Q. I have some red dots around my ankles, feet, and legs. Is this leukemia?

Answered by
Dr. Mubashir Razzaq Khan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 09, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have some red dots around my ankles, feet, and legs. They are permanent because they tend to fade but show up more red after showers or during the night. I recently saw them like two to three months ago, and they may be present for a long time, but I did not know. I saw four doctors at the clinic, and they were not concerned. They did not take any blood tests. They say that if it were a more severe condition, it would be way worse and have other symptoms. I find it weird that they do not go away like for a day, I cannot see them, but after waking up, they are there. Someone told me that maybe I was having a mild case of PPD or Schamberg. Mostly all my dots are isolated ones. I am kind of anxious about leukemia because I saw it could be a symptom. Even if the doctors tell me that petechiae in leukemia are different, mine does not indeed go away. It is weird. Also, gum bleed was there for around a second yesterday and but not anymore today. I just had the COVID vaccine today, and I am anxious too. I had night sweats yesterday, but the environment was hot, and my boyfriend told me that it is because I had too many blankets on. Is it something that I should worry about or not?



Welcome to

I hope you are doing well and safe in the pandemic.

I am a hematologist, and I have been treating blood diseases for the last couple of decades. I closely inspected your images (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). A few of the spots were pigmentations which are seen in whites or fair complexion people. Some others were the hair follicles from where the hair was waxed or shaved. Only one spot seems isolated, which either appears like an insect bite or some capillary or arteriolar end, and it is an insignificant anatomical finding. On the sprain of the foot, it was contact pigmentation due to shoes and socks.

As far as leukemia is concerned, it does not present like this. It is a whole package. Please read the below information on leukemia or blood cancers, and make queries, if any.

The word leukemia means white blood cell cancer in peripheral blood. Leukemia is a relatively old term. Nowadays, it is called hematopoietic and lymphoid neoplasm. A good share of circulating white cells comes from lymphoid tissues such as lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, etc. And the rest of the cells come from bone marrow. Lymphoid tissue is present all over the body, even in the intestine, lungs, liver, etc. The neoplasms of lymphocytes of white blood cells are called lymphomas which are rarely present in the blood. They are present in lymphoid tissue. However, they do infiltrate blood and bone marrow at some later stages (stage 4 disease). Now, certain neoplasms are arising from bone marrow. They are myeloid or lymphoid leukemias. They are most of the time present in peripheral blood.

In addition, leukemia and lymphoma are not merely the presence of certain types of abnormal cells. It is a whole package comprising of anemia, leukopenia or leukocytosis, high ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), thrombocytopenia, unexplained fever, weight loss, arthralgia (joint pain), and myalgia (muscle pain). These are diagnosed using FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology), bone marrow biopsy, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, radiological surveying, etc. These are treated with chemotherapies selected according to the type of cells involved in lesions.


Thank you doctor for the detailed answer,

So I should not worry about leukemia. But, today my gum bled for like a second, and I had night sweats, but I think it is because I was anxious.



Welcome back to

I hope everything is fine. Was the gum bleed while brushing the teeth or spontaneous? Please explain. It could be due to local causes such as inflammation, infection, etc. To be on the safer side, please get CBC (complete blood count) test done and get back with a report. Do hope that everything would be normal. Leukemias are associated with a fever instead of sweating at any time. So, no worries.


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