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Red dots on skin

3689 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Maia
I have had various symptoms for 10 years but last year started with joint & muscle pain which has now led me to thinking I may have lupus or even fibromylagia. One thing that started about 5 months ago is I have bright red dots on my skin. Some of them are no bigger than a speck of dust & others are like freckles or moles & are slightly raised but red. I have these on my legs, arms, stomach, chest & on my hair line on my scalp. I was just wandering if this is a symptom anyone else has as I read somewhere about red dots being a sign of autoimmune illnesses?

Thanks in advance
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Hi Jo,

Vasculitis comes to mind for me but I am not super knowledgeable about Lupus skin disorders specifically. I am sure if you type into the search box at the top of the page something should come up.

Others will be along to provide their insight. Have you tested positive for Lupus or has any of your blood work come back abnormal?

Maybe a trip to the dermatologist is a good idea. They may be able to biopsy the area to provide you with a concrete answer.

Perhaps they are petechiae resulting from blood seeping through veins either because the vein walls are weak or often because platelet counts are low. Then the reason for low platelet counts would need investigating. Low platelet counts aren't always associated with autoimmune disease. They can occur with infectious diseases or even some medicines. Petechiae do not go white or 'blanch' when pressed - use the bottom of a glass so you can see what happens (as opposed to veinous causes, I think)
I don't know about them being raised though and don't know enough medicine to know if being raised indicates another cause.
Certainly should be investigated !

Let us know how you get on!
HI Jo,

How long have you had these spots for? Once one appears, is it there for good, or does it go away eventually? Does a spot grow with time?

Mostly petechia and purpura will appear suddenly and in large numbers, and with time will go away (although more spots may appear).

The most likely thing they are, especially the way you describe them as varying in size and being raised, is cherry haemangiomas. These are very common, and quite harmless. Take care not to scratch them open though as they can bleed ferociously. They aren't related to lupus or another disease usually, just normal aging.

If you're concerned though, the best thing is to get a doctor to look at them.


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Hi there, the way that you describe the dots, and the number of them, the only thing that comes to my mind is to see a Dermatologist first. Instead of trying to rule a great number of other diseases, I would go right to the source, and that would be a Dermy. His speciality is one thing----skin, and your whole body is covered with skin. I couldnt live without knowing I have my Dermy in the background. I hope you find answers, let us know.
Hi Jo,

Another possibility is telangiectasia. The following website has a good picture for you.

These can vary from light to very red. I tend to get them on my face, hands and lower legs. In my case they are definitely an indicator of disease activity.

I suggest you take a picture to take with you to the doctor in case the spots are not present at the time of your next appointment.

Take care,
Hi Im really glad you posted this because i have a similiar red dot that has appeared on my stomach - it doesnt blanche and i had no idea what it could be - this has given me some insight so thanks for that.

All the best - Kiara
I get them too, although I've yet to mention them to a doctor, because I have the memory of a goldfish and I always forget. Mine are the dust-like ones, they aren't raised and I'm pretty sure they don't blanche. They don't disappear either though, and my platelets are fine so I reckon the cherry haemangiomas are more likely in my case (although I'm only 26, and you're not supposed to get them till you're older - would that be the steroids?) :hehe:
Thanks again for your replies. I find everyone here so helpful & nice!

I think I may try to get in the doctors tomorrow so can show him my red dots then. The pad below my thumb has gone swollen again & it looks like someone has tried to stretch it sideways - doesnt look the nicest so think I need to go before it goes better!

I will let you know what my doc says - if it is anything helpful as so far he just fobs me off!
Sorry for not replying sooner but unfortunately I still dont know what the red dots are even after seeing the doc. He's told me I am perfectly healthy & to stop worrying. He barely looked at the dots when I asked him about it but said it's normal (I am getting more & more of the tiny red specks) & that my hands are fine (just part of getting older - I'm only 31!) & so is the fact my tongue has been swollen for about a month!

Someone previously suggested I see a dermatologist but I live in Staffordshire, in the uk & when I searched for it on google it just brings up hospitals. Can anyone recommend who I would be best seeing for my skin???

I have also tried to swap doctors before as they are a pain to get an appointment but it seems very hard to do as other doctors dont want you to join them if its because you are having trouble with your current docs!!!!

Thanks for all of your help
I have developed thousands of these, most on my arms/chest/tummy/upper legs. I developed them after having my daughter and they also appeared while I was going through a terrible time with lupus symptoms. I have been told they are cherry angioma's and they are nothing to worry about and are normal as well. Most of mine are small specks, a few are larger.

I did quite a bit of research into them since I felt I wasn't getting enough of an explanation from my doctors. Apparently they are more common among women as we age, and they are more common among women with high levels of prolactin, and they are almost always truly harmless with no serious condition behind them. I guess for myself, I've decided that they are harmless, nothing can be done about them, they probably started appearing from high prolactin levels in my case, and I'm still here so can't be too serious after all! :)

It's been nearly 4 years now since I got them, and I am doing better now. It is so hard to *not* relate these visual spots to worsening symptoms because they do serve as a sort of visual reminder to your changing health. So I understand exactly where you're coming from... I've been there and some days I go back there still.
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