Top 7 Shocking Causes Of Skin Discoloration On Legs

Skin discoloration on the legs can happen for many reasons that may stay long or short-term. Sometimes, skin discoloration stays for a few weeks and then vanishes (as these are temporary) and comes up due to minor causes.

In some cases, skin discoloration may not leave your legs, and here you need some home remedies or medication according to expert advice.

Are you trying to find out the causes of skin discoloration on the legs? If yes, you have crossed the right page.

Causes Of Leg Discoloration

That’s a great question, it’s always mandatory to find the root causes before finding the solution. Here, leg discoloration could be due to many reasons. It may be a sunburn or permanent birthmarks.

There are many other causes of discoloration on legs, let’s find out some of these:

1. Sunburn

A very obvious cause of leg discoloration, sunburn is a type of UV radiation reaction on your legs. This UV radiation1 coming from the sun would change the color of your skin (legs or any other body parts).

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Photo by Tora Chu on Unsplash

People with lighter skin may face red or tan-coloured skin after sunburn, whereas people with darker complexion would go through darker skin color. There are many symptoms of sunburn that anyone could notice.

Symptoms of Sunburn

  • Pain  (sometimes itchiness)
  • Skin inflammation  (or swelling)
  • Dry and peeling skin
  • Blistering (or skin swelling)

2. Eczema

Call eczema a tree term that covers skin disease that covers a lot of skin problems. It covers skin inflammation and irritation causing itching. Eczema could also be another skin discoloration reason found in many people with skin problems.

Causes of Eczema

  • Overactive immune action (or immune system)
  • Exposure to allergic substances
  • Environmental reactions
  • Lifestyle Changes
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By Ternavskaia Olga Alibec on Shutterstock

You should not expect the same symptoms for all eczema patients, as it would vary according to the causes.

Read more about Eczema 2(Atopic Dermatitis) Studies published by the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases.

3. Chronic Venous Insufficiency

The dysfunction of the veins in your leg would call for chronic venous insufficiency. Due to this condition, your blood flow is obstructed, or it will not flow properly back to the heart, and such conditions would pool the blood present in your legs.

This condition is not easy to deal with and may require therapy (or treatment).

4. Diabetes

The root cause of many skin disorders is diabetes, which would invite various skin problems.

Due to disturbed blood sugar levels, many skin patches or other signs would appear on your lower legs (or whole leg). Not only patches, but you may find itchy skin all over your body in case of diabetes.

The treatments for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes3. In the case of type I diabetes, many home remedies would work along with medications. For type II diabetes, proper medical help would be necessary.

You should also be careful about your high blood pressure as hypertension is linked with leg discoloration or disturbed blood flow.

5. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Physical trauma 4would leave some signs (darker skin) on your skin, and the sign would stay for a long time if you don’t apply any remedy or cream to remove it.

For example, if you cut your hand or legs with a sharp object, you will see post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, as your skin will turn darker.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation? | How to Treat Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Not only this, but sometimes if you are hit heavily with an object or get unpredicted cuts, or any frictional pressure, in these conditions, you will face the same darker skin post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

6. Schamberg’s disease

People will have discoloration on their legs due to capillaries leaking their blood into their skin in Schamberg’s disease. No researcher ever comes across the exact causes of Schamberg’s disease, but some causes of Schamberg’s disease are:

  • Medications (such as aspirin)
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Genetics

Schamberg’s disease treatments are not that known. Still, you may try taking a doctor’s recommendation and advice for better treatment.

Schamberg disease

Diseases like Schanberg’s disease and stasis dermatitis would also affect the coloration of your legs.

6. Vitiligo

Have you ever observed any patches develop on your pigmented skin? If yes, then you have already seen the signs of Vitiligo. Your lighter skin could face the patch more, and you may also feel pain and itchiness on those patches.

What is Vitiligo?

Autoimmune disorders are notable causes of Vitiligo. These could also affect your legs, and to prevent that, treatment is most important at the earliest.

7. Skin Cancer

A big cause of leg discoloration or any other body parts is skin cancer. Skin cancer is not only dangerous but painful. You may see the following symptoms of skin discoloration on the legs.

  • Bump (skin or brown color)
  • Pigmented skin turns into a bump
  • Plaque (pinky and scaly )
  • Changes to your birthmark
  • Changes to an existing mole
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By solar22 on Shutterstock

Sometimes, skin cancer comes out in the shape and color of a mole or spot on any part of your skin. Skin cancer will not get treated by any natural remedies, and you have to strictly follow all the medication or any other procedures as advised by your doctor.


People older than 50 should take special care of their skin condition. Both your legs and feet need proper attention and good red blood cells to ensure low flow.

Good blood flow is the basis of staying fit and saying no to diseases as poor circulation will invite skin discoloration on the leg and health issues for your whole body.

Not all leg discoloration needs your attention. A few of them are completely harmless. You need to recognize and diagnose the causes of skin discoloration on the legs to prevent any further health problems.

You could also have a word with any professional dermatologist by making an appointment to get any specific confirmation about your leg discoloration and to get your treatment plan. It’s always recommended to take care of your body to prevent it from stepping into any serious problems.

Go ahead! And check out all the causes of skin discoloration on the legs before it’s late.


Q. What is leg discoloration called?
  • Venous stasis dermatitis occurs when blood pools in the lower legs and puts pressure on the skin. The cause is often chronic venous insufficiency. This pressure leads to skin discoloration, pain, itching and sores
Q. How do I get rid of the discoloration on my legs?
  • Your doctor can prescribe bleaching creams that contain hydroquinone, a skin-lightening agent. These can be combined with prescription retinoids and mild steroids. With these prescription treatments, the dark spots may gradually fade over the span of a few months to a year.
Q. Is leg discoloration reversible?
  • Many causes of leg discoloration are temporary and will go away in time or with appropriate treatment. Other causes may require long-term treatment and management. In some cases, skin discoloration of the legs can signal a serious health issue.

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  1. Salminen, Antero, Kai Kaarniranta, and Anu Kauppinen. “Photoaging: UV radiation-induced inflammation and immunosuppression accelerate the aging process in the skin.” Inflammation Research 71.7 (2022): 817-831. ↩︎
  2. Thyssen, Jacob P., et al. “Guidelines for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of hand eczema.” Contact Dermatitis 86.5 (2022): 357-378. ↩︎
  3. Bilous, Rudy, Richard Donnelly, and Iskandar Idris. Handbook of diabetes. John Wiley & Sons, 2021. ↩︎
  4. Coimbra, Raul, et al. “European Society of Trauma and Emergency Surgery (ESTES) recommendations for traumaThyssen, Jacob P., et al. “Guidelines for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of hand eczema.” Contact Dermatitis 86.5 (2022): 357-378. and emergency surgery preparation during times of COVID-19 infection.” European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery 46 (2020): 505-510. ↩︎

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