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Causes of Dark Dry Circular Spots on Skin

Causes of Dark Dry Circular Spots on Skin

Dark dry circular spots on the skin are also referred to as hyperpigmentation. They occur due to an increase in melanin--a pigment that gives your skin color-- in one area of your skin. According to the book "The Skin Type Solution", dark spots can occur from bruises, inflammation, sun exposure and increased estrogen levels.

Sun Exposure

When you expose your skin to a lot of sunshine, your skin produces extra melanin to protect itself from the harmful rays of the sun according to the "Encyclopedia of Family Health." Dark spots may appear on areas of your skin that produce extra melanin. These dark spots are also known as sun spots or solar lentigines. To prevent these type of spots, protect your skin from the sun with clothing, hats and sunglasses along with sunscreen.


During inflammation, red and white blood cells migrate to sites of injury and in the process extra melanin is produced. Inflammation occurs if you have skin conditions like bruises, cuts, acne or rashes. After the acne or rashes resolve a dark spot may be left behind because of extra melanin. Other causes of inflammation are plucking facial hair with tweezers, application of hot skin wax, and burns, according to the book "The Skin Type Solution."


Diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetic dermopathy is a skin condition associated with diabetes. It is characterized by dark dry circular spots that appear on the legs and possibly other parts of the body. Skin Sight says that It is caused by a change in the blood vessels found in the skin and leakage of blood products from the blood vessels into the skin.


Certain medications can induce hyperpigmentation in your skin. Dark spots can be caused by medications such as minocycline, antimalarials and lupus medications. Medscape suggests that medications may cause dark spots in the following ways: deposition of the drug or its metabolites in your skin; increased melanin production with or without an increase in the number of melanin producing cells; and drug-induced postinflammatory changes to skin.

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