Dark patches on skin

Dark patches on skin are signs wherein discoloration of skin is noticed, such as occurrence of dark brown patches. There are several medical irregularities that may lead to dark patches to appear on the skin. These patches in most cases are benign and do not cause much complications. Sometimes, cosmetic concern arises due to prevalence of these dark spots on skin. However, there are possibilities that these patches may also indicate any serious underlying condition. If appropriate care is taken, these patches can also be prevented. In case the dermatologic condition turns to be a cosmetic concern, then there are several techniques available to remove these patches.

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dark patches on skin pictures

Causes of Dark Patches on skin

Hyperpigmentation: No matter what you call the condition whether brown patches, uneven skin-tone, dark patches on skin or discoloration, the condition is mostly manifestation of hyperpigmentation. In this condition discoloration of skin is recorded due to increased level of melanin in the skin. This pigment in body is responsible for regulating skin complexion. Higher the melanin level darker the skin-tone will appear.

Melanoma: Melanoma is a serious condition causing dark skin patches. This skin disease is common condition which is malignant or cancerous. Melanoma is also medically referred to as Malignant Melanoma which is a severe kind of skin cancer as it can metastasize quite quickly to unaffected regions of the body. In this condition the skin-complexion regulating agent called melanin becomes anomalous and increases hysterically. This may eventually lead to tumor. Melanoma can also convert into freckles or tumor, even on unpigmented region of skin. Melanoma is considered as the fastest growing cancer as compared to any other type. This is because due to increase in sunbathing and tannin bed uses.

dark brown skin patches

Mongolian spots

Mongolian spots are gray brown melanocytic nevus, which are often benign in nature. These spots may appear as dark patches on the skin and are often found on Lumbosacral skin area, especially in dark-skinned individuals. The condition is said to be congenital usually and may disappear in childhood.

Nevus of Ota

This is one of the rare medical anomalies which are characterized by anomalous pigmentation of eye or surrounding skin region of eyes. In most cases merely one eye is affected due to the condition especially along the trigeminal nerve.

Tinea Versicolor spots

Tinea versicolor spot is a condition which is characterized with macular dark patches on skin that are often non-inflammatory. The patient will suffer from scaly patches which will be discolored, ranging from white to dark brown.

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There are some other causes of dark patches on skin that may include café-au-lait spots, Nevus of Ita, Solar lentigo, ageing spots, bruising, neurofibromatosis, stasis dermatitis, diabetes, etc. In some cases medicines may also cause dark spots on skin; these, medicines may include estrogens, tetracyclines, phenytoin, sulfonamides, etc.


There are various ways in which dark patches on skin can be treated. The treatment significantly depends on the cause of the condition. Doctor will first evaluate the condition and may try to determine whether pigmentation of the skin is at epidermal level or dermal level. It is said that epidermal pigmentation can be regulated through treatment. In such a case the treatment usually involves tropical creams that could lighten the affected skin. Usually these creams are designed with combination of tretinoin, certain corticosteroid and hydroquinone. Glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid based chemical peeling is suggested in patients with serious case of melasma which does not respond to tropical solutions.

If patches are ensued due to blisters then the cause of blisters should be controlled. Dark patches are also caused due to shin spots, a condition common in diabetic individuals. These can be controlled by bringing the blood sugar level to normal range. If oral medicines, tropical creams, etc, does not have any effect then treatments such as laser therapy, microdermabrasion can be used.

dark patches on skin

Home remedies of Dark patches on skin

If the dermatologic issue seems to be a result of benign biological reactions which are not serious then one can try home remedies. There are multiple home care techniques that can help in reducing dark patches.

Lemon: Pure lemon extract (juice particularly) are highly suggested for skin lightening. Lemon juice is considered as a natural bleaching agent. One can make a mixture of water and lemon of equal quantity and directly apply to the affected skin surface. This should be kept for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Aloe vera: This is a potent astringent which can be directly applied to skin. This natural ingredient is beneficial for the skin in various ways.

Potato: Potato is also regarded as a skin lightening agent, which is commonly used.  Thin slices of potato should be placed on the skin and left for 20 to 30 minutes so that the juice gets absorbed. One can also apply potato paste or juice directly.

Milk and turmeric: One can make a mixture of milk and turmeric and apply it on the affected skin area. Leave this mixture for around 10 minutes and wash it away. These ingredients have bleaching properties and using them regularly can reduce pigmentation of skin, even generally.

There are also other ingredients such as honey, buttermilk, yogurt, oranges, etc. These remedies do not have instant effect, but guaranteed effect can be seen if used regularly for 2 to 3 months. It is better to use home remedies for dark patches on skin as alongside measure with ongoing treatment.

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