Brown Patches on Skin

Brown patches on the skin may result out of several medical reasons. It may be an indication of serious medical anomaly or mild issues. However, in most cases these brown patches appearing of skin are not a concern. These patches can be prevented with care. If it is a cosmetic concern then one can also remove these patches through several techniques.

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brown spots on skin pictures brown spots on skin

Causes of Brown Patches on skin

There are several factors that may lead to brown patches on skin. Some of these causes are mentioned below:

  • Liver spots and ageing:

As people grow old they have the tendency (in most cases) to develop dark spots on the skin, especially when exposed to sunlight. These spots occurred due to ageing are usually benign and nothing to worry about.

  • Bruises

Any type of bruising can lead to brown patches on skin after healing. Even these kinds of patches which are aftermath of bruising are not a matter of concern. You may need medical help if the patches are accompanied with pain and infection is suspected.

  • Incontinentia pigmenti

Incontinentia pgmenti is a congenital condition which is said to be hereditary. It is more common in girls than boys. The condition appears as blisters initially but as the child grow these blisters turn into patches of hyper-pigmentation. As the child further grows, these spots usually ebb away. There are other signs and symptoms that may be associated with incontinentia pigmenti which includes hair fall, delayed growth and nerve issues, etc.

  • Cancer

Brown patches on the skin may also develop due to actinic keratosis. Actinic Keratosis develops on skin region which is subjected to extreme exposure to sun. Usually the condition does not cause discomforting symptoms, but if left unaddressed it may aggravate to cause squamous cell cancer.

  • Neurofibromatosis

This is a genetic disorder which stimulates anomalous growth of tumor in any region of the nervous system.  This condition is congenital but becomes obvious when the child is around 10 years old. There are three types of Neurofibromatosis namely Type-1, Type-2 and schwannomas. The type-1 neurofibromatosis may cause browns spots to appear on skin. Some other noticeable anomalies of the condition include anomalously larger head, tumor in eye, etc.

  • Stasis Dermatitis

This is a condition wherein blood gets accumulated in certain areas of the body such as in ankles or legs. This becomes obvious through brown patches occurring on the skin of the affected person.  Other symptoms associated with this condition includes dull ache, skin thinning, etc. Scratching these patches may probably lead to bleeding.

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  • Pigmentation of skin

Hyper-pigmentation is a dermatologic anomaly wherein the skin causes surplus production of melanin. This also results in brown patches on skin. These patches are actually harmless but may aggravate due to extreme exposure to sunlight and become even darker.

  • Diabetes

Occurrence of brown patches on skin is common in diabetic individuals. This anomaly arises due to alteration in minor blood vessels. The condition is medically known as diabetic dermopathy and is commonly called as ‘shin spots’ as the patches mostly occur on shin area.  Fortunately, the disorder does not need any medical aid and often ebbs away without medical intervention. One of the best ways to prevent these conditions includes controlling diabetes.

Prevention of brown patches on the skin

In most cases these brown patches occur on skin due to exposure to sun. These patches can be prevented from occurring through following preventive measures:

  • Avoid extreme exposure to sun
  • Avoid using tanning booths or sun lamps
  • Keep yourself protected from sun by using full- sleeve clothes, wearing wide- rim hat or using umbrella
  • The sun is hottest between 10 to 4 pm try staying indoors during this part of the day
  • Always use sunscreen of minimum 15 SPF to save yourself from adversities of sun light
  • Avoid being affected with diabetes of control it if already affected
  • Avoid factors that may cause pigmentation (primarily it is sunlight)
  • Avoid bruising of skin anyway possible
  • Prevent skin from becoming wounded or injured in any way

Treatment for brown patches on skin

Usually treatments for brown patches would greatly depend on the cause. For example if brown patches occur due to blisters then controlling the cause of blisters may help in reducing these patches. If a person is suffering from shin spots then bring sugar level to normal range may be helpful. Pigmentation associated patches can be cosmetically handled by using bleach which are often sufficient for removal of these patches. In some cases where other conventional treatments do not help, laser technique can be used. Mild pigmentation can be effectively treated using cosmetic treatments such as microdermabrasion.

Home remedies for brown patches on skin

There some home remedies that can help in reducing brown patches on skin. These home remedies should be opted only if you are certain that the cause is not serious and you are not allergic to ingredients mentioned in these remedies.


Lemon is accredited as an excellent bleaching agent. It has potential bleaching properties which can help in reducing these brown patches. One can simply apply freshly squeezed lemon juice on the patched skin. Leave it there for 30 minutes before rinsing it away. Due not use this agent on open skin regions, wounds or after shaving as it may cause severe irritation. You can use this daily for at least two months for results.


It contains lactic acid which is beneficial for reducing these spots. You can directly apply this ingredient on the brown patches.


Yogurt is said to be safe and easy way of lightening the brown spots. You can apply this in similar fashion as buttermilk or lemon juice.

There are other helpful home remedies that can be used for brown patches on skin such as aloe vera, castor oil, pure sandalwood paste, horseradish (moolee), papaya, onion, etc. These ingredients may take time to impart results. However, it suggested using these remedies in combination with ongoing treatment for brown patches on skin and after approval from your doctor.

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