Red spots on the legs are not serious or cause for concern in most cases. Often the problem is caused by small pimples, folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles) or excessive sun exposure.

However, in some cases, red dots can be a symptom of psoriasis, dermatitis, or other diseases that require medication.

Red spots appear on the skin? And how do you know if it’s a problem or if it’s a temporary and completely harmless situation?

10 causes of red spots on legs

You may notice small red dots appearing on your legs or arms. This situation can be caused by completely harmless reasons, or by health problems that require drug treatment.

While many conditions that cause red spots are considered harmless, the problem should not be taken lightly, especially if the spots don’t go away within a few days.

The most common causes of this skin condition are:

keratosis pilaris

Red patches on legs and arms can be a sign of a common health condition like keratosis pilaris, a skin condition that causes white or red patches and bumps.

This health problem can affect both the legs and arms and affects about 40 percent of adults.

This skin problem is caused by a buildup of keratin, which clogs the pores of the skin and causes redness. The problem is more common in people with dry skin and can be treated with creams.

insect bites

Red spots on the legs can also be caused by insects. For example, mosquito bites, red ants, lice and various insects can leave their mark on the skin.

In such cases, you can notice the presence of red dots on the legs with very severe itching. You can prevent redness and itching with appropriate medication. You can also relieve discomfort by applying a cold compress to the skin.


Scabies, a disease caused by a parasite, causes small red bumps that are very itchy. Especially in adults, this infectious disease manifests itself with symptoms such as itching and redness.

Scabies is highly contagious but easily treatable with the right approaches.


Red spots and itching on the legs can also be a symptom of a condition known as psoriasis. In particular, guttate psoriasis, a form of psoriasis, causes the appearance of red patches that mainly affect the trunk and limbs, but can also affect the lower back and feet.


Folliculitis, an infection and inflammation of the hair follicles, can cause red patches that can affect the legs and other parts of the body. Folliculitis is caused by certain bacteria, and problems like ingrown hairs and fungal infections also lead to this condition. This condition does not only affect adults. Red spots on children’s legs with symptoms such as itching, redness, and pus can be caused by folliculitis.

This disease is not considered serious unless it progresses and makes the infection worse.


There is also a connection between red spots on the legs and blood circulation. Red spots on the legs can be caused by an inflammation of the veins known as vasculitis, which can reduce blood flow and cause symptoms such as pain and excessive sweating.

This condition resolves with treatment aimed at reducing inflammation in the blood vessels.


Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can cause red patches that are accompanied by itching. Usually the problem affects children under the age of 5, as well as adults.

Eczema is treated with antibiotics, antihistamines or corticosteroids.

Urticaria (hives)

Another reason for the appearance of red spots on the skin is a skin condition called hives or urticaria.

With hives, you may see raised red dots and blisters with a white halo on your legs. Many factors can trigger this problem. The most common are certain foods, medications, insect bites, and even the sun.

Usually the symptoms of urticaria go away on their own, but when very bothersome symptoms appear, medication can be used.

Miliaria (ratitis)

Miliaria, also known as a skin rash, is a condition in which sweat becomes trapped in the skin, causing itching and inflammation and the formation of small red patches on the skin.

This condition affects both adults and children. The rash usually heals within a few days and treatment is with lotions to relieve itching and irritation on the skin.

skin cancer

In very rare cases, red spots on the skin can be a sign of skin cancer. For example, red spots can be caused by basal cell carcinoma or a type of skin cancer called Bowen’s disease.

If you notice red dots appearing on your legs, arms or any other part of your body, contact a specialist to determine the cause of the problem and start treatment as soon as possible.

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