Red Pinpoint Bumps on the Skin

The sudden appearance of red pinpoint bumps on the surface of the skin can be alarming and disturbing. They may crop up anywhere on the body, including the face, stomach, legs, feet and chest. These bumps can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, so it's vital to understand why they occur and how they are treated.


According to the AskDrSears website, red pinpoint skin bumps can look similar to dots left by a fine-tipped red ink pin. These spots are flat against the skin and may also turn purple or brownish in color. The bumps can be spread far apart or clustered together like a rash. Often these small bumps do not lose their color if you press on them.


The MedlinePlus website explains that tiny, red pinpoint bumps on the skin are typically the cause of bleeding beneath the skin. When the dots are small, the condition is called petechiae. If left untreated, the bumps can get larger and morph into a condition called purpura. Bleeding underneath the skin can be caused by physical injury, aging, a viral infection, allergic reaction or as a side effect of medications such as aspirin or steroids.

Treatment and Prevention

Seek medical attention to determine the exact cause of bleeding beneath the skin and red pinpoint bumps, because treatment depends on the exact cause. There are ways to prevent the bumps from appearing in the first place. Protect your skin from potential scrapes, cuts, bumps and other types of trauma. If the bumps are a drug reaction, ask your doctor about switching medications.


The Parenting website notes that red pinpoint bumps on the skin as the result of petechiae will typically disappear on their own. However, to prevent the bumps from reoccurring or to avoid other health-related complications, determine and treat all underlying causes. Although red pin point bumps can develop anywhere on the body, they typically occur in places where blood puts large amounts of pressure on the veins, such as the legs and feet.


Seek immediate medical attention if red pinpoint bumps on the skin are below the chest area and are accompanied by unexplained bruising or abrupt bleeding. These can be signs of serious medical conditions such as meningococcal disease, which can cause a bacterial infection in the skull and brain, or a blood-clotting disorder like idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura.

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