ZocdocAnswersWhat are these red bumps all over the back of my arms?

Question

What are these red bumps all over the back of my arms?

The back of both of my arms are covered in painless red bumps. They are all over and I don't know if its serious. What is this stuff on my arms/skin?

Answer

Red bumps on the skin are a common complaint. There are many causes of this, some of which are minor and will resolve on there own. Unfortunately, some of the causes of these red bumps are serious. I would recommend that you see your primary care doctor to have this evaluated. If necessary, he or she may refer you to a skin specialist (also known as a dermatologist). Red bumps can have many causes. One of the most common is urticaria. Uritcaria or hives, are red bumps that form as part of an allergic reaction -- often to soaps, detergents, deodorants or perfumes. These are often itchy -- so if you are not feeling itchiness (or pruritis) this makes this less likely. Another common cause of red bumps are comedones as they are medically known or (by their more common name) -- pimples. Acne can form pimples on any part of the body -- mainly related to the oil secreting glands of the skin. Another common cause is folliculitis -- or small infection of the hair follicles. These form small bumps around the follicles and can progress to a more serious infection or resolve on its own. I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor. All of the above causes (as well as the other possible causes) can be treated if appropriately diagnosed. Good luck!

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