What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition where you don’t have enough good red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body. Some of the symptoms of anemia are tiredness, dizziness, feeling weak, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be mild or severe. Anemia occurs due to quite a few reasons. Some of these reasons include not making enough red blood cells, not having enough iron (which carries the oxygen in your blood) or having red blood cells being destroyed too fast.
People with anemia can sometimes get a rash called an anemia rash. This rash is itchy and presents with red dots. Anemia rashes are more common in people with aplastic anemia and iron deficiency anemia.
Aplastic anemia is a condition where your bone marrow does not make blood cells properly. Your bone marrow makes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where you don’t have or make enough iron. Iron is an essential nutrient needed to make hemoglobin and carry oxygen to your red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia is a very common condition across the world.
Does Anemia Cause Rashes?
Anemia can cause rashes, especially iron deficiency anemia. However, the reason for these rashes is currently not well known. Some research indicates that it could be due to skin thinking. Not having enough iron makes your skin thin, and you lose more water through your skin as a result. This causes your skin to be dry and itchy. You then end up scratching it and can get rashes.
In aplastic anemia, people have low platelet counts since the bone marrow is not making it properly. Platelets are what helps your blood clot. Not having enough platelets can cause more bleeding of the small blood vessels. This may cause the red dots you see in an anemia rash.
Anemia Skin Rash Symptoms
The symptoms of anemia skin rash are typically:
- Itchy skin
- Red dots
If you have a rash and you think it may be due to your anemia or iron deficiency, please consult your healthcare practitioner. Ask them to look at your rash and discuss any of the symptoms of low iron you may be experiencing.
How To Treat Anemia Rash
If you are looking for information about how to treat anemia rash, you have to treat the cause and the symptoms of the rash together. Some treatment options include:
- Topical corticosteroids or antihistamines to help with itching
- Frequent moisturization of the affected areas
- Dietary changes to include more iron-rich foods
- Iron supplements to treat iron deficiency anemia
If your anemia rashes are due to aplastic anemia, speak to your healthcare provider about more treatment options. For iron supplements, ask about heme iron supplements for better iron absorption with lower side effects.
Anemia is a common condition caused by a lack of iron. Sometimes with anemia, people can get a rash called an anemia rash. This rash presents as dry, itchy patches with red dots. While the exact cause of these rashes is not known, it is thought to be due to skin thinning as a result of low iron. If this is happening to you, ask your doctor what they can do to help your rash. The most important way to help is to treat your anemia through iron-rich foods or iron supplements.
- Mayo Clinic: Anemia
- Cleveland Clinic: Anemia Rash
- Healthline: How to Recognize and Treat an Anemia Rash
- Medical News Today: What’s to know about anemia rash?
- Iron Catch: Iron Deficiency Skin Problems – Can Low Iron Levels Cause Anemia Rash?