What those small red bumps on your legs could be

While most of the time you’ve got nothing to worry about, there are some occasions when you’ll want to pay close attention to those red bumps or rashes on your legs.

They can be caused by allergies, insect bites, an infection or a skin condition. Starts at 60 has rounded up several of the common culprits for you to consider.

1. Keratosis pilaris
If your lumps are small and either red or white, resembling goosebumps on the fleshier areas of your thighs and arms it could be keratosis pilaris. It’s a common condition affecting about 40 per cent of adults and occurs when your pores get clogged with keratin — a protein found in your skin, nails and hair.

While it’s not harmful to your health, if you are bothered by the condition you can talk with your doctor about medicated creams available to treat it.

2. Folliculitis
If you shave and you experience small red bumps or pimples in those areas, or where your clothing rubs on your skin then it could be folliculitis, more commonly called ‘razor rash’.

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It’s caused by a bacteria that infects your hair follicles, and if you have any one of the following conditions you are at greater risk of developing it:

  • you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diabetes, AIDS or another condition that makes you susceptible to infection
  • you have eczema
  • you have injured your skin
  • you are overweight
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  • you regularly indulge in hot baths or saunas
  • Shaving and tight clothing combined with heat and sweat are typical sources of folliculitis. In its primary state it is not serious, but where it develops into a severe infection you risk developing boils and carbuncles and should probably see a doctor.

    3. Eczema
    These red spots in patches on your body can itch like mad and cause you discomfort are called eczema. The skin condition can be dry and scaly or it can blister and ooze clear fluid, and for those suffering it can flare up at any time. If you think you have (or do have) eczema you need to be aware of soaps and detergents, cleaning products, perfumes, wool, cosmetics, sweat and heat and stress, which can all bring it on.

    The condition often runs in families and your risk of developing the condition increases if you or a family member has asthma or seasonal allergies.

    Treatment usually involves medication and can include antibiotics and antihistamines.

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    4. Hives
    Hives is a raised, itchy red skin condition that can occur anywhere on your body. There are a number of triggers for the condition, including foods, medications, pollen, latex, insects and either the heat or cold. This is a skin condition that is also linked to colds, sinusitis, hepatitis and autoimmune disease.

    If you have trouble breathing or swallowing, are feeling dizzy, or if you experience swelling of your face or tongue from your hives, you should seek medical treatment.

    5. Insect bites
    Everyone will have experienced an insect bite at some point in their life. If your bumps are itchy and red it could be an insect bite. Common culprits include mosquitos, fleas, lice, bed bugs, scabies and gnats. Calamine lotion or another topical cream can relieve the symptoms of an insect bite.

    While little red bumps and rashes on your legs aren’t a cause for major concern, there is a risk the condition could become more serious for you if not treated as recommended. Be aware of the signs of infection, like increased redness, swelling around the bump, pain, fever and blisters.

    What red bumps and rashes have you been exposed to? How did you treat the condition?