Heavy denim jeans can make your legs sweaty during hot or humid weather. They might also rub against your legs, which can irritate your skin. Little red bumps might even appear on your legs after wearing jeans, which can give your legs an unsightly appearance. Finding and treating the source of this irritation will allow you to wear your jeans without the annoying red bumps. Before using any types of medications or home remedies, discuss your skin condition with your health care provider.
MayoClinic.com reports that friction from tight-fitting jeans, along with perspiration, can cause the skin infection folliculitis. A folliculitis infection occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses enter the hair follicles and cause inflammation. Folliculitis resembles small red pimples with a white head in the middle. The bumps appear around hair follicles, the small pockets from which hair grows. Most cases of mild folliculitis disappear without treatment, but persistent or recurring cases usually necessitate medical treatment.
If the bumps appeared shortly after you changed detergents or bought a new pair of jeans, you might suspect contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis -- a skin condition caused by exposure to substances or materials that cause an allergic reaction or skin sensitivity --- can cause small red bumps and inflamed skin. Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis, according to Medline Plus, include fabrics, clothing and detergents.
Although you cannot prevent all cases of contact dermatitis and folliculitis, you can lessen your chances of experiencing these conditions by avoiding tight, constrictive clothing. If you still want the stylish look of jeans, look for loose-fitting ones made of lightweight denim. Thoroughly wash your jeans in hot water before wearing them to remove any traces of irritants, such as sweat, that can cause rashes and skin irritation.
People that shave their legs might experience tiny red bumps on their legs from ingrown hairs. Although MayoClinic.com provides reassurance that an occasional ingrown hair is usually not a serious problem, seek your doctor's advice if you experience recurrent ingrown hairs. Chronic problems with ingrown hairs can lead to hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, bacterial infections from scratching and permanent scarring.
Most cases of contact dermatitis disappear within two to three weeks once you identify and alleviate the cause of the irritation. If the irritation reoccurs or spreads, your doctor might order skin patch testing to identify the allergen causing the reaction. To conduct a patch test, your doctor will place small strips of tape with small amounts of the potential allergens on your skin and leave them for two days. The American Academy of Dermatology emphasizes that skin patch testing is a safe, minimally invasive way to diagnose contact allergies.