General Practice 2022

Polka dots on the body: 6 main causes (and what to do)

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Polka dots on the body: 6 main causes (and what to do)
Polka dots on the body: 6 main causes (and what to do)

The small bumps on the body, which can appear in adults or children, usually do not indicate any serious illness, mainly due to keratosis pilaris, pimples, folliculitis or skin allergy, for example. In addition, the presence of polka dots can also be a sign of gluten intolerance, especially if it is accompanied by intense itching and gastrointestinal symptoms.

In the presence of polka dots on the skin, it is important that the dermatologist is consulted, so that it is possible to evaluate the characteristics of the polka dots, where they appear and if they are accompanied by other symptoms and, in this way, it is possible to conclude the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment.

The main causes of polka dots on the body are:

1. Keratosis pilaris

Pillets that result from keratosis pilaris, appear mainly on the side and back of the arms or on the buttocks, due to excessive production of keratin by the skin. This alteration is a genetic characteristic, and therefore there is no cure, but when it is not properly treated, it can become inflamed, if the person is moving with dirty hands, and lead to the darkening of some regions of the skin.

What to do: Polka dots tend to appear more often in summer, due to sweating and tight clothing. Therefore, it is recommended to wear fresh clothes, which allow the skin to "breathe" and avoid exfoliating, as they can worsen the condition. The use of body moisturizers based on urea, glycolic acid or salicylic acid is indicated to control the production of dead cells and provide the necessary hydration. Learn more about keratosis pilaris.

2. Pimples or blackheads

Pimples and blackheads have the appearance of reddish polka dots and affect teenagers and young people more often, especially in summer and can even cause some itching, especially when the body is sweaty.

What to do: It is advisable to wash the area well and use products adapted for acne-prone skin, such as Acnase or Vitanol A, for example, to control sebum production and oiliness of the skin and prevent pimples from becoming bigger and inflamed. Regarding blackheads, you should resist the urge to squeeze, because this habit can generate small scars that are later difficult to remove. Learn the best ways to fight blackheads and pimples.

3. Folliculitis

Ingrown hairs are another common cause of small bumps or bumps on the arms, groin, legs and armpits, which are usually related to shaving with a razor, but can also happen when wearing very tight clothes, which are rubbing against the skin, making hair growth difficult.

What to do: You should exfoliate your skin frequently, especially before shaving and always wear loose-fitting clothes that aren't too tight. When there is a suspicion that the site has become infected, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to apply for 7 to 10 days. See more about folliculitis.

4. Skin allergy

Skin allergy can cause intense itching, which can even lead to small crusts forming or injuring the skin. The allergy can be caused by some foods, animal hair, clothing fabric, different cosmetic products or an animal that has come into contact with the skin, for example.

What to do: The doctor may recommend treatment with an antiallergic such as hydroxyzine or cetirizine, for example, and washing the area that has been exposed to the allergen, in cases lighter. In more serious cases, it is necessary to go to an emergency room, as injectable medication may be necessary.Learn more examples of allergy remedies.

5. Herpes zoster

Herpes zoster is an infectious disease caused by the same virus as chickenpox and whose main symptom is the appearance of red bumps on the skin, especially on the chest, back and belly, and they evolve into blisters that itch and hurt a lot. Learn about other symptoms of herpes zoster.

What to do: It is important that the general practitioner, dermatologist or infectious disease specialist be consulted so that the diagnosis can be concluded and, thus, treatment to alleviate the pain caused by blisters and decrease the activity of the virus, and the use of antivirals is usually indicated.

6. Gluten intolerance

Gluten intolerance, in addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, can also be symptomatic of dermatitis, which is a skin change in which you can see little balls on the body that are very itchy, and there may also be a burning sensation at the site of blisters and local peeling.

What to do: The doctor may indicate the use of ointments or creams in the area of ​​blisters, to relieve symptoms, in addition to being recommended to change eating habits, avoiding as much as possible foods that contain gluten in their composition, such as wheat, rye and barley, for example. See how to eliminate gluten from the diet.

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