What Causes Spots on Legs?


Quick Answer

Possible causes of spots on legs, or leg rashes, include an allergic reaction, irritant contact dermatitis, a viral infection, an autoimmune disorder and varicose veins, according to Healthgrades. Peripheral artery disease and improperly treated diabetes may also lead to leg rashes.

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Full Answer

Leg rashes are associated with various conditions, and they can appear as spots or dots with a red, purple, silver or white hue, states Healthgrades. They can peel off or become itchy, raised, flat or scaly. Some rashes affect a large, solid region.

Irritant contact dermatitis is a mild condition that occurs when a person is exposed to an irritant, explains Healthgrades. Individuals who are allergic or sensitive to certain substances, such as insect bites, poison ivy or shaving cream, may experience a severe leg rash. Potential causes of a chronic, persistent leg rash include eczema and psoriasis, which causes raised, itchy spots with red edges and silver scales. Severe causes of leg rashes include a bacterial or fungal infection called cellulitis and allergic purpura, a condition characterized by purple spots on the legs.

Leg rashes accompanied by a feeling of tightened, closed airways may indicate a fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, notes Healthgrades. Contact a medical professional immediately if an allergy-associated rash is accompanied by wheezing, shortness of breath, or a swollen face, mouth or throat.

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