White bumps on your legs can be unsightly and unsettling. The bumps might cause your legs to itch or sting, or you may feel no symptoms at all. If you have noticed the appearance of tiny white bumps on your legs, visit your doctor or dermatologist to discover the exact cause and to learn how you can treat them.
Although less common, acne bumps can appear on your body as well as on your face. Whitehead bumps are a common type of acne. According to MedlinePlus, when your pores become clogged by oils, dead skin cells and bacteria, the buildup will accumulate and form a tiny white-tipped plug. Common causes of acne include excessive sweating, fluctuating hormone levels, beauty and hygiene product residue and stress. White bumps can also form on your legs if you get bitten by fire ants. According to MedlinePlus, a fire ant is a type of ant that injects venom into your body when it bites. Some fire ant bites form tiny, white-tipped, pus-filled blisters that can potentially cause pain, swelling and itching.
Using certain over-the-counter acne medications may help clear up acne-related whiteheads on your legs. Look for products that contain active ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulfur. According to MedlinePlus, these compounds work to clear up acne whiteheads by drying the oil-filled plug and killing harmful bacteria. For fire ant bites, MedlinePlus suggests gently washing your legs with water and soap and then placing an ice pack on the area for 10-minute intervals.
Avoid picking or bursting acne-related white bumps on your legs as this will cause the oil and bacteria to leak from the plug. If these substances come into contact with neighboring sections of skin, the surrounding area may become inflamed. Severe skin inflammation can cause larger, more painful cysts to appear in place of the small whiteheads. Fire ant bites can be dangerous if you are allergic to the venom. According to MedlinePlus, those allergic to fire ant venom can experience symptoms like throat swelling, difficulty breathing and rapid heartbeat.
Keeping your skin clean is one way to help prevent acne-related white bumps from forming on your legs. Always take a shower after any activity that causes you to sweat heavily such as after exercising to wash off the sweat, dirt and oil. Also, use non-greasy lotions and body creams that will not clog your pores. To help reduce your risk of being bitten by fire ants, use caution when spending time outdoors. Learn to identify the fire ants’ above-ground mounds so that you can avoid stepping on one.
According to MedlinePlus, the duration of acne-related whiteheads varies from person to person. For some, whiteheads can clear up in just a few days. For others, whiteheads may take several weeks to heal. According to MedlinePlus, white bumps caused by fire ant bites typically last for three to eight days and should clear up on their own if you are not allergic. An allergic reaction requires medical attention.