What are red spots?

Red spots can be caused by a variety of conditions, including infections, allergic reactions, and inflammatory processes. Red spots can appear anywhere on the body.

Red spots can be harmless or benign, or they may be a sign of a serious disease such as leukemia. They can appear suddenly or develop over a longer period of time, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Red spots may be tiny to large in size and cover a small to sizable area of the body. Red spots can be itchy or painful, flat or raised, and vary in color from pink to bright red to a purplish red color.

Tiny pinpoint red dots called petechiae are due to broken blood vessels just underneath the skin and may indicate a life-threatening condition, such as meningitis. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have red spots accompanied by a stiff neck, change in alertness, high fever, difficulty breathing, bloody stools, or swelling of the face or tongue.

Seek prompt medical care if the red spots are persistent or you are concerned about your symptoms.


What other symptoms might occur with red spots?

Red spots may be accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, you may have a fever if the red spots are caused by an infectious or inflammatory process, such as measles or rubella.

Skin symptoms that may occur along with red spots

Red spots may occur with other skin-related symptoms including:
Read more about red spotssymptoms


What causes red spots?

Many different diseases, disorders and conditions can cause red spots. For example, red spots can be a symptom of inflammation in the body, or they may be caused by an infection or insect bites. More serious causes include meningitis and leukemia.

Infectious causes of red spots

Red spots may be caused by an infection including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails

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