We treat red spots and bumps in Surrey (near Vancouver), using a variety of treatment modes. This includes our excel® V laser, which targets vascular lesions and pigments (spider veins, leg veins, rosacea and more). It is similar to the VBeam® laser, and includes a KTP laser, but is a newer technology for faster, safer treatments.
Sometimes, the body forms red spots, red bumps and other types of redness that won’t go away. Or, they are chronic (meaning, they constantly come and go, with flare-ups and triggers). The most common type of chronic redness is rosacea.
Still other times, rosyness appears as a secondary issue of dermatitis – mostly the kinds that cause dry, scaly or irritated skin. For example, eczema, psoriasis, or ecptopic and seborrheic dermatitis.
Redness on the skin can also be temporary. For example, hives or a rash from an allergic reaction, a one-time boil, light acne, shingles, pityriasis rosea, intertrigo, swimmer’s itch or a side-effect from medication. Even bug bites or over-exfoliation can cause red spots.
Cases of mysterious red spots or red bumps on your face and body can be embarrassing – especially if they seem permanent, or develop suddenly. The good news is that, in most cases, red spots on the skin can be treated.
There are many, many causes of red spots on the skin. The list is exhaustive. So, we won’t get into all the possible conditions you could have on this page. However, we will cover the chronic ones that are commonly complained about, and especially the ones that are treatable with solutions and technologies at our clinic. These are mostly aesthetic in nature.
If you think you have an infectious or dangerous skin condition, we would encourage to see a doctor first. The services at our clinic are considered cosmetic, and are not covered by MSP. In the case of red spots, they are usually the ‘second step’ to skin conditions that are not dangerous, or can not be treated any other way. Or, they help when your redness has not responded to other treatments and medications. That said, our on-staff doctor is still authorized to write prescriptions, as part of a holistic approach to the out-of-pocket, cosmetic services we offer.
What types of red spots and bumps can you treat at your cosmetic clinic?
We treat long-term erythema (skin redness) that is both:
- Macular (flat and red)
- Papular (raised and red)
However, regardless of the above types of red spots, the root cause of the condition is what determines whether it can be treated with lasers, or certain medications.
The most common types of permanent red spots that we can treat at our Surrey cosmetic clinic include:
These are called “cherry” angiomas (benign tumours) because they appear on the skin in the colour of a maraschino cherry. They also go by the names, Campbell De Morgan spots, senile angiomas, and cherry hemangiomas. They are basically a type of bright red mole.
Cherry angiomas are usually flat and somewhat circular, but they can be dome shaped. They come in different sizes, but are usually quite small, like a pinpoint. They are most common in pale-skinned individuals over age 30 or 40, or during and after pregnancy in women. You may find cherry angiomas on your body, below the neck, as they are not common on the face.
The cause of cherry angiomas can be linked to chemical exposure or medications, but they can also appear randomly (as far as scientists know, that is).
Intradermal nevi (red or pink moles)
These are like dark pink, fleshy moles or skin tags. They can also be brown, though. They are typically smaller than one centimetre, whether raised or flat. They are not usually irregular in shape, but hair can grow out of them.
Pink or red moles form from sun damage, medication or mere genetics.
Petechiae (blood spots)
These flat red spots are blood collections that are formed under the skin from tiny hemorrhages (broken capillaries that are bleeding under the skin). In time, they start to appear on the surface of the skin as one or more red ‘dots,’ sometimes in a cluster, which can be mistaken for a rash. They can turn brown and purple too, as the blood starts to dry up (coagulate). They don’t lose their colour if you press on them.
Petechiae can result from a host of triggers, including physical exertion, skin infections, bug bites, blood thinning medications or other clotting and blood platelet disorders. They should be monitored if they linger around more than a week.
These are annoying little red, hard bumps on the skin, usually on the backs of the upper arms and thighs. They can feel itchy and dry, but not always. Generally, they form a rough skin texture that is unpleasant to feel and notice. People with this condition often pick at the bumps, though they shouldn’t, since it can make them worse.
Keratosis pilaris is a genetic condition that will keep returning, or stick around permanently. It causes excess keratin build up in your pores, which blocks them. Thus, they form little bumps as they ‘fill up’ with skin. Treating this condition necessitates constant exfoliation. A variety of treatments and medications can help with this. We recommend using a cosmeceutical with sufficient amounts of glycolic acid and Vitamin E, which we sell at our clinic.
These red spots fall more into the category of ‘visible veins’ or rosacea. They are basically spider veins that form anywhere on the body. However, they can show red dots, or form as general redness in a specified area (like the nose or cheeks). So, some people call them red spots. The condition is usually permanent if not treated.
Telangiectasia results from enlarged blood vessels. The reason the blood vessels enlarge in the first place can be due to sun exposure, various skin conditions, pregnancy, genetics or unhealthy habits, like alcoholism. Though, no one really knows the true answer to this question.
Poikiloderma of Civatte
This skin condition often comes with age, and looks like permanent, red spotted areas on the neck, chest or face. The mottled areas look like textured skin with intermittent pale specks. The condition can also appear brown with pale specks.
Poikiloderma is often caused by sun damage and photoaging, including in children. Good sun protection is absolutely critical when treating and preventing this skin condition. That said, some sources say this condition can also be caused by chemical reactions, immunity disorders or genetics – especially if those issues make the skin extra sensitive to ultraviolet light (e.g. sun rays and tanning beds). Hormonal fluctuations can also be related. Either way, even if a person has these other related problems, the redness itself forms when the skin is exposed to the sun. Thankfully, it can be treated, even if not cured.
These are raised collections of excess skin growth that start to bleed. They appear singularity, as a small red ‘bubble’ on the skin (2 centimetres or less). They can turn purple or brown as the bleeding slows down, which can take a few weeks. If the skin barrier breaks, the bleeding can cause a rougher surface. If not, it stays smooth.
Pyogenic granulomas are a bit of a mystery to the medical community. However, we know they often start from injury to the skin, such as a bug bite, a cut, or something else. Their probability can increase if you have a hormonal condition or change, such as being pregnant. Medications that affect hormones (like birth control pills) can also cause these lesions. That said, so can acne medication, like isotretinoin (Accutane).
The good news is that these nodule, pustule-like red spots are not cancerous. However, they can look like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma from sun damage. For that reason, they should always be checked by a doctor.
Haemangiomas (red birthmarks, a.k.a. ‘strawberry naevus’)
These red and purple or blue spots can appear at birth or in early childhood, which is why they are sometimes called birthmarks. They can be raised or flat.
Haemangiomas are actually benign tumours, since they form from a collection of excess cell growth in blood vessels. They often disappear on their own. But, if they don’t, they can be treated with lasers, medication or surgery.
Haemangiomas can sometimes leave a stretch mark or scar. These can also be treated at our clinic.
If your child has one of these strawberry marks, we’d encourage you to see your family doctor or paediatrician as a first step. This goes especially if the red mark is on the eye, the lips, has formed a sore, or is painful in any way.
Port wine stains (a.k.a nevus flammeus, capillary malformations, ‘firemarks’)
Like haemangiomas, port wine stains often start out as pink, blotchy marks in infancy or early childhood. However, they don’t go away on their own. Instead, they usually turn darker, even becoming blue or purple, and forming into bumps. They also grow as your skin grows (if they started in childhood). They are common on the face, rather than on the body.
Port wine stains are a collection of deformed, enlarged blood vessels. Typically they are not dangerous, and are more of a quality-of-life issue. In those cases, they can be treated with lasers. However, depending on their location, and other skin conditions that form around them, they can be indicative of other, very serious problems. They should always be looked at by a doctor.
Macular acne scars
Inflamed acne can leave behind red, flat scars, which can sometimes turn brown or dark purple. They take a long time to go away, but eventually fade. That said, there are treatments that can speed up their healing process.
We write more about acne scars, and their treatments, on this page of our website.
Folliculitis and staph infections
Folliculitis and staph infections look a lot like acne. They form pustules on the skin that can often be squeezed to release a white substance or pus. They can happen anywhere on the body. However, these conditions are not the same as acne, and are not always treated the same way. Still, they can leave macular red scars the same way that acne can, because of their ability to break open the skin.
Folliculitis can happen as a result of an infection. It’s counterpart condition, pseudofolliculitis, can happen from ingrown hairs. The latter is common with repeated shaving. To solve this, laser hair removal may be recommended. However, actual folliculitis or staph infections need to be treated medically – lasers will not help it.
You should see a family doctor if you have formed an infection that looks like acne on the body.
What solutions do you offer for red spots and red bumps on the skin?
Depending on our findings during your initial consultation with us, we may recommend any of the following solutions, or a mix of them, to treat your red spots.
If your red spots look like they could be dangerous, we will ask you to seek a diagnosis from your family doctor, first.
KTP laser (532 nm)
The KTP laser is a popular alternative to its common counterpart, the pulsed-dye, 595 nm laser (found in the Vbeam laser). In fact, for some red lesions, it performs better and faster, according to a clinical study.
This laser energy wavelength is absorbed by melanin and oxyhaemoglobin chromophores in the skin and blood. These are basically, the red-colour formations causing your red spots. When these red cells absorb the heat produced from the laser, they die off, and then clear out of your skin. Since this laser ‘likes’ red tones, it leaves the surrounding skin intact, thus treating only the skin condition in question.
The excel® V laser at our clinic uses the KTP wavelength at different settings, and with specialized cooling methods, to keep your skin unharmed during treatments.
Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm)
This is a type of laser wavelength found on multiple laser brands. The reason it’s important for red and brown spots, is because it is attracted to pigment that goes beneath the surface level of the skin, close to where hair follicles are. This is often where the source of red spots and brown spots occur. So, it can often destroy the lingering cells that are causing the discolouration to show through the top layer of skin.
The excel® V has this wavelength built into it, along with the 532 nm KTP wavelength, mentioned above.
Other laser types and treatments for red spots
We host a wide variety of lasers at our clinic. Depending on the cause of your red spots, we may use a certain laser for a specific purpose. For example, our Surrey treatments for red spots can be done with:
- Erbium YAG (Er:YAG) – to ablate the skin, for pink or red mole removal without cutting.
- Fraxel® DUAL laser – to heal red spots from sun damage.
- PicoSure™, enlighten® or GentleMax Pro™ – to treat red or brown pigments in the skin from other causes.
And so on. Whether using the above solutions, or others, is likely a laser at our clinic that we can use to help treat your red spots.
Electrosurgery or electrocauterization
Commonly used for red moles or singular, raised red bumps, this method involves removing the lesion with electric heat. The heat kills off the cells that form the lesion, whether it they are red or brown. We use a Hyfrecator for this method of papule, mole and skin tag removal.
This is an in-clinic, out-patient, mild surgery that removes the top layer of cells forming a red bump, like a red mole or excess growth. Instead of being done with a laser, it is done with surgical tools, and involves skin removal, which can bleed. However, the procedure does not delve as deep as cutting out the skin where a mole or red lesion has formed.
Prescription medication and cosmeceuticals
Prescription medication – whether topical or oral – can help with certain red spots. Cosmeceuticals can also be just the thing you need, when your skin condition can use a mild amount of a certain ingredient to do the job.
If you have red spots from sun damage, we list some common solutions used to treat these issues, here.
If you have red acne scars that are hyperpigmented, you can learn how these are treated with medications and cosmeceuticals, here.
If you have rosacea, prescription solutions and skin care products for this condition are listed here.
If you have something else, our doctor can make recommendations when he sees you in person.
How are red spots diagnosed and how do I know if mine are dangerous?
Self-diagnosing your red spots is ill-advised, especially if they do not go away in a reasonable amount of time (such as a few weeks, or less). They can be indications of other problems. Worse, they can be misdiagnosed, or a lot more serious than you may think.
While it is great to gather knowledge about health conditions from the internet, this should not be your end-source for medical determinations. We encourage you to visit a doctor about your skin conditions, even if you have spent time learning about them already.
Doctors will have extensive education on dermatology. They have often seen a lot more than what the internet can describe. They will also have experience with anomalies within skin conditions. For example, the internet may not tell you that certain red spots can be a different colour on some people. Or, that one condition can look like another condition. This is not something you want to miss.
When you get the ‘clear’ from your family doctor, or have tried medical routes to treatments, you can then make well-informed decisions about whether or not you want to treat cosmetic, benign red spots with lasers. That’s where we come in.
If you do see us as a first step, you’ll be in safe hands knowing that our clinic is led by a family physician. He is able to help with diagnosis, prescriptions, specialist referrals or treatments. However, since we are a private clinic, these services will be billable. They are not covered by MSP, nor most insurance companies.
What is the risk of treating red marks with lasers or medication?
Since the list of things that can cause red marks is so expansive, this is a very difficult question to answer with any surety. Plus, the way your own body reacts to laser treatments, or medications, is also unpredictable to a 100% degree.
That said, we can say we have had a lot of success – without side effects – when treating patients who are eligible for our red spot removal services. So generally, the risks are low. And often, not treating a serious red mark can be more dangerous than what any medication or laser can do.
The most common risks when using lasers to treat red spots will be pigmentation, inflammation, burns, bruising or irritation of some sort. These issues usually heal in due time, or they can be treated in other ways.
That said, laser side effects are often rooted in operational errors. This is why it is best to use a very experienced laser technician, preferably in a doctor-led clinic like ours. The laser industry is not regulated, nor secluded to certain buyers who can get their hands on these powerful instruments. So, choosing a safe laser clinic is the onus of the consumer, unfortunately.
When treating redness with medications, a long list of side effects are always a liability. However, these are often listed on their prescription labels, or told to you by your doctor or pharmacist.
It is not unheard of to experience allergic reactions to some medications. Sometimes, a patient won’t know they are allergic until they try a medication. Other times, this issue is preventable, if a doctor asks the right questions in advance of writing a prescription.
What is the cost your Surrey red spot treatments?
Different types of cosmetic red spots and red bumps are treated in different ways, and thus come at different costs.
The location, severity and extent of your condition can also determine what solutions we’ll recommend for your case. Oftentimes, a single red spot condition will have more than one treatment option. Or, the condition is best treated using a mix of technologies.
To find out your best treatment path, and what it will cost, we recommend you come in for a consultation at our clinic.
Please note: we do not provide MSP-covered services at our clinic. If your aim is to seek medical treatment for your condition, we encourage you to visit a doctor, as a first step. Most private insurance companies, that we know of, will not cover our services for red spots, either. However, it doesn’t hurt for you to ask, just in case. Typically, treatments for red spots in Surrey, at our clinic, are billed directly to the patient.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.