Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are these red bumps on my legs?"
I have small red bumps on both of my legs. I?m a guy, so I don?t shave them or anything. The bumps are painless and don?t itch, but I?m worried about how it looks. Is this just a normal skin thing or should I get it checked out? What could it be?
I wonder where the bumps are located on your legs and if you have had them for a long time. If the bumps are primarily on the thighs, and if you have had them for a long time and they never seem to go away entirely, then the most likely explanation is something called keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris is an inherited condition of the skin in which cells produce excess keratin, which then plugs up pores. Unlike acne, which is also a pore-plugging condition, there is no inflammation, hence no pus or redness. Keratosis pilaris is totally benign and if the red bumps do not bother you, there is no need to treat them. However, if they do bother you, gentle exfoliating treatments, like you would use with acne, are often effective. If the bumps are located elsewhere on your legs, such as your shins or calves, then they are more likely to be ingrown hairs, which occur when the hairs curl around and grow back down into the hair base. These again are benign, and they can usually be treated by gentle exfoliation as well. If you are concerned and if the spots persist, please ask a dermatologist or your primary care doctor for more advice.
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