There are many causes for red dots and spots on the skin.

If you have health anxiety, multiple sclerosis may be the first thing that comes to your mind as to the possible cause of newly-noticed red dots on your skin.

“Virtually all symptoms of MS are a result of the damage MS does to the brain and spinal cord,” says Hadley King, MD, a board certified dermatologist who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology.

“That includes symptoms that involve the skin such as numbness, tingling, pain and itching, as well as phantom sensations,” continues Dr. King.

“There is some evidence that blood vessel fragility may be an aspect of MS. This has been noted on the limbs of MS patients, manifesting as blood spots called petechiae” [pronounced pee-tek-ee-ay].

“Petechiae can be seen in other autoimmune conditions as well, including scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis.”

If you fear that you have multiple sclerosis, a neurologist can make the diagnosis after conducting tests.

MS is an uncommon cause of red dots on the skin, being that there are nearly 20 possible causes – including cancer. 

Dr. King worked as an attending physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, specializing in cutaneous oncology. Her research has been published in numerous medical journals. Currently she’s with SKINNEY Medspa + Wellness in NYC.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



Top image: Shutterstock, Andrey_Popov