• Español
  • Join Now
Make an appointment:
Specialty
(i.e. Dermatologists)
Location

What are the bumps all over my body?

I have little red bumps with whiteheads ALL OVER me, and I can't figure out what they are. I know most people would think it was just body acne, but it just started a few months ago and it seems like it's getting worse.
There are a couple of possibilities here. The most likely is something called folliculitis. Folliculitis is a infection of the base of the hair shafts, caused when bacteria invade and cause redness, swelling, and whiteheads. Folliculitis is usually minor and self limited (meaning it will go away without treatment). It is usually caused by irritation of the skin and hair shafts which allows entry of the bacteria; common causes are shaving, sweating, and chafing from fabric. Usually it will clear up in a few days with simply good skin hygiene. You also may wish to wash with an antibacterial soap. If it does not clear up, if there is worsening swelling of the spots or pain or fever, you will need to see your doctor. A similar rash is prickly heat rash. Like folliculitis, it causes redness and whiteheads to form. However, it is caused primarily by plugging up of the sweat glands in the skin, and it is usually caused by overheating of the skin and excess sweating. It is usually more itchy than folliculitis. It will usually clear up just by keeping the skin clean and dry. As always, if the rash in not improving with these simple measures, you should see your primary care doctor as soon as possible.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
Who answers these questions?
Answers are written by doctors from top institutions:
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • Beth Israel Medical Center
Share This Answer
Have further Questions? See a doctor!
With ZocDoc, you can find local doctors in your insurance network and book appointments instantly.