body are attributed to the following risk factors:
Warts are common skin infections caused by human papillomavirus. Warts can target your hands or even feet. It is a common condition in children and teenagers. However, adults may also get them.
A wart appears like a raised red spot. Wart bumps can be small or bigger and they often have a rough texture. Commonly, a wart looks like a red solid blister. It can either be common warts, plantar, or even pigmented one.
Warts are caused by papillomavirus (HPV) and some types might bleed if agitated especially genital warts. Besides being red, warts can also be flesh-colored or even darker in appearance.
A skin cyst is mostly a painless raised bump that may be red in color (large ones may cause some pressure or pain).
Cysts indicate an infection in the epidermis. Because of this infection, some mass (liquid or semi-liquid) accumulates under your skin surface, thus it becomes raised. Cysts are commonly found in hairy body parts, including the head, legs, and arms.
Cysts are more common in men than in women. According to webmd.com, skin cysts manifest in the form of bright red spots on the skin. Cysts shouldn’t worry you. In most cases, they heal on their own.
However, cysts can get sore due to irritation. In such cases, they become severely inflamed and red. Consequently, they may get pus-filled.
Although they are not commonly associated with acne, research has shown that acne also has a role to play in the emergence of these raised red spots. Acne Vulgaris is the most common skin condition across the globe, as noted by wikipedia.org.
The condition is attributed to the clogging of hair follicles by oil, dust, and dead skin cells. Because of the clogging, one develops raised pimples. Acne mainly manifests in the form of whiteheads or blackheads. However, there are times when the skin bumps turn red especially if it is irritated or infected.
Acne is common on the face, back, and chest regions. When it occurs on the face, it may terribly affect how you look. It is the leading cause of stress, depression, and low self-esteem.
This sounds unbelievable but true. The appearance of these bumps on the body can be due to mosquito bites. According to healthline.com, one of the common symptoms of mosquito bites is raised red spots, especially on hands and face.
Once a mosquito bites you, the skin turns around and puffy. The puffy dot or bump is usually raised. With time, the bump becomes hard and red. The area around the bump may also appear swollen. Generally, mosquito bites are itchy.
Some people call it a seven-year itch. If your skin gets infested by Sarcoptes scabiei, you get scabies. As a result, you develop severely itchy pimple. Such a pimple is red and raised. It is believed that the mites causing scabies burrow under the skin.
Scabies bumps appear on the face or any other body part that is exposed to the sun. However, they are common on the wrist, waistline, or fingers. The itching and severity of scabies get worse at night.
Do you know what a skin tag is? It is a small tumor that is benign in nature. It is also known as acrochordon. The tumor appears in the form of the raised bump which may be big or small and they are common on armpit, neck, groin area, and armpit.
In terms of color, they may be dark or purple whereas some may be red, and they may cause some pain. However, these are rare. Most of them are painless.
Though they are painless, they may interfere with how you look. They, however, are not cancerous. They contain fat cells, thus getting raised above the skin.
For men, skin tags make shaving uncomfortable, especially where they occur in the beard region. They may be irritated by clothes and some jewelry.
This is a skin bacterial infection. Cellulitis affects the dermis and subcutaneous fat, especially on legs, calves, thighs, and abdomen. It is characterized by raised bumps.
Cellulitis mainly targets the legs and the face. However, other body parts may not be spared. Unlike other skin conditions, cellulitis may be accompanied by pain. People with this condition may also feel unusually tired and may have a fever.
The risk factors to cellulitis are old age and obesity among others. The condition is mainly attributed to two bacteria namely:
- Staphylococcus aureus
However, this condition is easily managed by the use of ointments and antibiotics. You can also use antihistamines to relieve the itching.
Psoriasis comes along with the formation of extra skin cells. These are formed in an unusually higher rate. The extra cells form red patches and spots that are usually raised. The raised red dots and spots are severely itchy and at times painful.
Unfortunately, this condition has no cure. However, the symptoms can be controlled. You can prevent them from growing and spreading.
You can identify psoriasis by checking some of the following symptoms:
- Red patches, dots, and raised spots
- Small spots that look like scales
- The area around the spots become dry and cracked
- Apart from red spots, your joints become stiff and swollen
Commonly, psoriasis come and disappears after a few weeks. The condition is, however, recurrent. It affects the scalp, forehead, nails genitals, chests, and legs among other body parts.
This sounds scary. Some raised mainly patches with irregular shape may be due to skin cancer. However, this is rare. It mainly takes three forms namely:
- Basal-cell skin cancer
- Squamous-cell skin cancer
These forms are mainly found in areas that are usually exposed to UV rays. Light-skinned people are at a higher risk of getting it. It is mainly treated through radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
When these spots occur in children, it could be chickenpox. It is a common viral infection among children. One develops flu-like symptoms alongside other symptoms such as itchy raised red spots.
Apart from these spots or bumps, you are also likely to see the following symptoms:
- A sore throat
- A headache
- General body weakness
Chickenpox is attributed to the varicella-zoster virus. However, it can be prevented by vaccinating your child. Viral medications may be recommended to reduce the symptoms caused by chickenpox.
As we have seen, many things can cause these raised bumps. It is good to go for a proper diagnosis if you are not sure what causes them. This will ensure you get proper treatment and dispel any unfounded fear you may be having.