What Are The Red Spots on My Legs and What Can I Do About Them? - Step To Health

What Are The Red Spots on My Legs and What Can I Do About Them?

Do you have small red spots on your legs? There could be many reasons for this. Learn what they may be and how to treat them in this article.
What Are The Red Spots on My Legs and What Can I Do About Them?

Last update: 14 January, 2022

Red spots on the legs may appear occasionally or recurrently. In some cases, they go away after a short time, but sometimes, they may become permanent.

Incidentally, there are several causes of red spots on the legs. These include allergic reactions to medications, insect bites, circulation problems, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

However, if other symptoms don’t accompany them, there’s usually no cause for concern. But if there’s also fever, pain in the area, severe itching, or burning, it could be a sign of disease that requires medical attention.

The causes of red spots on the legs

Reddening of the skin can occur in various areas of the body, from the face and neck to the feet. Each has different characteristics, as well as a reason or trigger for them.

Certain colored spots known as petechiae are round, reddish-colored patches that appear on various areas of the body, including the legs. They may be caused by a clotting disorder or infection.

For practical purposes, we won’t differentiate between petechiae and the other presentations. Here are the possible causes of red spots on the legs.

Red spots may be due to a rash

A rash may be caused by heat, which causes the sweat glands to become blocked. It usually appears on large areas of the skin, such as the legs or back, or where there are creases, such as the groin, armpits, and neck.

In addition to the red patches, there’s also usually itching and a bit of swelling in the affected area when there’s a rash.

Atopic dermatitis may cause these spots

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema or atopic eczema, is another reason why red patches may appear on the legs. This is a skin disease that, in addition to redness, causes itching and flaking.

It occurs at any age, although it’s more common in children. The exact causes are unknown.

According to studies, it’s considered a multifactorial process related to genetic and immune aspects. It can be lifelong.

Manchas rojas en las piernas por dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis can appear in the form of urticaria, with raised skin on the legs.

Keratosis pilaris may cause red spots

This is a relatively common but harmless condition. It’s due to an excess production of keratin, a protein essential for the epidermis as well as for nails and hair.

In particular, keratosis pilaris manifests itself with lesions that look like small bumps or pimples, as well as red patches on the legs, buttocks, and cheeks. It’s common in people with a tendency to dry skin or allergic pathologies.

Mycosis may cause these spots

There may also be red spots on the legs due to mycosis. This term is used to refer to skin conditions caused by fungi. Symptoms of mycosis include the following:

  • Blisters
  • Peeling
  • Itching
  • Discolorations or redness

Mycoses include ringworm, also known as Tinea corporis. Ringworm spots look like round patches that are circular and lighter in the center.

Psoriasis may cause red spots

This is a chronic autoimmune disease. With psoriasis, the body overproduces skin cells. Its most noticeable symptoms are itching, scaling, and red patches on the legs, soles of the feet, hands, or scalp.

Scabies can cause these spots

This disease is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, a mite that parasitizes the skin and can be transmitted by direct contact. Scabies presents redness, itching, burning, hyperkeratotic lesions (thickening of the skin), and even ulcers when the person scratches them.

Cellulitis may cause red spots

Although it has a similar name, cellulitis should not be confused with cellulite, which affects the aesthetic perspective. Unlike cellulite, cellulitis infection is a serious problem. It’s caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal colonization.

Circulation problems

Also, when there are circulation problems, there are some symptoms in the extremities, such as the following:

  • Red spots on the legs
  • Tingling or itching sensation in the feet
  • Cold or dry feet

Chronic diseases may cause red spots on the legs

Red spots on the legs can also be a clinical sign of care, as they are associated with the presence of some chronic diseases, such as skin cancer or lupus.

Allergic reactions could be the source of these spots

Finally, allergic reactions due to insect bites, consumption of some medications, or contact with substances (allergens), can also cause red spots to appear on the legs.

What to do if you have red spots on your legs

Sometimes red spots on your legs may disappear on their own. For example, this is often the case when they’re due to rashes. Other times, treatment will be required, or preventive measures will need to be taken.

Discontine any treatments that may have caused an allergic reaction 

When red spots on the legs are suspected to be due to a reaction to a medication, it’s necessary to contact the doctor and inform them of the reaction. In this case, discontinuation or substitution with another drug of similar effect may be considered.

Seek treatment for antimycotics

In ringworm and other mycoses, the treatment to be followed includes the use of oral or topical antifungals or antifungals. This, of course, should only be done if prescribed by your doctor.

Seek antibiotics from your doctor

Some petechiae that are infectious in origin require antibiotics. The same goes for cellulitis. In addition, antibiotics may be recommended to prevent potential superinfection in people with eczema.

Antibióticos para manchas rojas en las piernas.
Antibiotics are indicated when cellulitis is present or if there are petechiae due to bacterial infection.

Take antihistamines if your doctor recommends it

When red spots on the legs are due to an allergic reaction, the first thing to do is to identify the cause (allergen) to avoid contact. Then, an antihistamine can be administered to relieve the symptoms.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids

In cases where inflammation is present in addition to skin redness, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids can be used. The latter is recommended in cases lupus, for example.

Topical creams can help with some red spots

There are various ointments to relieve itching or irritation, which often accompanies the appearance of red spots on the legs. Usually, topical creams with hydrocortisone are used. However, there are also natural products, such as aloe vera creams, which have been reported in studies to successfully tackle psoriasis.

Make changes to your diet and habits

Also, in cases of circulation problems, it’s recommended to make changes in your diet by decreasing the amount of salt you consume and increasing your consumption of vitamin C. Also, you should do moderate and regular physical exercise.

Should you see a doctor if you have red spots on your legs?

Red spots on the legs are not necessarily a symptom that requires immediate medical attention. In reality, they can be due to a variety of causes, from allergic reactions and infections to contact with substances or insect bites.

However, you should pay close attention if, in addition to the redness, other symptoms appear. Itching or intense burning, pain in the area, or fever are some of the most important among these.

Finally, it’s important to note that sometimes red spots on the legs could indicate a chronic underlying disease. Therefore, seeing a doctor will allow for a timely diagnosis and ensure you start getting the proper treatment.

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