Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Red Dots on Skin

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, but It’s open to many attacks from countless different sources. It’s no wonder that your skin is prone to bumps, cuts, bruises, blemishes, and rashes. Red dots on the skin can mean almost anything. The most reliable means of figuring out what’s behind those blemishes, though, involves a visit to an experienced New York dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis. During your first visit, your skin doctor may be able to identify the skin red dots just with a visual inspection. But leaving nothing to chance or speculation, he’ll ask you a round of questions designed to lead to the right conclusion and the best course of treatment. Prepare to answer questions about:

  • When you first noticed the dots
  • How they feel are they itchy, painful, leaking pus, spreading
  • What kinds of medications you’re taking
  • Your family history and what kinds of skin disorders seem to run in your family.
  • Whether you’ve been around someone with an infection
  • Where you may have traveled
  • What outdoor activities you’ve done lately
  • And any other thoughts you may have about where you contracted the discolorations.

Many Possibilities

Many of the potential causes of red spots on your skin are totally benign and nothing to worry about. And unless your main concern is appearance, your NYC dermatologist may suggest no action at all. Other causes such as birthmarks or burns where you missed applying sunscreen are obvious and may not even give you any pause. On the other hand, when red dots on the skin are new, change in size or shape, are hot, raised, or running, and cause you to worry, you can find relief and direction from a skilled New York City dermatologist who sees these kinds of issues frequently. Some of the most common causes of red dots on skin, spots, or splotches include:

  • Acne, which mostly affects teens but can strike at any time. Acne is caused by excess oil in your skin that gets blocked by dirt and dead skin cells.
  • Contact dermatitis results from repeated exposure to irritants, such as harsh soaps or detergents.
  • Allergic reactions often appear as red dots on your skin. Poison ivy, soap ingredients, animal dander, and other allergens can leave red dots on the skin that sometimes are raised and very often quite itchy.
  • Heat rash is another skin reaction to outside environmental conditions that appears as red dots on the skin. Heat rash usually isn’t itchy or raised, though. It’s typically caused by humidity and heat and disappears once you cool off.
  • Intertrigo is a different kind of rash that’s caused by friction. It’s uncomfortable and usually apparent in the folds of skin on people who are obese and overweight.
  • Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that leaves small red dots on your skin, usually on your face.
  • Angiomas are benign growths of blood vessels in the skin. They can develop due to genetics, sun exposure, or increased estrogenic states, such as pregnancy or hormonal contraceptive use.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★Very courteous, informed, and professional staff. I continue to have a great experience with the staff at this location.

More Serious Concerns

As you can see, many red dots on skin merely are an inconvenience and most often clear up on their own. Some you may end up covering with makeup, but you can also talk to your dermatologist in NYC about removing them for cosmetic reasons. At the same time, before you receive the green light to proceed with cosmetic solutions, you really need to allow your Manhattan skin doctor the opportunity to rule out more serious causes of red dots that may even include:

  • Skin cancer often begins just as a small red dot on some innocuous part of your face or body. Facial red dots and red spots on the top of bald heads are particularly prone to malignancies.
  • MRSA is a staph infection that is highly contagious and can lead to serious health consequences if left untreated. The red spots often are the first indication of the infection.
  • Many viral rashes, such as measles, rubella, or chickenpox, have been eradicated through childhood vaccines. But with the plethora of parents joining the anti-vaccine movement, it may once again plague Americans.
  • Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that first appears as a red sore that turns into a red rash. The red spots disappear on their own as the disease progresses.
  • Lyme disease is an infection you get from a bug bite. It can sometimes be very difficult to diagnose, but one likely symptom is red spots that form the shape of a bulls-eye on your body.

Diagnosis and Treatment

With all the many potential causes and the above lists are not conclusive by any means, It’s no wonder NYC skin specialists prefer to see you in person and perform a detailed history before declaring you fit for treatment. In fact, the best course of treatment is impossible to predict without a clear diagnosis of the underlying cause of your spots.

Cosmetic Relief

When red spots on the skin don’t fade away with conditional treatments or lifestyle changes, and you still want them gone, talk to your best dermatologist in NYC about a wide range of cosmetic treatments that may help. Your dermatologist is trained and practiced in a wealth of treatments that may include:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser surgery
  • Cryotherapy, or freezing off errant dots
  • Prescription-strength bleaching creams
  • And many more

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board-certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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