What are the causes of bumps on legs that look like pimples? How can you get rid of such bumps using the best home remedies and treatments? Continue reading to explore more on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of small, red, raised or itchy spots on legs.
Causes of Bumps on Legs
Bumps on legs are common among many people. They are quite frustrating and can lower your self-esteem especially when wearing a short or a mini-skirt that exposes your legs. You may feel so self-conscious about them and resort to covering them due to lack of confidence of showing them off.
The bumps can be itchy or not depending on their causes. Scratching on itchy bumps can make them more conspicuous and may leave behind a black spot after healing.
Finding out the causes can help you to come out with an effective treatment to cure them. Some of the causes include:
Folliculitis is also known as razor bumps, it is common among people who shave their legs regularly. Other hair removal methods like waxing can also result in razor bumps. It forms when hair curls back into the skin resulting in a raised bumps on legs that are filled with white pus.
Bumps on legs can also result from acne. It occurs when the hair follicles are clogged up with excess skin oil, dirt, and other debris. When acne bumps are infected with bacteria, they become red and irritated. Acne is triggered by the excessive production of sebum during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Allergic Reaction
Mosquito bite allergy or insect sting can also cause raised bumps on legs that resemble a pimple. Bumps on legs and other parts of your body can also result from an allergic reaction to certain foods, pollen, pet dander, or poison ivy. Identify what causes the allergic reaction and avoid it to prevent the bumps.
This is a condition that commonly affects adults, especially at older ages. It occurs when the blood vessels located in your legs swell up or burst open to cause red bumps on your skin.
- Keratosis Pilaris
According to Medline Plus, keratosis pilaris is a common skin disorder that causes white or pink raised bumps to appear on your thighs. This condition can also affect the arms. The exact cause of this condition is unknown although it is linked to genetic components.
Hives are raised, flat-topped bumps that can appear on any part of your body including the legs. They appear as a result of reactions to an allergen, contact with irritating substances, or emotional stress. Hives are common on the upper part of legs and arms. The bumps can cluster together to form an irritated patch on the skin.
- Sebaceous Cysts
Sebaceous cysts forms in the sebaceous gland that is blocked or clogged up. Other causes are trauma, deformed duct, damage, or genetic conditions like Gardner’s syndrome or basal cell nevus syndrome.
Scabies is a skin infestation that results from a certain type of mites known as sercoptes scabiei. They are microscopic mites that live and reproduce on the skin surface for some time before burrowing into the skin to lay eggs. They are among the major causes of bumps on legs that look like pimples.
- Skin Tags
Skin tags are harmless and benign growth that can appear on your legs. They can be small, little, tiny or relatively larger. The can be of the same color with your skin or slightly darker. Skin tags are common in the groin and can also affect other parts of your body like neck, eyelids, breast, stomach or underarms.
Bacteria can enter your body through small or tiny cuts on your skin to cause cellulitis. During the initial stages, cellulitis normally appears as a red and swollen area on the lower part of the legs. The swelling usually spread rapidly to the surrounding areas. This condition is usually painful.
A boil is also known as furuncle, they result from either fungal or bacterial infection of a hair follicle. A boil can appear on any part of the body that is infected, including the legs. It normally manifests itself as a red raised bump on the skin. It normally raptures to ooze a fluid after several days.
Lipoma is simply a skin lump that develops under the skin. It normally resembles a blind pimple during the initial stages. Lipoma can affect anybody but they are common among adults as compared to children. They are common on thighs but can also develop on other parts of the body that include neck, shoulders, arms, and back.
Chickenpox is also known as Varicella, it is a viral infection that is characterized by itchy red bumps that ooze to form blisters. The bumps normally appear all over the body including on the legs. Chickenpox normally affects children and it was considered to be a rite of passage before the vaccine was discovered.
Symptoms of Bumps on Legs
Bumps of your legs may be characterized by various symptoms as described below:
- Bumps that appear from the feet all the way up to the thighs.
- They may be red, white, small, raised or flat bumps on legs.
- Bumps that may burst open, ooze and crust over.
- Itchiness or a burning sensation along with bumps.
- Red bumps that do not burst open
Bumps on Legs that Look Like Pimples and Itchy
Bumps on legs can be itchy, irritating and also frustrating. The common causes include allergic reactions, hives, skin infections, vasculitis, and contact dermatitis, side effects of certain drugs like cytotoxic, heat rash, shingles, skin tags, boils and certain types of skin cancer.
It is also possible to feel an urge to scratch on these bumps. However, it is not advisable to scratch on them. Scratching can open them up and increase the risk of infection.
There are various remedies you can use to reduce itching and other symptoms. Some of them include applying an ice pack to the affected area.
Other remedies like Aloe Vera, tea tree oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil contain anti-inflammatory properties that can also reduce the urge to scratch.
Bumps on Legs that Look Like Pimples Treatment
Each cause of bumps on legs has a different treatment as shown below:
- Folliculitis Treatment
Folliculitis normally clears up on its own within 7 to 10 days. However, you are supposed to visit your healthcare provider in case it persists for more than 10 days. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
- Acne Treatment
Acne can be treated by keeping your skin clean. However, there is a various medication that can help to treat severe acne. They are both over-the-counter medication and prescribed treatment. They include products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, sulfur, retinol, and azelaic acid.
- Allergic Reaction Treatment
An allergic reaction can be treated using antihistamine medications. They help to alleviate symptoms like itching or a burning sensation from the bumps. Staying away from foods, pollen and other things that trigger the reaction also helps to speed up the healing process.
- Vasculitis Treatment
Treatment of this condition mainly focuses on controlling the inflammation and resolving other underlying condition that triggers vasculitis. Prescription drugs can also be used depending on the stage of vasculitis.
- Keratosis Pilaris Treatment
This skin condition does not require treatment. However, the doctor may remove suspicious bumps through cryosurgery, electro-surgery, or through curettage. After removal, this skin condition does not reoccur at the same spot, however, it may appear in other areas of your skin.
- Hives Treatment
Hives are characterized by itching that can be controlled by taking topical corticosteroids. Applying calamine lotion to the affected area of the skin can also help to alleviate burning sensation or irritations. Using insect repellants and covering your skin at night can also keep away insect bites that cause the hives.
- Sebaceous Cyst Treatment
A sebaceous cyst is treated with surgery or draining. Surgery is the recommended treatment since it removes the cyst completely. The cyst does not come back again. The different surgical methods that can be used include minimal excision, conventional wide excision or laser.
- Scabies Treatment
The treatment of scabies normally involves getting rid of the infestation. There are various prescribed creams, lotions and ointments that are applied directly to the affected area. According to American Academy of Dermatologist, scabies is treated using 5% Permethrin Cream, 1% lindane lotion, 10% sulfur ointment, 10% crotamiton cream, or 25% benzyl benzoate lotion.
- Skin Tags Treatment
Skin tags can be treated or removed using different methods. The common techniques used by the doctor include cutting them off with scissors or s scalpel, freezing with liquid nitrogen, or burning them off with electric current.
- Cellulitis Treatment
Cellulitis is treated using prescribed oral antibiotics. The medication can be taken between 10 to 21 days depending on the severity of your condition. Even if your condition improves within a week, you are supposed to finish the dose as prescribed by the doctor.
- Boils Treatment
In most of the cases, a boil doesn’t require a doctor’s attention for treatment. However, you may be required to visit your healthcare provider in case the boil is large, very painful or when it remains un-ruptured for a long time. It will be trained to heal naturally like other bumps on legs that look like pimples.
- Lipomas Treatment
Lipoma does not cause any health problem. However, it can be removed for cosmetic purposes. Other factors that determine its removal include the size, number of bumps, pain, and your family and personal history of skin cancer. It can be removed through surgery, liposuction, or steroid injection.
- Chickenpox Treatment
When suffering from chickenpox, it is advisable to manage the symptom while allowing it to run its course. Children may stay away from school or daycare to prevent spreading the infection. A doctor may prescribe antihistamine drugs or topical ointment to alleviate itching. Other remedies like taking a lukewarm bath, keeping skin moisturized, and wearing lightweight and soft clothing also help.
Home Remedies for Bumps on Legs that Look Like Pimples
There are various home remedies tips you can use to get rid of bumps on your legs. They help to alleviate the symptoms as well as speeding up the healing process. They include:
- Applying a cold compress over the chickenpox bumps. It helps to reduce swelling, itchiness, irritation or a burning sensation that may accompany the bumps.
- Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the pain. This remedy is effective for any bump that causes
- Apply tea tree oil to the bumps. It contains antibacterial properties that treat folliculitis.
- Apply a warm compress to a boil. It helps to soften the tissues around the boil for easy drainage. It also improves blood supply on the affected area as well as speeding up the healing process.
- Apply lemon juice over the acne bumps. It contains antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria causing acne. It also speeds up shedding of dead skin cells that may clog the pores.
- Take plenty of water to keep your self-hydrated when suffering from chickenpox and other viral infections that cause bumps on the body.
- Apply Aloe Vera on the bumps. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate pain or itching. It also contains both antifungal and antibacterial properties for various skin infection treatment.
- Apply coconut oil to your legs especially after taking shower. It helps to retain moisture to prevent the bumps from itching.
- Soak your legs in a bathtub containing a mixture of Epsom salt and warm water. It helps to soften dry skin, soothes itching, reduces inflammation and relieves toxins from your skin.
- Oatmeal is also an effective remedy for keratosis pilaris. Soaking the affected legs in a bathtub containing oatmeal and warm water helps to soothe skin and alleviate itchiness.
- Use baking soda to exfoliate your legs. It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and other debris that clog the pores to form acne.
- Apply diluted apple cider vinegar on the bumps. It contains astringent properties that unclog the pores.
When to see a Doctor
Visit your healthcare provider in case of the following:
- When the bumps are persistence and fail to heal even after using home remedies for more than 2 weeks.
- When the bumps on your legs bleed
- Intense itching that interferes with your daily routine.
- Excessive swelling, redness, itching or irritation.
- When the bumps are accompanied by fever.
- Presence of yellow or green discharge with the foul smell from the bumps.
- When the affected area changes the color.
More sources and References:
- Raised bumps on skin: https://www.healthline.com/health/raised-skin-bump
- Doctors insights on little bumps on legs that look like pimples: https://www.healthtap.com/topics/little-bumps-on-legs-that-look-like-pimples
- Causes of red bumps on legs: https://www.epainassist.com/skin/common-causes-of-red-bumps-on-legs
- Home remedies to get rid of red bumps on legs: https://www.epainassist.com/home-remedies/useful-home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-red-bumps-on-legs
- How to get rid of bumps on legs: https://fullnomore.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bumps-on-legs/
- Itchy bumps on legs that look like mosquito bites: https://www.orkin.com/other/mosquitoes/mosquito-bites/