Red Bumps on Skin

There are numerous causes that may contribute to a red bump on skin that may itch or hurt. This iBuzzle article covers some of the most common ones and how they can be treated.
Most of us take skin infections lightly. However, what looks like a zit may be much more than that. While, in medical sciences some conditions are termed as benign, others may be harmful. However, the best practice on spotting any kind of skin infections is to consult a dermatologist who will locate the infection and treat it the best possible way.

Skin problems are of various types affecting different layers of the skin. Lesions, corns, cysts, nodule, and tags are a few amongst them. Red bumps on skin is another skin condition wherein bumps are developed over the skin. Undoubtedly, there are quite a large number of people who experience this condition, but pay no heed to it out of negligence.

Causes of Red Bumps on Skin

Skin Cysts
Skin cysts are non cancerous, closed packets of tissue that may develop anywhere on the skin. They are slow growing, painless, and appear like small peas filled with fluid, pus, or other material. Cysts usually develop due to some infection, clogging of sebaceous glands (oil glands), or around foreign bodies, like earrings.

Cherry Angioma
A cherry angioma is a small, smooth, cherry-red bump on the skin that can also develop anywhere on the body. Its size may vary from the size of a pinhead to a quarter inch in diameter and is more common in people above the age of 40.

Dermatofibromas are round, red-brownish bump on skin, majorly found on the arms and legs. They contain scar tissues that appear like hard lumps in the skin which grow over time, causing pain and itchiness.

Epidermoid Cysts
Epidermoid cysts or sebaceous cysts, are benign (non-cancerous) skin cysts formed as a result of blocked oil or sebaceous glands in the skin. Commonly found on the genitals, trunk, and back, they can also develop in other areas of the skin. They have a round appearance and when infected, epidermoid cysts become red and tender.

Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles as a result of a chemical or physical irritation caused by shaving or friction from clothing. It appears like a red pimple, bump, or skin rash that commonly develops on the face, thighs, and scalp.

Staph Infection
Staph infection is a skin disorder causing red bumps on the skin that itch due to Staphylococcus, a type of bacteria found around the nose, mouth, genitals, and anus. The bacteria thrive by entering any kind of wound on the skin and then cause infection. The infection is contagious and more common in people having skin burn or eczema.

Other Causes
Keratosis pilaris (appears like chicken skin bumps), lipomas (subcutaneous soft tissue tumors or nodules), neurofibromas (soft, fleshy benign tumors), and insect bite that develop on or under the skin are some causes for itchy red bumps.


Treatment for red bumps that hurt primarily depends on its underlying cause. A cyst usually doesn't cause any harm and most of the time disappears on its own. While cyst which is inflamed or infected needs to removed by making a small incision in the skin with a sharp object and then draining it. Or it can be treated by injecting a cortisone medicine that makes it shrink. Different medicated creams containing urea (Carmol-20) or alpha hydroxy acids (Aqua Glycolic, Lacticare) can be applied twice a day and some moisturizing creams like Acid Mantle, Vaseline, or Complex 15 can be applied on the injected areas after bathing, and then re-applied several times a day.

Bumps that are cosmetically unappealing or subject to bleeding can be removed by lasers or electrocautery, a process of burning or destroying tissue using a small probe with an electric current running through it. However, removal by this method may cause scarring. Tumors or nodules causing no symptoms need no treatment but tumors that can affect a major nerve can be removed surgically.

However, whichever treatment you adopt, it is strongly recommended that you consult a doctor before going ahead with it. Besides this, maintaining proper hygiene by not sharing towels, bed linens, clothes, etc., with a person having red bumps is the best way to prevent this skin disorder.
By Kanika Khara
Published: 2/15/2010
Have Something to Say? | What Others Said