Mottled Skin

Mottled skin refers to the appearance of discolored lines and patches that appear on the skin. This is caused by the actual constriction of blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Internal changes that directly affect blood vessels, such as aging, health, temperature, medication and exposure to sunlight can lead to this condition.

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The condition manifests as patters on the legs, arms and face, and the colour ranges from red to brown and purple. The patches are more pronounced in people with light skin.


The condition is characterized by a lace-like pattern of purple-blue lines. This discoloration is caused by the constriction of blood vessels just under the skin’s surface. This is why it is easy to see in people with light skin.

It is not easy to know what the underlying cause of mottled skin is. It one feels there is a shortness of breath, pain, or the appearance of a patch-like skin, then immediate medical attention should be sought.

Mottled Skin – Causes

Mottled skin appears due to underlying medical conditions, which can range from mild to severe. Here are some of the conditions that bring it about:

Poor circulation

Normal blood circulation determines the health and proper function of all body parts and systems. Syndromes and blood disorders that interfere or impair the circulation will result in poor availability of oxygenated blood. This will affect the appearance of the skin and this leads to mottled skin.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can directly affect the skin with various conditions and symptoms; it can therefore cause mottled skin. This is especially common in young lupus patients as well as females. When exposed to cold temperatures both externally and internally, lupus patients will exhibit mottled skin.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is another autoimmune disorder which changes the tone of their skin and they too may get mottled skin. This means that the patient will have pain in the joints, and mottled skin; however, this is a rare occurrence. Note that the disorder affects the blood vessels near the surface of the skin and this aggravates the pain in rheumatoid arthritis.


This is a chronic condition which causes muscle pain, general fatigue and insomnia, and it may also produce mottled skin as one of the mild symptoms.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

This is also known as Hughes syndrome, and affects the blood; it appears a lot in lupus patients and causes the blood to form clots. The clots affect circulation and results in mottled skin.

Treatment of mottled skin

The treatment of mottled skin involves the treatment of the underlying condition; once this is achieved, the mottled skin disappears.

When the condition appears due to non-health issues, you should simply regulate the temperature of your body, or avoid exposure to the sun. There are some home remedies which you can use when you have mottled skin in such cases:

Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plant is well known for its skin healing properties. It can also be used to protect the skin from the effects of the sun, and ensure that you do not get mottled skin. Apply the gel and leave it on for at least 30 minutes or until you take a bath or shower.

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Baking Soda

When you get mottled skin, you may have to remove some of the patches and dead skin cells. Baking soda is a great exfoliant. Add three tablespoons of baking aide to some water and create a paste. Apply it directly on the mottled skin for at least 30 minutes as you massage it gently. Repeat this and repeat every day or three times a week.


Oatmeal has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which would help reduce the redness of mottled skin; it will also moisturize the rough patches. Mix oatmeal with water and apply the paste to the patches. You can also add it to your bath water for a full body treatment.

Green Tea

This works in the same manner as oatmeal; it will help in reducing the redness of the skin since it has anti-inflammatory properties. Throw a tea bag in hot water and then soak a cloth in it and apply to the affected areas. You may add rice flour or oatmeal powder for a healing effect. This should be done three times a week.

Coconut Oil

This has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which help in rehydrating the affected dry patches of mottled skin. It should be applied directly to the skin so the skin can absorb it, or simply create a paste by adding one teaspoon of honey or sugar. This should be done twice a week.


This should be applied directly on the dry patches of mottled skin. Apply it and leave it on for a period of 30 minutes before washing it off. This should be done three times a week.

Mottled Skin – Pictures

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