What Causes Red Spots on Skin to Form (4 Possible Causes)

If you're struggling with skin rashes or red spots on your face (which I'm guessing you are), then you've come to the right place.


It took me a while but I ended up clearing myself around 2 months ago. 


First I thought it was acne, then I was convinced it wasn't - only to realize 3 months later than it actually was a form of inflammatory acne. 


I'm not saying that's what you have though, because everyone's different.




I'm going to tell you exactly how to get rid of red spots on your face - based on different types, and the reasons for the appearance of them in the first place.


But first we'll look at red spots from a medical perspective.


What Are Red Spots on Skin (Not Itchy) in Most Cases?


According to dermatologists and skin specialists, red spots on the skin are a pretty common problem in most of their patients (usually with acne).


If it's not acne, here's a full list of other possible rashes or similar infections it might be.


Or you can just read on a little further.


There are plenty of different reasons why you might experience a red spot breakout in one area of your face versus another area.

This could be a huge clue for you to know what exactly you're dealing with.


What if It's Not Acne? 


It might look similar to acne, but if something  tells you it's not, then maybe it's not


For me personally it was acne though - just a weird type that I had never seen before.


Some of the more common reasons why you might notice red spots on your face are


  • Skin conditions or infections

  • Internally spread body infections

  • Allergic reactions to some product or chemical

  • Typical skin irritation caused by lack of moisture.


When these spots surface they can appear differently on your face.


In some cases, there is only redness and no bumps under the skin.


This is when the rash is medically termed as a macule, like you can read from this article.


In other situations, there will be tiny red spots, which are itchy also.


That would be termed as a maculopapular.


But like I said, there is always a solution for your problem.


Let’s take a look at what causes red spots and how you can get rid of them.


Why Are There Red Spots on Your Face?


In short, there are 4 main reasons why you have these spots in the first place.


I'll start with a common reason,


1. Inflammatory Acne 


Acne (usually inflammatory) is one of the most basic reasons behind the appearance of red spots on your face.


If you just want to know how to get rid of redness from your acne, then you can read this post specifically.


What is it?


Inflammatory acne is a skin condition that causes an imbalance in the sebaceous glands in your body.


Due to an imbalance, the sebaceous glands that are responsible for oil production in your body over produce the sebum.


As a result, excessive sebum in your body becomes trapped in the hair follicles of your skin.


This ends up clogging the pores.


Which not only cuts off their oxygen, but also decoys the bacteria that reside on your skin.


When the bacteria begin to accumulate underneath your skin along with the excessive sebum, it results in puss, which causes your skin to get bumpy.


Therefore, you experience acne breakouts, which come hand in hand with the appearance of red spots on your face.


Acne always breaks out in different forms though.


It could be whiteheads, blackheads, or dark pimples with pus in them (like you can see below).


But blackheads and whiteheads don't trigger red spots on your face.


They'll only tend to appear with worse forms of acne like as inflammatory, pustular, or cystic acne.


How to Get Rid of Red Spots on Skin From Inflammatory Acne?


The best way to get rid of red spots on your face is with an oral antioxidant treatment (in my opinion). 


I would try either Murad or Derma Drinkables. Murad is cheaper, but not nearly as strong as the Drinkables if you want to compare them. 


So it depends on what you're looking for.


Anyway moving on,


The next important step is to cleanse your face before going to bed with water and an exfoliator.


Taking an ice cube and gliding along your skin will also help bring down inflammation.


Then you should moisturize with a product that doesn't have any oil or ingredients that will clog your pores.


Overnight, you will notice the red spots start to lighten and it takes around 48 hours for your face to be completely ridden of them.


2. Keratosis Pilaris


This is another common reason behind the appearance of red spots on your face, upper arms, back, and thighs.

Adults mostly experience this condition.


If you want to know more about it, you can read this article from the AAD.


Similar to acne, keratosis pilaris occurs when your body over produces the keratin.


Due to an excess, the keratin becomes trapped in the hair follicles that form the layer of cells underneath the skin.


Since there is an excess keratin accumulation beneath your skin, the skin becomes bumpy and creates these tiny little lumps.


This is known as skin inflammation, which causes an elevation in your skin.


Also, since your skin becomes inflamed, it begins to irritate as well.


The inflammation along with irritation causes your skin to become red, triggering the appearance of red spots.


In case your red spots appear due to keratosis pilaris, it is possible that you will experience itchiness due to severe skin irritation.


Your skin will also begin to feel dry, dehydrated, and hard due to roughness.


So How Do You Get Rid Keratosis Pilaris?


Firstly, you stop yourself from picking at your skin, scratching it or rubbing it.


Next important measure to take is to clean it properly with an anti-bacterial face wash.


Once your face is nice and clean, you want to ice it gently.


Ice (again) is a great compressor and works effectively in numbing any painful or irritating sensation.


In order to refrain from scratching your skin, you need to press ice on it instead and allow your skin to deflate.


Ice works best in reducing redness because it is a great and healthy way of decreasing the skin’s inflammation.


A resourceful antidote for inflammation is AHA or alpha hydroxyl acid.


Here's a list of those type of products, if you want to experiment with some.


Using products that contain AHA will not only hydrate your skin by effectively moisturizing it.


It will also disband the accumulated keratin that causes your skin to bump.


This is because the acid from AHA thoroughly infiltrates into your skin because it carries tiny molecules.


The AHAs are highly concentrated, allowing them to peel off the layer of dead skin cells and constructively targeting the inflammation lying underneath the skin.


In addition, the AHA works effectively in preventing the growth and development of bacteria under the skin.


As a result, the acid is successful in treating acne and disestablishing keratin that accumulates under the skin, ridding your face off of the red spots.


3. Red Bumps on Skin Caused By Papular Eczema

Another cause of the occurrence of red blotches, or bumps on yourskin is papular eczema.  


This rash usually resides on your upper arms though, not the face.

When your skin is badly dehydrated, it becomes damaged.


Usually a condition like this one is more likely to occur in colder weather - which is why most people experience red spots on their faces during fall and winter.


Due to dryness, when the skin is damaged and weak, it begins to inflame.


In addition, the dryness causes your skin to become irritant and itchy, compelling you to scratch it.


The condition worsens if you have a sensitive skin.


In a report, the well-known dermatologist and skin specialist, Dr. Zeichner said,


“Eczema appears in red, scaly bumps and patches almost anywhere on the body.”


Particularly when the skin of your face is dry and lacks moisture, it suffers from papular eczema, which ends up giving your skin red spots and patches.


Because the papular eczema is caused by an underproduction of oil and moisture, you need much larger amounts of oil to moisturize your skin.


How to Clear Red Bumps on Skin Caused By Papular Eczema?


Firstly, it is imperative to keep in mind that you must refrain yourself from scratching the rash no matter how badly it itches.


Scratching will only make the bumps worse and the rash will spread, or become more inflamed.


Another renowned dermatologist, Rachel Nazarian, M.D said in one of her reports, “The itch can cause a huge urge to scratch but scratching will only make the rash worse.”


So if you experience a skin rash because of papular eczema, you must keep your hands from even touching your face unless it is for cleansing, exfoliating or moisturizing.


The next vital step in recovering from the dryness and treating your skin is using products that has topical steroids or antioxidants like vitamin A and E.


One of the easiest and most user-friendly products that carries friendly topical steroid is rose water.


Here's a complete post about rose water and eczema if you're interested.


Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties and hydrates your skin from the outside (that means you still need to drink enough water.


Vitamin E Oil for Eczema


You can also make use of vitamin E oil.


It's rich in antioxidants and has massive anti-inflammatory properties - as you can read more about here.


As a result, the oil nourishes your skin just enough to cover up for the lack of sebum in your skin.


Because papular eczema is cause from xcessive dryness and dehydration, the vitamin E gives your skin the necessary moisture.


Once your skin is hydrated, and you follow the process of moisturizing it with vitamin E oil or creams on a daily basis, within a week the red spots on your face will disappear and your skin will look sparkling clean.


A very basic measure you can take to recover from red spots on skin surfaces that are a result of excessive dehydration is to hydrate your body (obvious, I know).


For this, literally all you have to do is drink plenty of water every day.


Sounds silly? It’s not.


If anything, the basic reason why you experience a papular eczema IS due to dehydration caused by a lack of water.


With the use of plenty of water, you will be able to nourish your skin and hydrate it just enough to recover from dehydration.


Remember that our existence comes from water itself.


Ignoring it will only do your body harm. 


4. Red Spots from Heat Rash


Heat is another common yet leading factor behind the appearance of red dots with reddish skin.


People who are highly sweat prone are also prone to skin rashes.

Especially when they are exposed to heat, their forehead, cheeks, upper lips and the corners of their nostrils begin to sweat a lot also.


This triggers the bacteria to grow and develop on their skins, resulting in blisters, irritating red dots and skin inflammation.


In such cases, it is important to carefully choose the products and the method of skin exfoliation.


If you think it's a heat rash, here's a post on how to treat it quickly.


This is because if you use a product that carries severe and harsh chemicals, you will end up worsening the heat rash which will make your skin extremely itchy.


So How Do You Get Rid of Red Dots on Your Face Caused By Heat Rash?


It is actually quite simple.


Firstly, you minimize your exposure to the UV rays.


If you have to go outdoors, make sure to cover your face with a scarf or wear a hat.


You also need to apply protective sunscreen.


In case you already have a heat rash, it is best to ice it since icing numbs the painful sensation and offers you a quick relief.


And lastly, thoroughly moisturize your skin in order to relieve the dryness from it.


A dry skin, especially when it struggles with a heat rash, will only worsen.


The Final Conclusion on Your Red Spots on Face or Skin


All you have to do is find the reason why you have red spots on your face and then take the right steps to eliminate them.


In a nutshell, the guide is pretty simple to follow.


If you have red spots on your skin anywhere other than your face, then it's probably a heat rash or eczema.


If they are on your face only, then chances are it's some form of acne.


I was dealing with them for almost 6 months before I got rid of them - but I could have done it within a week if someone had told me everything I've just explained.


I know that we all have a different skin makeup and complexion, but if you find out what's causing the problem then you can always try finding the solution.