Any one can develop red dots on the body. However, according to common observation, they are mostly found to be present on the bodies of older people. These can be injurious as well as absolutely benign. It is important to treat harmful, itchy red dots but is reasonably not necessary to remove the harmless ones. Most of the affected people of benign types believe in their removal because they are visually unappealing. No matter if one is affected or not, one would want to remove them or not, knowing the basic information about this condition is always beneficial.
Causes of Red Dots
There are mainly two reasons behind the outbreak of this condition. These are cherry angioma and petechiae. Cherry angioma is a benign tumor that mostly occurs in people of more than 40 years of age. The exact cause for cherry angioma is not known yet. It is characterized by the eruption of purple to cherry-red dots. These are basically vascular lesions that are made up of clusters of dilated capillaries on the surface of the skin.
Cherry angiomas can occur on any part of the body. However, they are mostly found to erupt on the torso. Their occurrence is also common on the face, neck, scalp, arms, and legs. In their initial stage, they are about the size of a pinhead and do not project out of the skin. Later on, they grow, generally, up to ½ a centimeter, and gradually take the shape of a dome or mushroom. They are absolutely harmless and painless. Still, many people prefer to remove them because of aesthetic reasons as they tend to upset the over-all appearance of the skin. Large ones bleed on getting punctured. Therefore, try not to squeeze or pierce them.
Petechiae, on the other hand, is described as a flat, tiny dot under the surface of the skin that is mostly red in color. They can be brown, purple, or black in color as well. There are several causes of the same. The foremost is physical trauma. It can be in the form of a hard bout of coughing, vomiting, or crying. Petechiae due to physical harm generally appears on the face, mostly around the eyes. Petechiae occurred due to such instances are harmless in nature and disappear with time. Secondly, inflammation of blood vessels or vasculitis can give rise to petechiae. It is a condition of emergency and needs immediate medical assistance to prevent permanent, and more serious damages. Thirdly, it may occur as a symptom of low-platelet count, medically termed as thrombocytopenia. There are several factors that can lead to thrombocytopenia. These are – application of excessive pressure on tissues, side effects of certain medications, deficiency of clotting factor, and consequence of microbial infections.
The common places of petechiae occurrence are the lower limbs. They normally go away by themselves. However, if they persist for more than 4-5 days, increase in number, and are accompanied with pain and fever, immediate medical attention is a must. Their appearance is fairly normal after childbirth, as the body pressure changes during and after delivery.
Treatments for Red Dots
As mentioned earlier, cherry angiomas are not problematic. The only reason behind their treatment, or more specifically removal, is cosmetic. There are a few methods used for getting rid of them by cosmetologists. The most commonly used one is cryotherapy. It involves freezing the cherry angiomas, or red dots on body, to extremely low temperatures with the help of liquid nitrogen. The frozen tissues are then surgically removed. Another common removal method for this condition caused by cherry angiomas is electrosurgery or cautery. In electrosurgery, electric current is used to burn off to remove the tissue. It limits bleeding to some extent.
Petechia caused by physical injury is pretty safe. Rubbing ice cubes on the red dots can help you recover fast. For other reasons, it is advisable to visit a dermatologist. Certain diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-ray, and spinal tap test, if required, are performed to determine the underlying cause. Treatment of the causative factor treats petechia over time.
For a layman, it is difficult to ascertain whether red dots on body are harmless or harmful. Therefore, it is always safe to consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. This will rule out any possibility of complication in future and will relieve you from unnecessary stress.