What Causes Discoloration Of The Skin On Legs?


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Matthew Porter answered
Discoloration of the foot and legs can be caused by one of several different ailments or diseases. The seriousness of the condition and the nature of the discoloration depend on the cause of the problem. According to, the possible causes include:

• Skin infection
One of the most common skin infections that can cause discoloration is cellulitis. This tends to occur when bacteria enters broken skin through cuts, bites or scrapes. The skin will then become infected and will turn blotchy, red or appear bruised. The condition is treated with antibiotics, but discoloration may persist after the treatment. Topical bleaching agents can be used to treat the discolored skin.

• Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
This refers to a variety of problems relating to the veins and arteries in the feet and legs. Skin will appear shiny and brittle and there will be reddish-blue discoloration. A person can be at greater risk of PVD if they are obese, smokers or have a family history of the problem. Treatment of the condition focuses on trying to improve the blood flow.

• Diabetes
Diabetics can induce discoloration, which will tend to be a symptom of greater problems such as impeded blood flow or insulin rejection. Treatment depends on the stage at which the problem is discovered. In extreme cases gangrene can occur and amputation might have to take place as an extreme final measure if the condition is serious enough.

• Schamberg's Disease
A chronic condition where blood vessel walls leak red blood cells into the skin. The cause of Schamberg's Disease is unknown and there is no known cure. Secondary itching relating to the problem can be treated with a cortisone cream, however.

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