Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

The appearance of red spots on the skin can be linked to various conditions such as allergies, fungal infections or rubella. Therefore if a skin rash appears, you should visit a doctor in order to identify the cause and start the appropriate treatment. Depending on the cause, treatment may include some ointments, painkillers, anti-inflammatories or even antibiotics.  

The doctor will be able to evaluate the red spots on the skin but will also check to see if there are any other symptoms that can help with the diagnosis.

The main causes for skin red spots on the skin are:

1. Allergies

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: medium sized patches that are very itchy and may be full of liquid. They generally appear after contact with plants, animal hair or ingesting some types of remedies, but they may also be caused by insect bites or food poisoning.  

Treatment: symptoms can be relieved with specific medication to treat allergies, such as: loratadine, corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone), or topical creams (e.g. promethazine), prescribed by a dermatologist.

2. Fungal infections

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: patches that can be big and normally affect a well defined area of the body. There may also be blisters and the skin in that area may be scaly. 

Treatment: the dermatologist may prescribe antifungal medicine and sometimes even antibiotics. 

3. Heat rash

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: small red patches that normally have little red spots that cause a burning sensation and appear mainly on the face, neck, back, chest and thighs.  

Treatment: there is no specific treatment for heat rash, but it is recommended that you keep the area cool and apply cold compresses when a heat rash appear. 

4. Chicken pox

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: small blisters and patches that appear all over the body and cause a lot of itchiness. 

Treatment: plenty of rest and analgesic medication, such as paracetamol for the discomfort, and Povidone-Iodine, to stop the blisters from getting infected. These medications need to be used under your doctor’s supervision, specially in children.

5. Measles

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: small spots that are not itchy or painful but that can spread all over the body. 

Treatment: plenty of rest, hydration and paracetamol under your doctor’s supervision.

6. Zika virus

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: little red bumps that are slightly raised and cause itchiness, which usually happens three days after a mosquito bite. The Zika rash usually appears on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body, in just a few hours, and lasts for about five days. 

Treatment: rest, hydration and medicine prescribed by a doctor to relieve symptoms and discomfort such as dipyrone or paracetamol.

7. Eczema

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: the rash causes a lot of itchiness and can get swollen. This type of rash is very common in children and health professionals who wash their hands frequently with antibacterial soap.  

Treatment: use of allergy medications such as loratadine, and application of ointments and corticosteroid creams prescribed by the dermatologist.

8. Scabies

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: a rash that usually appears on the hands and the armpits and is extremely itchy, especially at night.

Treatment: creams and ointments prescribed by a dermatologist in accordance to the gravity of the infection: Ivermectin, Crotamiton or Permethrin. 

9. Rubella (german measles)

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: small, slightly raised bumps that cause itchiness. They normally start on the face and behind the ears, but they quickly spread through the body and last for around three days.

Treatment: treatment must be specified by a doctor.

10. Atopic dermatitis

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: rashes that are very itchy and may be scaly.

Treatment: creams and ointments with corticosteroids under doctor’s supervision. 

11. Psoriasis

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: blotches that may have a white spot on the middle with dry, red, flaky edges, which cause itchiness. They are more frequent in people under 30 or over 50.  They are not contagious, but they are linked to genetic factors. 

Treatment: application of creams and topical anti-inflammatory drugs recommended by a dermatologist. It can be also recommended an increase to sun exposure and dietary changes, such as avoiding fatty and processed food and increasing intake of foods high in omega 3 and beta carotene. Learn more about psoriasis, it's symptoms and treatment options.

12. Lupus

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: red patches that are flat or raised and appear anywhere on the body. They are more frequent in women.  

Treatment: corticosteroids and immunosuppressants prescribed by a immunologist.

13. Rosacea

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: patches with little vessels that generally appear on the cheeks, forehead and nose. Besides the presence of a rash, the skin is also more sensitive, hot and swollen.  

Treatment: use of neutral soaps and moisturizers to control the redness. In some cases, the dermatologist may also prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication.

14. Skin cancer

Red Spots On Skin: 14 Causes & Treatment Options

What are the spots like: small spots or wounds that have an irregular shape, increase in size with time and/or bleed. 

Treatment: surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy according to the characteristics of the spots, identified by the doctor after examination.

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