To understand leg discoloration, it is important to know what causes it. You may be surprised to learn about some of the causative factors that come from parts of your daily lives.
The symptoms of skin discoloration on legs depends on its cause. Different causes have their own symptoms and signs of telling you that there is something wrong with your body. All you have to do is read the signs right and consult a specialist who will help you treat the condition.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes and their symptoms.
Let’s start with a very common cause. All of us step out in the sun. Agreed that we are nowadays locked down because of the pandemic, but as the lockdowns are lifting all across the world, we are slowly going back to our routines, involving going out and about in daylight. If you have sensitive and light toned skin that is prone to burn and you do not apply a sunscreen, sunburn may give you skin discoloration on legs.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to sunburn
A visible burn on the skin in the form of reddish patches
Dry and peeling skin
Swelling and pain
Burning sensation over the patches
Blisters in case of a more severe burn
These patches may heal leaving behind dark hyperpigmented patches
#2 Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Dark patches may occur on the skin due to altered healing of any inflammatory, infective or traumatic lesion on the skin. Darker skin types are more prone to this pigmentation.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
#3 Lichen Planus, Psoriasis, Eczema
These are inflammatory conditions of the skin where pinkish, reddish or violaceous skin lesions appear and stay for a long time. These need to be evaluated and treated by a specialist as they are chronic and may occur along with other metabolic conditions.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to lichen planus, psoriasis, eczema
Another very common cause behind leg discoloration is vitiligo. It causes white-colored or depigmented patches on the skin. Vitiligo happens due to the destruction of that part of the body’s immune system which takes care of melanin production. There are certain specific symptoms to look out for if you are planning to diagnose leg discoloration that happens because of vitiligo. Again, we will discuss that in detail in the next section.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to vitiligo
Skin discoloration on legs or anywhere else in the case of vitiligo usually happens in some small areas and then merges together
White colored or depigmented patches are seen
The discoloration may also occur in segments, on one side of the body
The body and scalp hair may also turn white
#5 Age spots
These are multiple small sized light to white, or dark colored or reddish cherry-like skin spots that occur due to the ageing process of the skin. These are harmless but may be of cosmetic concern.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to age spots
#6 Radiation therapy
If you are someone who is undergoing radiation therapy for other conditions like malignancy, it may cause skin discoloration. It starts off with mild itching, dryness, redness and even peeling of the skin. It may also lead to hair loss.. Look out for uneven patches and get those diagnosed, especially if they crop up after you have started undergoing radiation therapy.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to radiation therapy
Your skin bleeds outwardly when hurt. But it may also bleed internally. Note that this is a case for a medical emergency and there is no makeshift or aid-like treatment that may help you fix it at home. You notice something like this and that’s when you should seek immediate medical intervention, no matter where you are. Internal skin bleeding happens when a blood vessel is injured under the skin. This may either happen because of any long-standing or persistent illness, or even due to a blunt injury that may not affect the skin externally.
Melanoma is a dreaded term, a form of skin cancer which mostly affects people with lighter skin tones. It mostly happens when there is a change in the color and shape of an already existing mole on the body. If you have it on your leg, it may very well be the reason for skin discoloration on legs in your case.
Symptoms of leg discoloration due to melanoma
Allergies: Sometimes, your immune system gets confused and instead of fighting the bad guys it starts repelling the healthy cells. This allows foreign bodies to attack the system, often leading to rashes discoloration on the skin. These allergies may be acquired either by touch or by consumption.
Infections: This too happens when the immune system has been compromised. Treat cuts and wounds diligently and do not ignore them. Once the bacteria or fungus manifests, it may infect it, leading to skin lesions and discoloration.
Birthmarks: Moles are the mildest forms and usually are not a cause for concern, unless you start noticing a drastic change in size. Children, at the time of birth, may experience a bluish or reddish skin discoloration on legs or anywhere else, which fades with time, but may sometimes grow in size and cause problems. It is always better to let the doctor monitor the discoloration, if it develops into something sinister. Strawberry naevus and port-wine stains are other marks on legs to watch out for any kind of alarming change.
Hormones: Yes, your hormones too might be responsible for the skin discoloration on legs. Hormonal assays need to be done to diagnose these causes.
All in all, if you have any such skin conditions and experience any such symptoms on your leg, along with a discoloration, it should be a cause for concern. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. So, what should you do? Firstly, consult with a dermatologist who can diagnose the condition by taking a look at your discoloration.
SEE A DOCTOR