There can be a lot of reasons why you suddenly start seeing dark spots on legs. They range from nothing serious to an illness that you immediately have to begin curing. If you suddenly noticed that you have a lot of dark spots on your legs and are struggling to understand what they are and how to treat them, you can read our article where we will help you deal with them!
Noticing dark spots on legs may be confusing and get you into an anxious state of mind. People who get them start wondering perhaps there is something wrong with their lifestyle or diet. In addition to usually being a health disorder, those spots also look not very appealing, which is especially evident in summer when you have to avoid wearing skirts or shorts to hide them from the public view. That is why, if you are asking yourself "why am I getting brown spots on my legs?", you have to identify the cause of those spots and start your treatment as soon as possible.
Dark spots on legs symptoms
The person who has noticed that there are some suspicious dark spots on their legs might not even see this at first. Sometimes, however, there are symptoms which contribute to this problem and make a person realise the seriousness of it faster than usual. These symptoms might be:
- Unusual swelling in the ankles, legs, or feet. Your legs may start swelling all of a sudden, and this happens unusually often. Even exercising, diets and good rest does not always help.
- Discolouration of a brown colour on your legs. Skin discolouration is the medical term for dark spots on your legs. This is a clear symptom of a health disorder and has to be treated soon.
- Thickening of the ankle skin. Perhaps you are not only getting those spots but also feeling like your skin near those places is getting thicker than before. This is one more warning sign that something is not right.
- Open sores on your ankles. If you see that the inner or outer part of your ankle has got some red sores and they are not going away when you apply a cream, then maybe this is a part of a bigger problem.
Overall, those are the primary signs that something might be wrong with your health, and you should visit a specialist. Next up will be the leading causes of those brown spots that have appeared on your legs, and what you should do to get rid of them.
Dark spots on legs causes
There are plenty of reasons why you can suddenly get discolouration on your legs, but among them all, there is a primary one, which you have to know everything about if you want to treat your legs.
Venous stasis dermatitis
The condition which is called venous stasis dermatitis is one of the most common problems which cause skin discolouration. This is one of the inflammatory issues, and usually, it is caused by vein problems. It happens when the veins which are underneath the skin stop working correctly. Therefore, the blood leaks out of the veins, leading to the skin discolouration.
Very often, this disease begins when you experience minor skin irritation, and the skin gets itchy in the areas which are affected. Later, the skin in those areas starts looking translucent. At this point, there is a significant chance that the skin discolouration will happen, and the skin becomes thick and feels like leather when you touch it. Quite frequently, the symptoms remain for a long time even after you treat the disease.
What is the problem with this skin condition? People who have it are most likely to suffer from vein disorder called chronic venous insufficiency, which is also called CVI. The responsibility of the veins is carrying blood to the heart, and it can be especially difficult for the lower leg veins. So, with the time they start becoming damaged, and blood returns into the blood vessels. This, in turn, causes the vessel weakening and sometimes can lead to the varicose vein.
If this condition remains unchecked, then it can lead to more severe problems, such as skin discolouration in other places and other health complications. Besides, the affected skin becomes very vulnerable to different injuries. Even small cuts or hits might develop into venous ulcers, which are particularly difficult to cure. The ulcers are very prone to infections and can return even if it seems like they are completely healed.
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Other causes of dark spots on legs
Venous stasis dermatitis can be only one part of the bigger problem. There are other reasons why you can experience those weird spots on your legs.
- Ageing. The skin inevitably ages together with a person, and after many years of exposing yourself to the sun rays, it will be natural that the age spots appear. Those spots can appear anywhere on your body, including legs. But mostly, they appear in the areas which were sunburned or exposed to a lot of suns. Those spots mostly appear in people who are 55 and older. They are not dangerous, but if you do not like their look and wish to get rid of them, they can be removed through freezing, skin sanding, acids, or laser treatment.
- Freckles. The freckles are probably the most harmless spots because they are not a product of any disease or dangerous health condition. They mostly appear due to genetics or because of excessive exposure to the sun. For example, they are known to be more common in summer than winter. Also, people with fair skin are more likely to have them than people with darker skin. There is no need to treat the freckles since they do not do any harm. However, if you are not satisfied with your freckles, you can use laser removal services.
- Diabetic dermopathy. Sometimes, people who suffer from diabetic conditions have dark or red spots on the front part of their legs. This disorder is once again caused by the change in the patient's blood vessel, which is a direct consequence of diabetes. Those spots are not dangerous, and they usually do not itch or hurt, so most of the time medical treatment is not required in this situation.
- Moles. The spots on your legs can also be classified as moles. Usually, they appear in random places of the skin, but there is a risk of moles appearing in those spots which have been exposed to sunshine. Moles are mostly safe and not concerning, but sometimes they change in shape or colour, and this is the sign that you are recommended to see a professional dermatologist and determine the reason for such change.
- Melanoma. One more reason for the dark spots to appear, which is probably the most concerning out of all, is melanoma. This is a skin cancer type, and it can arise not only on the legs but anywhere on your body. However, if you are a woman, it is more likely that melanoma can appear in the form of brown spots on the lower part of the legs. The mole which is bleeding or changing its shape can also be a sign of melanoma. This disease can affect people regardless of their skin tone. If you have noticed any signs of melanoma, you should immediately see the doctor and start your treatment.
Dark spots on legs treatment
We have already mentioned in brief how to treat all the other types of dark spots which appear on your legs, and how to determine the cause of their appearance. Still, there is one main reason, which is venous stasis dermatitis, and our article is primarily focused on the ways to cure it. It is quite challenging to treat this disease and make it go away completely, but not impossible. If you want to know how do you handle skin discolouration caused by venous stasis dermatitis, we will suggest some ways.
- See a specialist. Of course, you need to visit a doctor's cabinet straight away when you see something wrong with your legs. The doctor should be a qualified vein specialist with a lot of knowledge. You will most definitely have to go through the ultrasound examination, which will determine how dangerous is your situation, and at which stage it is. The professional will see whether some of your veins cause the blood to move in a different direction. You should have those symptoms cured before they manage to progress to ulcers.
- Have a rest. As simple as it seems, having some rest is a good solution in such a situation. Exposing yourself to more stress will not do any good to your health during the period of healing.
- Elevation. When you elevate, the perfect position for you would be having your feet above the level of where your heart is. This way, the blood will return to the heart better. Elevation means lying head down, with your legs facing up supported by the pillows.
- Compress stockings. They may come in various lengths, but they are beneficial when the swelling is mostly happening in your ankles and lower legs. You can choose the longer ones if the swelling extends to the thigh. They are also available in different strengths, which means that the higher the strength is, the more it will be squeezing your legs. Usually, those elastic stockings can be purchased without any prescription in regular medical stores. They vary in the range from 10 to 20 mm. If they are not helpful enough, then perhaps you will need the special prescription ones. They are known as T.E.D. stockings and have a 30-40 mm compression. If your case is extremely severe, then the higher level might be needed. Those stockings are very easy to apply on the leg if they are of the right size. Otherwise, they would be quite challenging to put on. Sometimes, your doctor might prescribe you some additional medicine and monitor your use of it. In situations when kidney or heart issues cause the swelling, the special treatment plan will be needed.
We believe that you learned more about the dark spots on legs, and will get the necessary treatment against them now that you know a lot of things about their origin and causes. Good luck with your recovery!
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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