There are several common causes for itchy, red bumps or patches on one or more skin areas. The conditions covered here are mostly limited to just a few bumps or to small areas of the body. Some of these disorders, however, may also involve large body areas, but these are discussed specifically under the Itchy Rash section.
The location on the body of the bumps often provides a clue to their cause. Genital bumps may indicate molluscum or scabies, while an itchy scalp may be caused by head lice, a fungus (such as ringworm), or a form of eczema called lichen simplex. A form of eczema on the hand (dyshidrotic eczema) and scabies affect the hands or feet, while an inherited condition, keratosis pilaris, usually affects the upper arms. Insect bites are typically found only in exposed areas that are not covered by clothing or hair. Sometimes, the type of insect may be deduced by the body location and pattern of bites. Flying insects bite any exposed area, and the bites are often sporadic, while flea bites tend to be on the legs in groups of 3 or more nearby bumps. Impetigo (a contagious bacterial infection) is common on the face but may occur anywhere, as may the viral infection called molluscum.
Click any of the itchy bump pictures below to help identify a specific health concern.