What Are the Different Causes of Red Blemishes?

Jessica Ellis

Red blemishes can be unsightly and difficult to conceal. A sudden angry red patch on the skin can be a symptom of many different underlying causes, including allergies, chronic skin conditions, infections, and parasitic reactions. Finding and treating the cause of red blemishes is the most effective way to get rid of them.

A woman applying cream to her face to remove a blemish.
A woman applying cream to her face to remove a blemish.

A sudden or chronic allergy can cause red blemishes to appear all over the skin. Acute allergic reactions often happen in response to a new makeup or skincare product. Testing the product on a small area of a skin can be a good way to check and see if any ingredients are causing an allergic reaction. People with allergies to animals may also experience a rash of red bumps after coming in contact with animal dander, saliva, or animal-based fabrics such as wool. Rashes caused by animal allergies can often be relieved through the use of antihistamine creams or over the counter allergy medications.

Rashes caused by allergies may be treatable with antihistamine creams.
Rashes caused by allergies may be treatable with antihistamine creams.

Chronic allergies, such as eczema, may occur periodically in some people. These allergies may cause red blemishes that can last for hours or even several days, and may not respond as quickly to over the counter medications. Eczema may occur anywhere on the body, and can leave a scaly or itchy rash as well as characteristic red bumps and blemishes. Since many people with eczema suffer from recurring outbreaks, it can be important to identify irritants that may cause the reaction, and limit exposure to any potential allergens.

Infections in the skin often manifest as red blemishes. Acne, which often appears on the face, chest, and back, is a result of a bacterial infection close to the surface of the skin. Acne blemishes can often be cleared by using over the counter acne treatments, but people who suffer from chronic or severe acne may be able to receive stronger and more effective treatments from a dermatologist. Viral infections such as shingles or herpes, can also cause the appearance of blemishes, and often require treatment by a doctor.

Parasitic infections can also sometimes cause red blemishes. These occur when the skin comes into contact with parasites that can invade the body. Scabies and lice are two types of parasites that can invade the skin, causing severe itching and the appearance of red blotches all over the body. Parasitic infections may need to be confirmed by a doctor and treated quickly, to reduce the chance of spreading the parasites to others.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?