Itchy Bumps on Legs, Red, Small, White Meaning & Causes

Your skin is susceptible to blemishes, rashes and bumps of all kinds. Most of outbreaks go away in no time without any treatment. This article focuses on itchy bumps on the legs, the possible causes and treatment options.

Itchy Bumps on Legs Meaning & Causes


When itchy bumps appear on your legs, it is a sign that you either have an underlying skin condition or your skin is reacting to some allergens. It is not easy to determine what exactly causes the itchy bumps and you may need your doctor’s help.


There are many reasons as to why you develop itchy bumps on your legs. Mayo clinic explains that the causes of itchy bumps on legs range from bug bites, reactions to new oils, and medications. The main causes of these itchy bumps include the following;


Contact with allergens is likely to cause itchy bumps on your legs. For instance if you use new laundry detergent, your legs may be itchy after putting on clothes such as socks. You therefore need to be careful which products come into contact with your skin.

Insect bites

Insects are found almost everywhere on earth.  For the insects that live on the ground, they are likely to access your legs. Fire ant bites as well as mosquito bites are some of the causes of itchy bumps on legs. As long as your legs are not covered, you can be attacked by insects.


One of the best alternative Health specialists in the United States, Dr. Marcola, advises that using insect repellents containing DEET is dangerous as it worsens the condition by causing even more itchy bumps. DEET refers to N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide which is the most active ingredient in most insect repellants.


A research shows that, in some cases, anxiety shows itself inform of itchy bumps on your legs. Too much anxiety can also show up as hives which have a close relationship with itchy bumps on the legs.


American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology explains that about20 % of the people experience hives in their lifetime. Hives are brought about by allergic reactions and they can found everywhere. You may first notice the first reaction on your face but you soon realize that they spread all over your body including your legs. Hives cause itching on your legs. [1]


Shaving is one of the major reasons you develop itchy bumps on your legs. When you shave your legs using razors, you are likely to experience some cuts and eventually ingrown hairs. These results to inflammation of your skin and consequently formation of itchy bumps which cause a lot of discomfort.

shaving causes itchy bumps leg arms

In addition to that, some of the perfumed creams that you apply after shaving cause more irritations on your legs. Shaving using a razor is therefore harmful and may require you to be extremely careful to avoid micro cuts.

Heat rash

It is not every time that you expose your legs to heat that you end up with itchy bumps. Exposure to extreme heat causes heat rushes and that is the time you will most probably have itchy bumps on your legs.

Bacterial skin infection

Some skin infections manifest themselves in the form of itchy bumps on the legs and your feet as well. Contributing to this is folliculitis which is an infection of the hair follicles. You may need to get treatment for this condition if you are to get rid of the itchy bumps on your legs.

Small itchy red bumps on legs & Arms

The itchy bumps you get on your legs may vary in color. Mostly the bump will either be red or white.  This is usually important as it guides your physician towards determination of the cause of itchy bumps on your legs.

As well, the bumps appearing on your legs may vary in size. At the start, the bumps appear small but with time, the bumps may grow bigger. Large bumps may be an indicator that the condition has worsened. The size of the bumps varies depending on what exactly causes the bump.

Small vs large

Small bumps on your legs have are caused by various harmless things. In most cases, small itchy bumps are a result of shaving using a razor. Keratosis pilaris, a common skin condition is also another common cause of small bumps on legs.

Mayo Clinic points out those small itchy bumps on your legs may be a manifestation of atopic dermatitis. This is also referred to as eczema.[2]

Large bumps on the other hand are in most cases as a result of an inflammation of the area with the itchy bumps. When the small bumps develop, you will realize that they will swell if you scratch them. You are therefore advised to leave your bumps until they go away and get ways of relieving yourself of any irritation.

Red & White

When the bumps on the legs appear as red, they are usually a sign of a number of conditions. The conditions are such as; folliculitis, eczema, and keratosis pilaris. Other reasons for red bumps on legs are insect bites and hives. Your dermatologist with help you determine if the red bumps on your legs are pimples or not. [3]

White bumps also have similar causes as the red bumps. The major difference is that the bumps appear as white when infected and as such, pus filled.

Shaving for instance can cause both red and white bumps. White pimples or acne eventually result to white bumps on your legs. Other conditions associated with white bumps are; molluscum contagiosum and keratosis pilaris.

Red bumps on legs not itchy

Sometimes, the red bumps on your body do not itch at all.  As much as such bumps have different causes from the itchy ones, they are in some cases caused by the same thing. Some of the causes of non-itchy red bumps are;


You may have been born with red marks on your body. When the birthmark is represented by a red blemish, it may indicate vascular birthmark. This reference is because such birthmarks are caused by abnormal blood vessels in your skin.


These are skin growths likely to appear on any parts of your body. In most cases, these growths are as a result of blood vessels clumping together. After clumping, the blood vessels appear on your skin as red bumps that are not itchy.


Known to develop on the lower legs of a woman, dermatofibroma appears as non-itchy and non-cancerous bumps on legs. It appears as red bumps on the body.

Bug bites

Red bumps caused by bug bites may or may not be itchy. Mosquitoes are responsible for most bumps but sometimes, the bumps may have been caused by bed bugs. Check your surroundings to determine which of the two is responsible.

Itchy bumps on legs in winter causes & meaning

When winter sets in, you are prone to developing an itchy skin. Some people refer to this as winter itch. This itch is accompanied by bumps although it is not the case all the time. Dryness of the skin during winter is the main reason you are likely to develop the itchy bumps.

During winter, there is less humidity in the air as well as extremely cold temperatures.  This weather may encourage you to take hot showers which are harmful to your skin when used too frequently. Hot water robs you of essential oils. A dry skin ends up itchy and once you scratch it, there is a high probability that a bump forms.

Itchy bumps on legs like mosquito bites meaning

You may have bumps on legs that resemble mosquito bites but their real cause is a totally different thing. For instance, hives appearing on the legs resemble mosquito bites. Hives are shown by appearance of red bumps that are raised and look like insect bites.

That aside, the bumps that result from bed bug bites resemble the bites by a mosquito. It is generally important not to conclude on the real cause of the bumps on your legs without consulting your doctor. The bumps may, or may not be a result of mosquito bites.

Itchy pus filled bumps on legs meaning

When the bumps on your legs become filled with pus, it is an indicator that they are infected. When the hair follicles are damaged, mostly after shaving, they become exposed to bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria that is commonly associated with infecting the hair follicles.

This condition which results from bacterial infection is commonly known as folliculitis and is characterized by pus filled bumps which are in most cases itchy. When your bumps are pus filled, you are advised to see your dermatologist for proper treatment. This is especially if the bumps spread and fail to go away in a few days.

Red itchy bumps on legs while pregnant meaning

When pregnant, you may experience various skin conditions. Among them is PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). This refers to an outbreak where you develop red bumps on your skin. The bumps are in most cases pale.  The bumps are also itchy and they may also sting. During pregnancy, the bumps are likely to appear on the arms, buttocks and legs. [4]

What do Hard dry itchy leg bumps indicate

In most cases, when your legs have bumps that are itchy, hard and dry, it is a sign that you have a dry skin. The next most likely thing is that your skin will start flaking. See your doctor regarding dryness of the skin as soon as you notice appearance of bumps that are itchy, hard and dry. Try taking a lot of water to hydrate your body. Additionally, use moisturizing natural oils for your skin.

How to Deal with Itchy bumps on legs

The itchy bumps on your legs cause a lot of discomfort. Below are guidelines on how you can get rid of such bumps;

Shave well

As mentioned above, most people who get itchy red bumps are said to have improperly shaved their legs. If you must shave your legs, you need to be very careful. Ensure you shave the legs when wet. You must also shave in the direction towards which the hair grows.


Your skin sometimes becomes clogged. When you get ingrown hairs that later result to bumps on your legs, you may need to exfoliate you skin. This is the simplest way to get off dead skin cells from the skin surface of your legs. When the skin pores are opened, the ingrown hair finds its way out of the trap. This allows for the healing and as such, disappearance of the bump.


Here, you are required to make a mixture of three tablespoons of milk or water with two tablespoons of crushed oatmeal to make a scrub. Oatmeal scrub smoothens out the bumps on your legs.  When applying it, you should do so in a gentle and circular motion.

Coconut oil

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil is used to treat bumps by first preventing any further inflammations. Coconut oil is moisturizing to the skin in the case where the bumps are as a result of a dry skin.  After applying the coconut oil on the legs, you should leave it for some minutes then use water to rinse your legs in order to do away with any sugar crystals.

Apple cider vinegar

The acidity in apple cider vinegar aids in exfoliation of your skin.  When applied on the legs where the bumps have formed, vinegar aids in eliminating any excess skin that clogs the pores. This allows the ingrown hairs to grow outwards.

Use topical cream

In your nearest drug store, you can buy a topical cream which you will be required to apply on the affected region. The topical creams in most cases prevent and reduce inflation of the bumps reducing the time taken by the bumps to heal.

Leave the bumps alone

Sometimes, the best to do is to allow the bumps to go away on their own. Not unless you experience extreme discomfort, you could give time for the bumps to heal without any treatment. When given time, for example, the ingrown hairs grow outwards allowing the bump to heal.

Moisturize your skin

During winter, your skin may be left so dry that you end up with bumps. At such a time, you must ensure that your skin is well moisturized and that you keep your body hydrated. Drink a lot of water so that you replace the lost moisture. Use natural moisturizers such as they rarely react with your skin. When you moisturize your skin, it remains soft and any itching is lessened.

Use calamine lotion

If the itchy bumps on your legs are caused by insect bites, you are advised to use calamine lotion. This is a lotion which soothes your skin freeing your from any itchiness or discomfort.  Keep your legs covered at all times to avoid any further insect bites.






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