Red Dots on Face, Common Causes
It can be quite shocking to discover unsightly red spots on your skin. It’s even more stressful when you don’t know what is causing it. You wonder whether it’s just a mild allergic reaction or if its skin cancer. Red spots on your skin are a result of leaked capillaries or internal bleeding.
The internal bleeding causes red – sometime brown or purple – spots to appear on your skin. They may form in a cluster that appears to be a rash. In most cases, these spots are flat and not itchy, and they remain the same color even after they are touched.
In technical terms, these red spots are referred to as petechiae. They are no more than three millimeters wide and appear on any of a number of body areas including the face, chest, legs or arms.
These small red spots on your skin may or may not feel itchy. Symptoms of petechiae include:
- Excessive gum bleeding
- Hematoma, i.e. clotted blood under your skin
- Homarthrosis, i.e. joint hemorrhage
- Easy bleeding/bruising
- Menorrhagia, i.e. excessive menstrual bleeding
Petechiae is remarkably common and it may be an indication of other conditions. You’re better off seeking the help of a doctor to determine whether it is minor or severe. Potential causes of the red spots include the following:
Prolonged straining – Too much straining from heavy lifting or childbirth can result in the red spots on your face, neck and chest. Petechiae may also result from prolonged crying, prolonged violent coughing, consistent vomiting, or choking.
Thrombocytopenia–Red dots on face, neck or chest might be a symptom of thrombocytopenia, the term used to describe platelet levels that are abnormally low. Also referred to as thrombocytes, platelets are colorless blood cells that facilitate clotting of blood. Thrombocytopenia may be caused bycertain medication allergies, an immune disorder, or leukemia.
Sepsis– Low platelet levels can also cause sepsis, another cause of petechiae. An infection may be the cause of sepsis, which is potentially life-threatening. It happens when certain chemicals find their way into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation in the entire body. Death can occur as a result of a dramatic drop in blood pressure or septic shock.
Sunburns and injuries– Some types of trauma or injury can cause red spots to appear on the face and eyes. These include strangulation, smothering, biting, spanking, severe sunburns, and being crushed in an auto accident.
Autoimmune diseases– Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are examples of autoimmune disease that can cause petechiae. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your joint cartilage is attacked by white blood cells, resulting in petechiae, rashes or inflammation in the areas that have been affected. Petechiae has also been linked with both discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus, usually resulting from thrombocytopenia, a common problem for lupus patients.
Allergic reactions– Red spots on your skin may also be caused by allergic purpura, among other allergic reactions. Purpura refers to a hemorrhagic illness that is characterized by sub-epidermal internal bleeding that leads to spontaneous bruising and petechaie.
Bio: Sujain Thomas has worked as a dermatologist in the healthcare industry and has written numerous articles and blog posts on topics related to skincare, including red dots on face.