Skin Discoloration on the Legs
Many people notice some irregularities in skin tone, especially in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the skin on your legs. Known as hyperpigmentation, dark splotches of skin often appear near irritated or wounded skin. While skin discoloration is common, not all spots are harmless. Consult your doctor for any unusual changes in your skin's appearance.
Discolored spots and patches can occur on your legs for a variety of reasons. Hormonal changes, as well as surface damage, can lead to hyperpigmentation. Small nicks and scrapes from shaving your legs or walking through shrubs and prickly undergrowth may cause minor skin trauma that increases your risk of developing discolored spots on your legs. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that these darkened patches of skin may take months or years to fade completely.
While many individuals experience areas of hyperpigmentation, people with dark skin tones may experience this skin condition more frequently than people with fair skin do, according to Hampton University. Wearing shorts can expose legs to sunlight, which may increase the incidence of uneven skin tones, especially in areas with skin damage.
Protect your legs from damage by wearing long pants that guard against scratches and scrapes. Shave carefully to avoid nicking or cutting your legs. Use a clean, sharp razor and a shaving gel or lotion to help prevent irritation during shaving. Shave in the direction of your hair growth, rather than shaving against the growth. Apply a sunscreen before going outdoors to prevent additional darkening in areas of hyperpigmentation.
Non-prescription fade creams that contain 2 percent hydroquinone may help fade and reduce the appearance of areas of hyperpigmentation. Prescription strength creams usually contain twice the amount of hydroquinone as over-the-counter creams, and may produce better results. You may need to continue using hydroquinone creams for several weeks before you notice any skin lightening. Some fade creams include additional ingredients, such as tretinoin, glycolic acid and corticosteroids.
Stubborn or large discolored areas on your legs may require professional treatments. Your dermatologist may recommend chemical peels or microdermabrasion. For stubborn hyperpigmentation spots that don't respond to other treatment, your doctor may recommend laser treatment to help minimize the appearance of discoloration on your legs.
Overview The dark spots on your skin are age spots that form when you stay in the sun for too long. ...
Overview Melasma is a skin condition in which dark patches appear on your skin. The dark spots can a...
Overview Pigmentation marks on the face are generally caused by sun damage, oral contraceptives, pre...
Overview Dark spots are hyperpigmented areas of skin that appear darker than surrounding skin. Many ...
Overview Freckles and sunspots are dark pigments that appear on the skin as a result of sun exposure...
Over-exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause the skin's melanin-producing cells--the m...