Red Spots on Skin: Should You Be Worried?

September 27, 2016
Red marks don't usually spell problems for your health, unless they are accompanied by discomfort, itching or bleeding. These cases require a visit to the doctor.

We’re sure that, more than once, you’ve been surprised to find a few red spots on your skin. Also called “ruby spots”, they often appear and disappear, seemingly at random.

It is common for us to notice them and then be concerned when they appear and disappear from one day to the next.

We should make one thing clear: red spots are acquired angiomas, they have a genetic component and are generally linked to the aging of the skin.

However, the fact that they are not cancerous or caused by sun damage doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep an eye on them or periodically check them for any changes.

Below, we’ll share some more facts about acquired angiomas. You’re sure to find the information helpful.

5 basic facts about red spots on the skin

Red spots on the skin generally appear with more frequency between 40-45 years of age. However, this does not mean that they cannot appear on children or adolescents.

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They usually attract our attention with their red color. They’re easily noticeable and for many people, unsightly.

So much that many people resort to treatments to remove these “red spots”, the genetic tendency for which we inherited from our parents.

Let’s take a look at some more facts.

Red spots on the skin may be inherited from parents

What are red spots on the skin exactly?

Red spots on the skin are the dilation of capillaries due to small ruptures in the vascular system. They often appear on the arms and chest.

  • Experts tell us they are similar to varicose veins, but perpendicular to the skin, rather than parallel.
  • We should also point out the following: they are benign tumors. They’re simply accumulations of melanocytes that don’t often become malignant, unlike moles.

Red spots and marks on the skin

We need to remember that we can have both red spots and red marks on our skin. Let’s go over some important details:

  • Couperosis also manifests as dilation of the capillaries, but often resembles spider veins in appearance. They appear as the result of changes in temperature or even during pregnancy.
  • The good news is that they are reversible and will disappear with time.
  • Moreover, hemangiomas are the classic birthmarks that many people have. They may appear red or with a more purplish in hue.
  • These are small capillary malformations that appear almost exclusively on the trunks and faces of children. They may disappear with time or remain with them for life.

Should I be worried?

We should stress, one more time, that these red spots on the skin are not cancerous. They are benign tumors, but we still need to pay attention to their appearance for any changes.

Red moles are normally safe, but don't remove them yourself

  • They shouldn’t appear in large numbers in a particular area.
  • Red spots on the skin shouldn’t cause discomfort. If they hurt, itch or otherwise bother you, see your doctor.
  • Red spots on the skin shouldn’t bleed. If touching them causes bleeding, see a dermatologist.
  • Pay attention to the color and shape. If the color ever darkens or the edges become rough or irregular, see a specialist.

What can I do to remove them?

Despite not presenting any risks to your health, some view these small marks as undesirable, especially when they want to wear a tank top or shirt with a low neckline.

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Red spots on your skin are usually benign

  • It’s important to point out that you should never try to remove them at home or with natural methods as this can be dangerous.
  • Red spots on the skin can measure between 6 and 7 mm. Since they are capillaries, we should never try to remove them ourselves. A dermatologist will be able to explain the best and safest methods to remove them.
  • A laser or electric scalpel is usually used to burn the red spot off, preventing them from reappearing. This technique is completely safe.
  • Vierkötter, A., Schikowski, T., Ranft, U., Sugiri, D., Matsui, M., Krämer, U., & Krutmann, J. (2010). Airborne particle exposure and extrinsic skin aging. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
  • Mitra, D., Luo, X., Morgan, A., Wang, J., Hoang, M. P., Lo, J., … Fisher, D. E. (2012). An ultraviolet-radiation-independent pathway to melanoma carcinogenesis in the red hair/fair skin background. Nature.
  • Bissett, D. L., Miyamoto, K., Sun, P., Li, J., & Berge, C. A. (2004). Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science.