Red Dots on Skin – Causes, Home Remedies, Precautions

People sometimes find red spots on their skin, which may or may not itch but it does create a cause for concern. Doctors receive such complaints on a regular basis and thus have an instant solution for most of the causes. 

When there is a sudden outbreak of small red spots, they are often termed rashes. If the red dots on the skin are raised, they are commonly referred to as a papule and when the red dots are flat, it is called macule. Redness of the skin is medically referred to as erythema. 

Initially, one panics looking at a sudden outburst of red spots that do not hurt or itch and a wide array of diseases come to one’s mind. 

There are a wide variety of causes for red spots to occur including, corns, warts cold sores, heat rashes, scarlet fever, hypersensitivity vascularitis, acne and boils. Apart from this, there are also benign red spots that occur due to proliferating, dilated capillaries which occur due to chemical exposure, pregnancy and also tends to rise in frequency with an increase in age, especially after 40. 

Causes of red dots on skin

  • Petechiae, which is also referred to as blood spots, are round, red spots that occur due to the bursting of capillaries under the skin. These can be caused due to sunburns, injuries or excessive straining. 
  • Acne is one of the most common types of skin inflammation. This is caused due to overactive oil glands. 
  • Boils on the skin look like red dots. They could be as small as a pimple or swell up due to the formation of puss and bloat.
  • Contact dermatitis is a condition where people may develop irritation on the skin when in contact with some substances. 
  • The red dots could also be due to allergic reactions that the body has towards some items. These reactions can also be caused by consuming food items that may possess allergens. 
  • Bug bites also cause red spots on the skin that may seem scary. A bite can lead to inflammation of the skin and raise it. 
  • Keratosis pilarsis is a skin condition where there is excess production of a protein called keratin. This condition is harmless. This condition is also called chicken skin. 
  • Chickenpox also results in red dots found on the skin that may look like an outburst of blisters all over the body. 

20 home remedies- red dots on skin

For Petechiae

  1. A cold compress helps to reduce inflammation and decreases the probability of it to re-occur. To do this, wrap a towel on an ice pack and apply it to the affected areas for 15-20 mins. Instead of ice, one can also use cold water.
  2. Mix 5 tablespoons of baking soda with coconut oil to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the affected areas and leave it on for 10 mins. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth. This helps lighten the spots and helps it to fade away quicker. 
  3. Simmer one ounce of fresh witch hazel bark in one pint of water and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and apply it on the affected areas with a cloth and leave it on for 30 minutes for the best results. 
  4. Mix 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder and 3 tablespoons of honey and make a paste. Apply this on the affected areas and wash it off after 5 minutes after which one should pat dry the skin. 

For Acne 

  1. Half a cup of honey is to be combined with one cup of plain oatmeal and this paste should be applied on the affected parts of the skin and allowed to rest for 30 mins. The antibiotic properties of honey help improve acne.
  2. Dip a cotton swab in lemon juice and dab on the acne on the skin and then rinse it with water. 
  3. Apple cider vinegar has malic and lactic acids that help to reduce red marks and treat acne. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and apply this mixture to the skin affected by acne, with a cotton ball and wipe it off after some time. 

For Boils

  1. Turmeric, because of its anti-inflammatory properties helps in reducing boils. Stir one spoon of turmeric in a glass of warm water or milk and drink this mixture 3 times a day or less, depending on the intensity of the condition. If one does not want to consume turmeric, it can also be made into a paste with ginger and applied on the boils. 
  2. Heat one cup of milk and add 3 spoons of salt in it. To make this thicker, add flour and stir well. Apply this paste to the boils several times in a day for better results.
  3. Grind some cumin seeds and make a paste by adding water. Apply it directly of the infected area and results will be noticed almost immediately.
  4. For heat boils, a warm compress in known to be really helpful. Dip a clean cloth in warm, salted water. Wring it out and place it on the boil. This process can be repeated as many times as possible.

For Contact Dermatitis

  1. Apply warm coconut oil (or virgin coconut oil) on affected areas every night before going to bed, for the problem to subside.
  2. Apply aloe vera gel several times a day to get the most effective results. Alternatively, one can also drink aloe vera juice to obtain fresh and glowing skin. 
  3. Mix one cup of Epsom salt in lukewarm bathwater. Soak yourself in this bathwater for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this process daily for a month to notice effective results. 

For Bug Bites

  1. Add half an ounce of dried basil leaves to 2 cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep till the water is cooled. Dip a clean and dry washcloth into this liquid and apply it on the bites, on the skin. 
  2. Applying a dab of toothpaste on the bites is also known to help as toothpaste has antibiotic properties, but this remedy must not be used every time. 

For Keratosis Pilaris

  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of brown sugar with 2 teaspoons of sour cream. Apply this mixture on the affected areas in a circular motion. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Repeat this process a few times a week. 
  2. Mix one tablespoon of oatmeal in warm water and apply this mixture on the affected areas for 10-15 mins. Wash it off and moisturize the skin. 
  3. Apply tea tree oil on the areas of the skin that have this keratosis pilaris or add it to the usual moisturizing lotion for added benefits. 
  4. Apply lotions or creams that are rich in urea or lactic acid, on the affected part of the skin, twice a day. 


For Petechiae

  • Avoid heavy lifting or straining the body too much while passing stools. Strain during this activity can lead to internal pressure which could result in bleeding. 
  • Avoid consuming foods that are natural blood thinners like onions as it delays the process of coagulation which increases the chances for petechiae.
  • Maintain skin hygiene to improve the texture and elasticity of the skin, especially for aging skin as it is more prone to petechiae.

For Acne

  • Use oil-free skin and hair care products
  • Continue to keep the skin clear and wiped clean when there is excessive sweating. 
  • Have a strict skincare regime that involves washing the face with warm water and an appropriate facial soap and wipe with a soft washcloth at least twice a day. 

For Boils

  • Keep the body hydrated by drinking 7-9 glasses of water daily. 
  • Avoid sugary and processed food. Eat food in its natural state for a cleaner digestive system. 
  • One can incorporate garlic into their diet to detoxify the body. 

For Contact Dermatitis

  • Keep the skin moisturized with a lotion or cream. 
  • Identify substances that act as allergens to the skin and stay away from them. 
  • If there are any pets in the house, one must take care as allergens from plants cling onto the pet fur and spread to people.

For bug bites

  • Keep the skin covered in areas with a lot of bugs. 
  • Use insect repellent to protect the skin from being bitten.

Myths & Facts

Myth: Consuming non-vegetarian food results in acne. 

Fact: According to skin specialists, this is untrue. They further explain that acne breakouts are multi-factored, which means, there are several causes and only a dermatologist can tell what actually triggered the breakout. However, it is advised that junk food should be minimized as nutritious food is required for healthy skin. 

 Myth: Mangoes cause boils on the skin

Fact: Dermatologists have confirmed that this is false as boils occur due to bacteria that is present due to the humidity in summers which also happens to be the season for mangoes and thus people blame mangoes for the infection. 

 Myth: Keratosis Pilaris can be passed on from a person to another. 

Fact: Keratosis Pilaris is not a disease that is waterborne, airborne or sexually transmitted. The only reason one has keratosis pilaris is that they inherited it. This condition is 100% hereditary.

 Myth: Men do not have red spots on the skin as much as women.

Fact: That is completely false as gender has nothing to do with skin conditions or infections. Acne, boils and all the other problems that lead to red marks on the skin are human problems and can happen to anyone. 

 Myth: Most of the expensive skincare products are best for reducing the spots on the skin.

Fact: This is not true. There are many inexpensive ways, including the 20 home remedies mentioned above that work better than skincare products as these remedies are completely natural and have the least side effects. Off the shelf skincare products, on the other hand, are not all-natural and can cause major side effects, apart from being expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does popping pimples make them go away?

A: No, popping pimples creates trauma in the skin that takes almost nearly 6 months for it to heal whereas if it is left alone, it would vanish in 3-4 days. Although it is hard to resist these pimples, it is better to apply a bit of ointment or cream or benzoyl peroxide for quicker results.

Q: Are the red dots on the skin seasonal?

A: This highly depends on what exactly the red dots are, and what it would take to cure them. If these dots are due to the weather, such as humidity or the cold, like boils, then they could be due to the weather, which can be prevented when the necessary precautions are undertaken. 

Q: Does a gluten-free diet cure keratosis pilaris?

A: Simply having a gluten-free diet will not help cure keratosis pilaris. A gluten-free diet is a part of a full-fledged regime for curing it which can be prescribed by a dermatologist in elaboration. 

Q: Are the marks caused due to psoriasis incurable?

A: No, the marks caused by psoriasis can be reduced. The skin needs to be kept moisturized with creams, gels and lotions.  Photo-therapy is another way to treat psoriasis symptoms.

Q: Does the sun help clear acne from the face?

A: The sun temporarily decreases inflammation and improves the condition but it is not helpful for longer periods.  However, overexposure to the sun has an adverse effect on the immune system of the skin.

Q: Does witch hazel have side effects?

A: Witch hazel is really safe, if used in regular dosage, however, if used excessively, it could cause kidney or liver damage. Very few people have reported any side effects from witch hazel, wherein, there is an upset stomach when it is consumed by the mouth.

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