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Skin Care and Diseases

Red, Tiny Spots on Skin

01/04/2000

Question:

I`m 18/Female and get tiny, pin head sized red spots on the skin of my upper and lower arms only. They eventually seem to get a bit larger (not by much) and turn into brown skin spots. This has been happening to me for about 2.5 years. The spots are not in groups and are scattered all over my arm. The spots do not itch or cause any problems whatsoever. They can appear at any time, all times of year (nothing really goes along with their appearance). The brown spots stay on my skin and never disappear. It takes a while for the red spots to turn brown. I don`t have freckles (dark brown hair and skin tans easily although I don`t tan for fun or purposely stay out in the sun for great lengths of time). There`s a somewhat large amount of these spots on my skin and it would look odd if they all turned brown. Could this be a late onset of freckles? Also I have a few other skin problems such as acne. Basically my head, neck, back, and chest are oily and the rest of my body has drier skin(my hands crack easily in cold weather).I also get these red coin-shaped dry spots(whole spot is dry)every once in while (every 2-3 months and only one spot appears) on my lower thigh and just recently on my lower arm (could not be diagnosed because razor wasn`t scraping the dry skin off due to the fact that spot was starting to go away, but I was prescribed cream for it just in case it was ringworm). Could these bright red spots be related to this? I never told the doctor about the red tiny spots (I will next time, but am curious now). I just am wondering what these red, tiny spots could be. Is it normal or is it an actual skin problem? Thanks for your time and help.

Answer:

Thank you for the thorough description of your condition. It sounds like you have several concerns, including the management of dry skin and oily skin combination, as well as the spots. Unfortunately, I cannot determine what they are without viewing them and learning more about your medical history. It is somewhat surprising that you are not bothered by itching. I would recommend that you have a full body evaluation by a dermatologist in order to get a proper assessment. At the same time, the physician can talk about how to take care of your skin. You are wise to stay out of the sun. I suggest that you do not overwash your skin because some areas are oily. Make sure you are using a mild cleanser, such as a non-antibacterial liquid body wash.

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Response by:

Marty O Visscher, PhD Marty O Visscher, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati