Red Itchy Bump on the Legs: Causes and Treatments

Red itchy bumps on legs can be frustrating, but they are usually nothing to worry about. You may experience bumps from your feet all the way up to the top of your thigh. Most of the time, these bumps are small, raised, and don't burst open. However, in some cases, the bumps can burst and crust over. You may experience itchiness anywhere along this rash on your legs, and it may come and go.

In general, these bumps are not a cause for alarm. Most doctors have seen this type of rash before and know how to diagnose. You may feel the urge to scratch these bumps, but that is not advisable. You can open up the skin and cause an infection by over-scratching. However, if you have already scratched them open, then apply some Neosporin to the site to help prevent infection.


  • The most common cause of red itchy bumps on legs is an allergic reaction. You may not even be aware that you are having a reaction to something and you can even develop an allergy over time. For instance, a latex allergy can cause red itchy bumps, but it does not start with the first exposure to latex. This happens over time. You could be allergic to soap, (laundry or body soap), environmental pollutants like poison ivy, or a new piece of clothing. You should really think hard about what may have changed in your routine, because allergies are the most common cause of this problem.
  • You can also have itchy red bumps on your legs from a viral infection. For instance, chicken pox can cause this type of rash, but it is not the most common presentation. It is more likely to show on the abdomen. Shingles, which is the reawakening of the chicken pox virus often in older people, can also cause these bumps. As with chicken pox, it would be an unusual presentation, because shingles usually occurs on the torso.
  • Vasculitis is an uncommon cause of red itchy bumps on the legs. This is a condition in which the small vessels of the skin of the legs burst and produce red and itchy bumps. If you have diabetes and it is not controlled, you can have these bumps appear on your legs due to vascular problems. In this case, you need to see a doctor to diagnose and treat the cause of your vasculitis, which is usually diabetes.
  • Bug bites are another cause for concern. You may think that it would be impossible for a bug to bite you that many times, but mosquitos and certainly bed bugs are actually able to. You should particularly pay attention to your living conditions to ensure that you are not in a situation where there is an infestation of either type of insect.
  • Another possible cause of red itchy bumps on legs is a skin condition. For instance, dry skin can be intensely itchy, and occasionally, it can look like there are small bumps on your legs. Eczema and psoriasis can show up as small itchy bumps on the legs, but they usually present in other places of the body. However, it is possible that they can cause a rash on your legs, and present in an odd way. It isn't very likely, but it is possible that your rash could be caused by one of these two common skin conditions.


The way to treat itchy red bumps on your legs depends on the cause. The most common way to treat this symptom is by first attempting to remove all allergens. You want to examine your soap choices and determine if you may have been exposed to poison ivy. You can also treat this type of response with anti-histamine drugs, such as Benadryl. That will help cut down the allergic response and decrease the extent of itchiness that you experience. You can also use topical creams to help reduce this itchiness.

If your problem is caused by a virus, then there may not be any treatments available. For instance, with chicken pox, it has to run its course. With shingles, however, you can take an anti-viral medication, such as acyclovir, to help kill off the virus and decrease symptoms. Your doctor must make this determination.

If your problem is caused by vasculitis, then you will need to decipher the underlying cause. It is usually caused by out of control diabetes. If you don't have diabetes, you should probably be examined for it. If you do have diabetes, then you need to control your blood sugar better. Vasculitis is a sign that your blood sugar is out of control and medical intervention is needed.

Red itchy bumps on legs that are caused by bugs also tend to run their course. However, you have to make sure that you remove yourself from the infestation. If you are having outbreaks at night, you may want to consider the possibility that you have bed bugs and call an exterminator. You can use soothing and anti-itch over the counter creams on your legs to help with the itchiness, but for the most part, the bites will resolve on their own.

If you have eczema or psoriasis, you may require medical intervention to help control it. Eczema can heal itself, and it is generally associated with environmental factors. However, psoriasis can be challenging to treat and can result in plaques, or crusty lesions, that form on the skin. You may need an immunosuppressant drug to treat this autoimmune attack on the skin. Your doctor will perform tests on your skin and prescribe strong medications if psoriasis is suspected.

What's more, stress may also make you skin red and itchy. You can read more on webmd research results:

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