Skin Discoloration On Legs: Causes, Types & Treatments

skin discoloration on legs
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It is not uncommon for there to be patches and skin discoloration on legs. This discoloration arises because of many reasons. Knowing the causes of these discolorations is a sure way of avoiding the problems that potentially come along. We dedicate the entire length and breadth of this article to do just that.

For a start, the skin discoloration on legs is irregular patches or areas of the skin that have different colors from that of the rest of the skin. In our discussions below, we endeavor to look into the common causes, the potential side effects, and the manners in which the issues may be mitigated altogether.


Skin Discoloration On Legs – 6 Causes

There are quite a number of causes of this menace. Knowing about these causes will surely let you know what to do to prevent the same and the interventions you may have to take to reverse the trends in the unlikely event that the sicknesses occur. Listed and explained here below are some of the common causes of skin discoloration on legs:


1 # Melanin Imbalance

The number one cause of the problem is the imbalance of melanin on the skin. Melanin is the substance or pigment that provides the colors to the skin. At the same time, it also shields the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. An imbalance of melanin will leave some areas lighter than others.


2 # Sunburns

Sunburns are also common causes of this problem of skin discoloration on legs. This arises mainly when a portion of the skin is exposed to bright sun for too long. The exposed area tends to be redder than the remaining portions. This form of discoloration is temporary and in most cases reverses on its own.


3 # Infections

A number of infections have a role to play in the emergence of this issue. These infections come about when the harmful bacteria find their way in the body via the many cuts and wounds that may be available. If and when this happens, the end result is some discolorations.


4 # Autoimmune Diseases and Allergies

Autoimmune diseases are those in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues and organs instead of sources of infections. They too may have a role to play in the rise of this menace of skin discoloration. Such attacks have been noted to give rise to redness, swelling, and brown spots on legs.


5 # Hormonal Changes

Other than imbalances in the melanin levels, hormonal changes also have some role to play in the emergence of this problem. These changes occur mainly at birth or when carrying pregnancies. A common condition among these is the melasma or birthmarks. It makes dark patches to form on the body.


6 # Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can also alter the appearance and texture of the skin. It mainly arises when the genetic materials in the cells of the skin sustain some damages. These damages may make the cells to grow out of control and develop a mass of cancer cells.


10 Types of Skin Discoloration On Legs

The discoloration of the skin on the legs comes in varied shades and forms. These variations mainly arise from diverse sources. On the strengths of these differences come the similarly varied differences in the strength of impacts that they bring about. In this segment of the discussions, we look into some of the main forms of these discolorations:


# 1: Mongolian Blue Spots

Also called, the Slate Gray Nevi, the Mongolian Blue Spots are some kind of pigmented birthmarks. These marks are flat and blue-grayish in color. They typically appear on the legs and buttock regions of the body. If left uncared for, they may be ghastly to behold.


# 2: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is a type of skin cancer that is mainly brought about by the over-exposure to the harmful Ultraviolet radiation of the sun. It affects any area or part of the body that is exposed to the sun for too long. The legs stand out as one of the most affected areas of the body.

Skin discoloration on legs
Skin discoloration due to squamous cell carcinoma. (Image Credit:

# 3: Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis is scaly brown skin discoloration on lower legs on the skin that arise as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun. Your legs are one of the most affected parts of your body. It is chronic and hence is hardly reversible. You hence ought to take care not to over-expose your skin to the sun.


# 4: Basal Cell Carcinoma

Just like the Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the Basal Cell Carcinoma is also a kind of skin cancer. It nonetheless affects the basal cells that are typically found at the bottom of the epidermis. Similarly, this condition may be easily mitigated by limiting exposure to the sun.


# 5: Stasis Ulcer

It is a breakdown of the skin that is caused by the leakage of the blood from the veins into the skin tissues. In this sense, the blood backs up instead of returning to the heart via the veins. Areas, where there is a higher concentration of the blood, tend to be redder than other portions of the skin.


# 6: Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by the emergence of pale white patches. These develop primarily as a result of a deficiency in the levels of melanin in the body. Many who suffer from it have normally stayed indoors for quite a long duration of time.


# 7: Eczema

Eczema is a medical condition in which patches of the skin become rough, cracked, red, itchy, or inflamed. In some instances, the blisters may also occur in the affected areas. The sum total of these often leads to the discolorations of the affected areas. This is often accompanied by some ghastly appearances.


# 8: Strawberry Nevus

Strawberry Nevus also called a hemangioma, is a red tinge of skin that is composed of a collection of blood vessels that get into close proximity to the surface of the skin. It has no known cause and is often thought to be congenital. The area that has blood vessels tend to be redder than others.


# 9: Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection that is pretty common. This infection interferes with the ordinary pigmentations of the skin. It is normally mainly characterized by small portions of isolated discolored patches. These brown skin discoloration on legs are often lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin area.


# 10: Candida

Short for candidiasis, Candida is a fungal infection that is often caused by a kind of fungus called candida. The affected portion of the leg will usually develop some patches that are ghastly to behold. If the issue is left to persist for too long, the end results may often be unforgiving.


4 Treatments Of Skin Discoloration On Legs

These conditions are serious and are for a large part left to the discretion of the professional dermatologists. Nonetheless, there are a number of home-based solutions that may offer temporary reprieve. Below, we look at those solutions for your own consideration:


1 – Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has high acidic content and is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Thus, it is able to combat bacterial and fungal infections on the skin. In this way, it also tends to be able to reverse the effects of the brown skin discoloration on ankles. Just apply it twice a day consistently for 6-8 weeks to achieve the desired effects.


2 – Castor Oil

Castor oil has the ability to break down excess melanin on the skin. To leverage this role, you should apply it to the discolored portion of your body at least twice a day. By applying it consistently on the skin it will also make the area smoother and beautiful to behold.


3 – Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found abundantly in many citrus fruits and vegetables. These foods do work to make the skin softer and more uniform in tone and color. They also hydrate the skin to keep it supple approximately toned. Thus, you should take deliberate steps to incorporate as many of these foods in your diet as possible.


4 – Tea

Taking tea that is derived from red clover, burdock, or milk thistle has been noted to reduce the discolorations of the skin. This tea works primarily by balancing the melanin pigmentation to achieve a better-looking skin appearance.

PS: There are numerous other medical interventions that inevitably have to take place in a hospital setting. These are complicated and costly. They hence have to be strictly undertaken in a competent healthcare facility.



Some of these causes of skin discoloration on legs may be fatal if left unattended to for longer. That is why we recommend that you take the earliest opportunity to reverse the trends. Have a chat with your healthcare provider for the various options that may come in handy in your case.

Be sure also to talk about the costs involved and the potential side effects of those treatments. These will let you prepare for any eventualities that may arise in the course of undertaking that treatment regime. That will spare you from the adverse side effects that come about overall.

Have you not gained deep insight into this subject matter? Is it not wise of you to share the information far and wide? Best of luck in your fight against skin discolorations!