What Are the Dots on My Legs That Look Like Hair Follicles?

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Zach Klein

Raised bumps or dots on the leg can be embarrassing, particularly for women who shave their legs. You may wonder why these dots that look like hair follicles are so obvious on an area of the body you want to appear smooth and sleek.

Hair Follicles

The most obvious answer regarding dots on the legs that look like hair follicles is, of course, that they are hair follicles. Shaving or wearing tight clothing are two issues that can cause a hair follicle to become irritated and, therefore, more obvious to the naked eye.


According to the National Institutes of Health, folliculitis is a condition in which the hair follicle becomes infected with bacteria. This can result in a crusty or rash-like appearance around the hair follicle.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a condition that can cause raised bumps or red dots on the legs, arms or cheeks. According to the National Institutes of Health, this condition occurs more frequently in youth and can disappear as a person ages.


Neither an irritated hair follicle, folliculitis nor keratosis pilaris are life threatening conditions. The effects of dots on the legs is more likely to be emotional rather than physical, although constant picking at leg dots or hair follicles can lead to permanent scarring.


Taking care to keep the skin on your legs moisturised can help reduce the appearance of irritation or keratosis pilaris. A doctor can prescribe a lotion to fight the bacteria that causes folliculitis.