2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
Spots on the body and legs: types, causes of appearance
The skin is the largest and most important organ in the human body. It not only protects the body from the damaging effects of the environment, but also signals an internal trouble one of the first. Many diseases and pathologies manifest themselves as local changes in the color and structure of the skin of the lower extremities - in other words, the formation of dark, light, pink, red, blue, yellow or brown spots with various shades.
This process may be accompanied by inflammation, swelling, pain, itching and flaking, or it may not bother the person in any way. Therefore, it can be very difficult to understand the variety of symptoms and determine the cause of rashes on the legs.
- Why do spots appear on the body?
- Types of spots on the feet
- Dark (black) spots
- Light (white) spots
- Beige and brown spots
- Pink and red spots
- Blue and purple spots
- Yellow and orange spots
- Spots on the legs with diabetes
- Stains on the legs after hair removal
- What to do if spots on your feet itch and flake?
- Which doctor should I go to for spots on my feet?
We will tell you why such skin defects occur, compile a list of the most probable diagnoses and briefly describe the main symptoms, as well as sort the rashes by color for your convenience and give a photo of what spots on the legs look like with various pathologies, so that you can most accurately determine the cause of the problem … However, we recall that self-medication is not an option, especially since many serious illnesses manifest themselves as seemingly harmless spots on the skin. Therefore, at the end of the article, we will tell you which doctor is best to contact, depending on the clinical signs.
Why do spots appear on the body?
The main reasons are as follows:
- Allergic reactions;
- Insect bites;
- Traumatic skin injuries - burns, cuts, scratching, wearing tight clothes and shoes;
- Infectious diseases of fungal, viral, bacterial, parasitic etiology - mycoses, lichens, pyoderma and other dermatoses;
- Congenital or acquired skin pigmentation defects;
- Vascular pathologies - varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, venous congestion, atherosclerosis and deep vein thrombosis;
- Endocrine diseases - diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, dysfunction of the adrenal cortex or gonads;
- Severe pathologies of internal organs - hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, endocarditis;
- Malignant and benign neoplasms of the skin;
- Diseases of the blood - thrombocytopenia, idiopathic purpura;
- Systemic autoimmune diseases - scleroderma, vasculitis, lupus erythematosus;
- Sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS;
- Poisoning the body, work in hazardous industries;
- Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency;
- Frequent stress.
If you notice a suspicious stain or rash on your leg, you first need to think about what is most likely to cause this: for example, an insect bite, if you have recently been out in nature, or an allergy, if you purchased new pants made of synthetic fabric or washed things with other powder, and so on. If there is no obvious answer, look for additional symptoms and the nature of the rash: whether there is itching, pain, suppuration, and scaling, whether the rash is spreading further, if it is present elsewhere.
When the appearance of spots on the legs is combined with a deterioration in general well-being, fever, swollen lymph nodes, pain and discomfort in the legs or other parts of the body, an urgent need to consult a doctor!
Types of spots on the body
By the term "spot" we mean the entire spectrum of possible dermatological manifestations, from small dots to large areas of skin with altered structure and color. Consider also a rash on the legs, which is of several types: a papule (a raised, rounded area), a pustule (a bubble with purulent contents), and a vesicle (a sac of exudate). Spots can look like bruises and spider veins, scaly plaques with clear outlines, redness without a sharp transition, completely discolored or very dark areas of irregular shape - we will discuss all of them, give photo examples and list the symptoms.
So, according to the etiology, spots on the legs are divided into the following categories:
- Pigmented - arise from insufficient or excessive production of the pigment melanin, which is responsible for the color of the skin. Such defects are congenital, such as moles, or acquired, and it is not always possible to establish the exact cause of the disease, as in the case of vitiligo. Hyperpigmented skin areas often appear at the site of injury, under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, fluctuations in hormonal levels, or simply from old age. White, beige, brown, dark and black spots on the legs of pigmented origin are some of the most harmless, since this is an exclusively cosmetic defect. However, in rare cases, moles can degenerate into a malignant tumor;
Inflammatory - are the body's reaction to traumatic injury, exposure to an allergen or toxin, pathological activity of infectious pathogens. The skin manifestations of this group are usually colored from pink to scarlet and dark red, yellow and orange rashes are found. Such shades are explained by the flow of blood to the sore spot, tissue destruction at the cellular level. Inflammatory spots are often characterized by edema, local fever, pain, burning sensation, itching, suppuration and scaling, which causes serious inconvenience to a person. It should be borne in mind that the disease accompanied by such a rash can be very contagious;
- Vascular - are the result of close location, temporary or permanent expansion of the lumen of blood vessels, as well as their proliferation, tortuosity and formation of nodes. This category also includes congestion - thrombosis and atherosclerosis of the vessels of the lower extremities, when blood flow slows down or stops due to an internal obstacle. Vascular spots on the legs, as a rule, are colored in shades of red and blue: violet, lilac, burgundy. Varicose veins not only look ugly, but they also hurt and itch. Spider veins and spider veins on the legs are a painless but extremely unpleasant and common skin defect, especially among women of mature age. In addition, varicose veins are accompanied by rapid fatigue and heaviness in the legs, which significantly reduces the quality of life;
Hemorrhagic - are the result of vascular damage and the outpouring of blood into soft tissues, subcutaneous fat and the upper layer of the epidermis. The most common type of hemorrhagic defect is a commonplace bruise or hematoma as a result of trauma. But there are also more complex pathologies due to the fragility of blood vessels, autoimmune inflammation of connective tissues, blood clotting disorders, a lack of platelets - for example, hemorrhagic vasculitis or idiopathic purpura. It is very difficult to diagnose such diseases, they are accompanied by a mass of other scattered symptoms and are often of an inexplicable nature. The color of the spots in this category is dark red, blue, purple, and in the final stage it is sometimes yellow or even green.
Dark (black) spots
Most skin defects of this shade are due to excessive accumulation of melanin, however, there are cases when the stain is vascular or even oncological. It is necessary to closely monitor the behavior of such dermatological manifestations - whether they increase in size, whether they darken even more, whether they capture new areas of the skin, whether they are accompanied by a deterioration in general well-being. Let's consider the most common diagnoses.
PVH is perhaps the most common explanation for foot spots. Any damage, especially serious - burns, wounds, ulcers, long-lasting and itchy acne, insect bites - can remind of itself with a dark spot for some time after healing. This is due to the fact that melanocyte cells located on such an area of the skin produce melanin more intensively, trying to additionally “protect” the sore spot.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation does not cause any inconvenience, in addition to a cosmetic defect, which disappears on its own after several months, sometimes years.
This process can be accelerated by special salon procedures, creams with a lightening effect or folk remedies. In 2018, a systematic review of clinical trials was published that used natural products to treat dark spots on the skin: niacinamide (a form of vitamin B-3), soy, licorice extract, and mulberry. These natural treatments have shown promising results in relieving hyperpigmentation. 
Results from a small 2017 study show that applying aloe vera gel to the skin can help reduce melasma during pregnancy, after 5 weeks. 
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery does not recommend using lemon juice or abrasive scrubs as these methods can worsen your skin condition. Moreover, there is no research to prove that these methods work. 
It is much easier to prevent the occurrence of PVH, that is, take precautions, and if a problem arises, treat skin lesions with high quality and try not to comb them.
Plantar warts turn dark or even black in their mature stages. This is due to the fact that a person constantly presses with the whole weight of his body on a sore foot while walking, the capillaries inside the defect burst and close with blood clots. Plantar warts, like any others, are caused by the human papillomavirus, which is carried by about 70% of people. Therefore, such skin lesions are very common. As a rule, they manifest at the age of 20-30, in young people leading an active lifestyle, wearing beautiful but tight shoes, visiting public places where HPV can be infected - saunas, fitness clubs, swimming pools.
It is quite simple to distinguish a wart from other spots on the legs: at first, a light rounded plaque with a diameter of 0.5-3 cm is formed, it gradually hardens, turns horny and rises above the surface of the skin, becomes yellow, then darkens. There is the concept of a "maternal" wart, which appears first, and others form around it over time or even merge with it into a single large spot of irregular shape. Plantar warts cause serious discomfort, but it is not they themselves that hurt, but the surrounding tissues, which are subjected to constant pressure and trauma. In half of the cases, such skin defects disappear on their own, but it is better to consult a dermatologist and remove them.
Read more: Plantar warts
Toxic reticular melanosis
This disease develops mainly in people employed in oil refining and coal mining industries, or working in other potentially harmful industries. Almost all patients also have increased sensitivity to sunlight and problems with the gastrointestinal tract, which makes it difficult to evacuate toxins from the body. The disease begins with the appearance of extensive red spots on open areas of the body: face, shoulders, arms, legs. Then there is a reticular or diffuse gray-brown pigmentation, often additionally follicular keratosis develops - the mouths of the hair follicles are clogged with keratinized epidermis, due to which the sore spots are covered with dotted dark tubercles.
To distinguish toxic reticular melanosis from other possible diagnoses, there are several signs: dark spots are present not only on the legs, they do not hurt or itch, but quickly spread throughout the body and flake off. The skin becomes dry, thinned and wrinkled in places, the general state of health is disturbed: weakness, dizziness, sometimes nausea, loss of weight and appetite. Symptomatic treatment: vitamin therapy, detoxification procedures, moisturizing and emollient ointments. The main thing that needs to be done is to eliminate the source of toxic damage to the body as soon as possible. In this case, the prognosis of the disease is favorable.
This is a complex of dystrophic and atrophic changes in the skin, which does not have a clear etiology and can be both congenital and acquired. In sick people, the skin becomes thinner, melanin accumulates unevenly under it, capillaries peep outward. Outwardly, poikiloderma looks like extensive fine-mesh hyperpigmentation, sometimes in combination with spider veins. Dark gray-brown spots cover the lower part of the face, neck, limbs, buttocks, and groin.
Poikiloderma can also be part of the symptom complex of some genetic diseases, for example, Thomson or Bloom syndromes. But then small dark spots on the skin will be observed almost from birth and will be accompanied by additional pathological signs - dystrophy of teeth and hair, underdevelopment of the skeleton. If such mesh eruptions appear on the body and legs in adulthood, they are treated with photoprotective agents, vitamins and hormones.
Dubreus' precancerous melanosis, or malignant lentigo, or melanocytic dysplasia is a dark brown or black spot of irregular shape, often unevenly colored, with a diameter of 2 to 6 cm, coarser and denser in comparison with the surrounding tissues. Similar spots are formed on the legs, arms, chest, but especially often on the face. Most of the patients are postmenopausal women. Lighter skin tone and increased photosensitivity are thought to be additional risk factors.
The greatest difficulty is the differential diagnosis of Dubreus melanosis from senile keratoma and melanoma (skin cancer), especially if we take into account the fact that in 40% of cases, the formation is still malignant. Therefore, if you find a dark spot on your leg or in another place that looks like a blot, does not bother you with anything (does not hurt, does not itch, does not peel off) - consult a doctor as soon as possible, do not wonder what kind of attack it is, and don't wait for the stain to grow to an alarming size. Treatment of Dubreus' melanosis is exclusively surgical.
The pathology is otherwise called Becker's melanosis or pigmented hair haemartoma. It develops in men five times more often than in women. Manifests usually at the age of 25-30. An irregular brown spot appears on the torso, shoulders, back or limbs, ranging in area from 10 to 50 square centimeters. As the disease progresses, the affected area darkens and, in 60% of cases, becomes covered with thick hair.
The formed Becker's nevus exists unchanged throughout the entire subsequent life of a person. It is in no way possible to cure this skin formation with therapeutic methods, only invasive cosmetic procedures - laser resurfacing, dermabrasion will help. After this treatment, the skin will be red and painful for a while. By itself, Becker's melanosis is not dangerous to health, does not cause any inconvenience, except for a cosmetic defect, and does not degenerate into cancer.
Read more: Skin nevus
This pathology is characterized by the appearance of dark brown and black spots in places of natural folds of the skin: under the knees, in the elbows, on the back of the head and neck, in the armpits and in the groin. The reasons for the development of acanthosis nigricans are numerous: heredity, obesity, endocrine pathologies (hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary disease, acromegaly, hypogonadism, Cushing's disease, type II diabetes mellitus, and many others). Acanthosis, as a rule, first appears at a young age - up to 40 years.
Outwardly, such dark spots on the legs under the knees resemble dirty stripes - you want to rub them and wash them off. The skin in the affected areas is coarser and drier, it rarely itches, but it can flake off, and is sometimes covered with a small papillomatous rash. If acanthosis nigricans are associated with excess weight and constant friction, then the spots may disappear on their own when a person loses weight. Treatment of acanthosis is symptomatic and hormonal.
The people call this disease "chicks". The essence of the pathogenesis is that epithelial cells are filled with keratin before they mature, the old stratum corneum is not rejected, but clogs the mouths of the hair follicles, as a result of which the hairs on the body cannot grow outward and curl into a knot. Small dark spots then remain in place of these nodules, especially on the legs, but pimples are also on the hands, and on the back, and even on the face.
Follicular keratosis usually develops during adolescence. It is believed that there is a hereditary predisposition to it. However, the disease can be triggered by a wide range of factors, including infections, trauma, hormonal problems, and vitamin deficiency. Dark spots on the legs and other parts of the body caused by follicular keratosis are purely a cosmetic defect and do not pose any danger. However, sometimes the pimples are accompanied by itching and flaking, which can be treated with medicated ointments.
This is a benign skin neoplasm that occurs due to the accumulation of keratin in the stratum corneum of the epidermis. There are several types of such tumors, the most common is senile or simply senile keratoma. It looks like a dark brown, brown or black bulging spot on the leg, arm, head, in the auricle - that is, on open areas of the body that are regularly exposed to sunlight. In addition to ultraviolet radiation and age-related changes, doctors rank hormonal disruptions, hereditary predisposition, and skin damage with chemicals as the causes of keratomas.
A keratoma is a lumpy growth of a round or irregular shape with a soft, scaly structure and a diameter of 3-5 mm to 6 cm. The tumor can be a little painful, the upper layers peel off at the slightest damage, which often leads to bleeding. In case of penetration of pathogens, such a spot on the leg can become inflamed and fester. Some types of keratomas (follicular, seborrheic, angiokeratoma) are harmless in terms of the risk of malignancy, but the solar keratoma, which appears mainly on the face and at first looks like a scaly bright pink plaque with clear edges, can spontaneously degenerate into a malignant tumor, which read about …
This malignant tumor was previously called melanoblastoma, it comes from cells that synthesize the pigment melanin, that is, from melanocytes. Melanoma affects mainly the skin, less often the mucous membranes and the retina of the eyes. Such a tumor is one of the most dangerous types of cancer, because it grows rapidly, metastasizes through the lymphatic network to other organs and tissues, and often recurs even with timely detection and removal.
Melanoma on the leg looks like a small, dark, irregular spot with rounded outlines and a rougher structure than the surrounding skin. The color of the neoplasm varies from light brown to reddish brown to black, with pigmentation almost always uneven. Melanoma often occurs at the site of the birthmark, this is preceded by a feeling of soreness, a change in skin tone, hair loss and bleeding in the area of the defect. If you find these symptoms in yourself, see your doctor as soon as possible!
Read more: Causes and symptoms of melanoma
Light (white) spots
The vast majority of such defects represent areas of hypopigmentation that do not bother the patient, but there are also light spots caused by dermatoses of viral or fungal etiology. In this case, the affected skin very often itches and flakes. Some diseases accompanied by white spots on the feet are contagious. Let's take a look at the possible diagnoses.
Let's start with the most common situation - with the appearance of light streaks in the place of deep cuts. In this, scars are fundamentally different from PVH. When the uppermost layers of the skin are damaged, a dark spot appears in this place, which disappears over time. If the deep layers are affected, down to the soft tissues, a scar is formed, which goes through several stages of development. At first, it is bright pink or bluish-claret due to active blood supply, and by the third or fourth month after the injury, the vessels die off, collagen fibers line up in a certain order and stretch - a scar is formed, which is much paler than the surrounding skin areas.
It is almost impossible to get rid of white spots on the legs after cuts, especially when it comes to keloid scars - tight, painful, rough and protruding above the surface of the body. However, there are many cosmetic procedures and ointments that can soften the defect, smooth it out and make it less noticeable. Sometimes only plastic surgery helps to solve the problem - a radical excision of the scar in order to create a neater, thinner scar in this place, which will practically disappear over time.
Read more: Treatment of scars with folk remedies
One of the most mysterious dermatological diseases - the causes of vitiligo are not fully understood, a complex of hereditary, autoimmune, toxic, endocrine and neurotrophic factors in the development of the disease is assumed. As a rule, light spots on the legs, arms, trunk, and sometimes on the face first appear at a young age. They have a milky white hue, irregular shape and arbitrary size, can grow and merge together, capturing vast areas of the body, but they can also disappear on their own.
Vitiligo spots do not bother their owner in any way, since this is not an inflammatory reaction, but the result of a spontaneous termination of melanogenesis. Hair in these areas is also discolored. Of course, the disease is a serious cosmetic problem, especially since it is not possible to radically solve it. Patients are forced to mask the variegated areas of the body with clothing, accessories and tinting cosmetics.
More: Vitiligo - causes, stages, why is it dangerous, how and how to treat vitiligo?
Strictly speaking, the above-described vitiligo disease is one of the forms of leukoderma, since this term refers to all possible variants of melanogenesis disorders, including genetic, toxic and idiopathic ones. Discoloration of the skin is characteristic of many pathologies, including infections (lichen, syphilis, leprosy), autoimmune diseases (lupus, scleroderma), chromosomal abnormalities (Wolfe's syndrome). Albinism is an extreme degree of leukoderma. Thus, hypopigmentation can be either acquired or congenital.
White spots on the legs with leukoderma, as a rule, are of an infectious nature - they are caused by the activity of fungi that cause lichen. In second place in terms of occurrence are toxic, and in third - autoimmune causes of discolored areas on the skin. Below we will take a closer look at all forms of lichen that affect a person, and we will start with those in which light spots appear on the legs and other parts of the body.
Simple (white) versicolor
Unlike most other species, lichen simplex is not contagious and does not cause excruciating suffering associated with itching to the sick person. There are two versions of the origin of this dermatosis: according to the first, the culprit is malassezia - a fungus that lives on the skin and suppresses the access of ultraviolet radiation to melanocytes, and the second version classifies lichen lichen as a mild form of staphylo- or streptoderma. Thus, the disease can occur in any person (usually a child or adolescent), because the causative agents of lichen simplex belong to the normal conditionally pathogenic flora of the skin.
The disease is characterized by the appearance of rounded whitish spots with a diameter of 2-3 mm to 5 cm on the face, neck, shoulders, arms and legs, less often on the back, chest and abdomen. The spots have slightly blurred boundaries, their surface is dry, the formation of thin transparent scales and flaking is observed, itching is either moderate or absent. As the disease progresses, the defects may coalesce to form large, itchy, pink-white patches. In this case, ointments with hydrocortisone, pimecrolimus or calcipotriol are prescribed. Thorough hygiene, skin care and vitamin therapy are also recommended.
More: Deprive a person - stages, symptoms, how to treat?
Pityriasis versicolor versicolor
This type of lichen has a well-established fungal origin. First, a person develops small dark spots on his legs, arms, back, chest, neck, and armpits. These specks are reddish brown and well-defined. But the paradox is that the affected areas do not darken in the sun, because azelaic acid secreted by the fungus during its vital activity prevents cells from synthesizing melanin. As a result, over time, the spots become lighter than healthy areas of the skin, and the human body begins to look variegated, as if sprinkled with bran, hence the name of the disease.
Tinea versicolor can cause serious inconvenience to the patient - the rash itches and flakes, the affected areas sweat a lot. However, with this disease, only the uppermost, stratum corneum of the epidermis suffers, and it can be cured quite quickly if, in addition to local treatment (ointments and shampoos containing ketoconazole, bifonazole or sertaconazole), antimycotics are taken internally (fluconazole). This allows you to additionally insure against relapses of pityriasis versicolor, since the drug lingers in the tissues for several months. During treatment, it is very important to observe personal hygiene, to prevent scratching of itchy areas and the introduction of additional infection.
Read more: Pityriasis versicolor in humans
This is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by pale treponema. It makes no sense to consider the entire pathogenesis of the disease within the framework of this material, today we are interested in spots on the legs. And they can be part of the symptoms of secondary syphilis. It is characterized by absolutely painless white-pink spots ("syphilitic roseola"), entwining the neck ("necklace of Venus"), and sometimes also the patient's torso, hips and legs.
Spots on the skin with secondary syphilis do not itch or flake off. However, they are accompanied by a general deterioration in well-being, lymphadenitis, subfebrile body temperature. If the primary stage of the disease for some reason has passed unnoticed, then at this stage it is necessary to urgently consult a venereologist and undergo treatment. The prognosis of the disease is favorable, pale treponema is still highly sensitive even to common penicillins.
Read more: Syphilis - Causes and Symptoms
Beige and brown spots
The culprit for the development of brown skin defects is almost always melanin, or rather, its excess in different layers of the epidermis. Pigmented spots are congenital and acquired, among them there are formations that pose a potential danger in terms of the risk of malignancy. In some cases, brown areas appear on the body due to systemic diseases and dysfunctions of internal organs, since any pathological processes in the body negatively affect the condition of the skin. Let's consider the most likely causes of brown spots on the legs.
This category includes the following defects:
Read more: Pigmented spots on the face and body: causes and treatment
They represent either an abnormally dense accumulation of melanocyte cells in the deep layers of the epidermis, or an overgrowth of the subcutaneous vessel (angioma). Most nevi are congenital, but in the first years of life they can be so small that they go unnoticed. In rare cases, the defect occupies a large area, forming an ugly birthmark, the color of which varies widely: beige, pink, brown, burgundy, purple, black. Moles usually appear on the face, back and limbs, but can be found in the most unexpected places, including the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals. The reasons for the appearance of nevi are hereditary or hormonal, sometimes ultraviolet radiation, radiation, trauma or viral infections are to blame.
The nevi on the legs, as a rule, are dark brown in color, with a diameter of 1 mm to 3 cm, and a uniform color. They do not differ from the surrounding tissues in density and structure, but they can rise above the skin surface, forming soft, painless growths. Moles do not hurt, itch, or peel off. If you notice that a brown spot on your leg, which you are used to considering as a harmless mole, has begun to grow in size, become uneven in color, bleed and hurt, see a doctor immediately! Moreover, this must be done if the stain spontaneously arose in adulthood. Remember the risk of birthmarks degenerating into a malignant tumor - do not expose them to the open rays of the sun and do not injure!
Cannabis or mountain ash, as they are also called, are small pigment spots of arbitrary shape from golden yellow to light brown, covering mainly the middle third of the face, décolleté, lower arms and legs - in a word, the places most susceptible to solar radiation. Freckles differ from moles in that they represent a temporary, seasonal accumulation of melanin in the surface layer of the epidermis, and not a permanent conglomeration of melanocytes. But the cause of the emergence of cannabis is also mainly hereditary - they are especially common in fair-skinned red-haired people.
Freckles always appear in childhood and periodically pester their owner with abundant motley scattering on the face and body - the peak of their "activity" occurs in late spring and summer. Many young people are shy about cannabis, considering them a defect, and try to lighten the skin with the help of creams and cosmetic procedures. To some, freckles, on the contrary, seem like a cute feature of appearance, giving a special charm and personality. Be that as it may, this type of age spots is absolutely harmless and does not need treatment.
The term "chloasma" refers to an acquired age spot that occurs against a background of hormonal imbalance, diseases of internal organs, chronic infection, toxic damage to the body or excessive sun exposure. Chloasma is an irregularly shaped brown or brown color that has clear boundaries, does not protrude above the surface of the skin, and does not cause concern. There are single and multiple chloasmas, they are usually localized on the lateral parts of the face, but similar brown spots may appear on the legs, arms, chest, neck or abdomen.
The vast majority of chloasma are associated with hormonal changes in the female body during pregnancy and lactation. Further, among the provoking factors can be identified menopause, oral contraceptives, abortion, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, chronic inflammatory diseases of the reproductive sphere, endocrine pathologies. Treatment for chloasma consists of minimizing the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin, as well as hormone therapy and taking vitamins after the necessary blood tests. It is not uncommon for these brown spots on the legs, arms or face to disappear spontaneously.
These are small flat rounded dark brown formations on the skin, usually multiple, covering open areas of the body - the face, upper chest, shoulders, limbs. There are several varieties of lentigo (simple, youthful, senile, genetic, solar), of which the latter is the most dangerous, since it can spontaneously degenerate into skin cancer. As can be seen from the typology, the causes of the development of lentigo are diverse - from congenital hypersensitivity to ultraviolet light to hormonal surges and age-related disorders of melanogenesis.
Brown spots on the legs with lentigo, as a rule, are very small, covering the skin in bulk. But there are also single formations with a diameter of several centimeters. They do not cause any inconvenience: they do not hurt, do not itch, do not peel off. Radical treatment of lentigo is surgical - the defect can be removed if it is the only one, but no one can guarantee that the stain will not appear again. People with this trait need to avoid long exposure to the sun and be regularly examined by a dermatologist-oncologist in order to notice signs of lentigo malignancy in time.
It is a genetic disorder, either inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, or arising from a spontaneous mutation. There is a frequency of 1 case per 3.5 thousand babies. Neurofibromatosis is characterized by a whole complex of symptoms: multiple benign tumors on the skin and in internal organs (neurofibromas), especially often along the peripheral nerves, brown pigmented spots on the legs, arms and the whole body, hemartomas of the eye iris (Lisch nodules), as well as scoliosis, mental retardation, blindness, epilepsy (not in all patients).
Spots on the skin with neurofibromatosis have a shade of "coffee with milk", they are round or irregular in shape, with clear boundaries, do not rise above the surface of the skin and do not disturb the patient. Neurofibromas, on the other hand, cause serious suffering - they grow under the skin on the membranes of the nerves and lead to damage to them, which results in chronic pain, numbness and even paralysis. Neurofibromas look like dense pink-red vesicular growths that often cover large areas of the body and merge into a continuous carpet.
Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver
It would be more correct to call this category a general term "liver spots", because such skin defects are very diverse and occur in many pathologies of the liver and biliary tract - with cirrhosis, hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholangitis, cholelithiasis, cancer, liver failure and parasitic invasions. The liver is the main "filter" of the body, and when the organ stops working normally, the blood becomes clogged with toxins, which leads to stains on the legs, arms, face in the abdomen and chest.
Liver spots are yellowish-brown or beige-pink in color, they are dull, usually round or slightly elongated, the size of a grape, multiple, are located chaotically, do not rise above the surface of the body, do not peel off, but they itch very strongly. In addition to such spots, other signals are almost always present on the skin of a sick person - a pink rash on the abdomen, red palms, yellow sclera and coated tongue, vascular networks on the face and limbs. And this is not to mention the yellowness of all the skin and a general deterioration in well-being. Treatment of liver spots consists in the treatment of the underlying disease.
Video: 10 warning signs that the liver is full of toxins:
Pink and red spots
When it comes to rashes of pink or red color, one can almost confidently suspect an inflammatory etiology - the body reacts in this way to the pathological effects of allergens, toxins, infectious agents and their waste products. In addition, red spots on the feet can be the result of chemical or thermal burns. Many conditions that cause skin rashes are contagious and require proper precautions. But we will begin to consider this group of defects with the most common - that is, with the bite of various insects.
It would seem that if someone bit you, then the causes of the spots on your feet are obvious. But not always a person manages to notice the culprit of the bite, especially if everything happens during outdoor activities or, conversely, a sound night's sleep. In addition, some insects are so small and secretive that the injured person can only guess who bit all the legs and how now to get rid of the intolerable itching. Let's take a quick look at the symptoms of common insect bites.
Read more: First aid for insect bites, how to treat itching, swelling?
If you are not hypersensitive to mosquito saliva, the bite site will look like a pink, rounded speck with a diameter of 3-5 mm, almost not rising above the surface of the skin. Minor itching is possible, which will subside no later than 12 hours after the attack. Surely you can suspect a mosquito by the nature of the bites - usually there are several of them, they are located next to each other on an open area of the body (head, arm or leg, if you have a habit of sticking it out from under the blanket while sleeping).
Mosquito bites cause significant inconvenience to hypersensitive people - they have blisters up to one and a half centimeters in diameter, which itch a lot and even hurt, sometimes the body temperature rises. In this case, you need to take an antihistamine (Cetrin, Loratadin) and apply a special soothing ointment (Fenistil, Bepanten) to the affected area.
Read more: Swelling, spots, allergies and itching from mosquito bites, how to smear them?
Mosquito bites are potentially more dangerous than mosquito bites. The gnat attacks a person in the morning and daytime, waiting for a victim near water bodies, in thickets of tall grass, at the edge of a forest. A whole flock of tiny insects cling to an open area of the body, pointwise "cutting" the surface layer of the skin and sucking lymph and blood from the resulting wounds. The victim at this moment does not feel anything, because the saliva of the midges acts as an anesthetic. New flocks of gnats flock to the smell of blood, and if they are not noticed and not driven away, the consequences will be worse.
After 30-60 minutes, the bitten area swells and begins to itch terribly. Against the background of solid redness, individual dots are distinguishable - bite marks. If you notice such red spots on a leg or other part of the body, it is necessary to wash and dry the skin clean, apply a medicated ointment and bandage the damaged area so as not to scratch it and not introduce an infection.
Read more: Symptoms, itching and swelling from a midge bite, how to treat?
For fleas, a person is an "intermediate" victim, it is much more convenient for them to parasitize on domestic animals, hiding in their thick wool and biting through the thinner epidermis. But a flea attack on a person happens often, moreover, small red spots from bites appear on the legs, because it is easiest to jump to them. Fleas do not produce anesthetic, but bite into the skin very hard, so it is difficult not to notice the pain of a bite. However, it is extremely difficult to catch and identify the nimble insect.
Places bitten by fleas are very itchy, you want to comb them until they bleed. This cannot be done - it is better to disinfect and seal the red spot with a plaster, and most importantly, to sanitize the room in order to avoid similar problems in the future.
Read more: Types, symptoms and treatment of a flea bite
Bed bugs are a real attack, it is very difficult to find them and get them out of the house forever. They attack one by one, at night, choosing places with the thinnest and most delicate skin: on the legs under the knees, in the neck and chest, on the face. During the first 15-20 minutes, the anesthetic contained in the saliva acts, so the bug has time to drink blood before it is noticed by the victim. One bloodsucker makes a series of 7-8 bites, moving along the chosen subcutaneous capillary.
In the morning, a person discovers a path of large pink-red swollen spots with blisters in the middle. These blisters itch unbearably, especially if there is a tendency to allergic reactions. It is recommended to apply an antihistamine inside and treat the bitten area with medicinal ointment. However, all these efforts will be in vain if the bugs are not removed.
Read more: Bites of domestic bugs
Wasps, bees, hornets and bumblebees
These are rather large and aggressive insects, but since they do not feed on blood, they attack people only when it seems to them that a person poses a danger to themselves or their homes. A distinctive feature of this group is the presence of a sting - a sharp harpoon-like outgrowth at the end of the abdomen. During the bite, the bee leaves a sting inside the victim and dies, pulling out part of the internal organs from itself. This is due to the presence of notches on her sting - it cannot be pulled out. In wasps, hornets and bumblebees, the sting is naked, it can be easily removed from the wound, so one insect, if angry with waves of hands, can bite several times in a row.
The poison of these insects is potentially very dangerous - 2% of victims develop anaphylactic shock and Quincke's edema, which is fraught with death. For all people, without exception, a bee or wasp sting causes severe pain and swelling. If the swelling does not subside for a long time even after applying a cool compress, an antiallergic drug should be taken.
Read more: Bumblebee sting
Horseflies and gadflies
These are large flies that parasitize livestock, but sometimes they can attack humans. The gadfly and gadfly bite is very painful, in addition, the insect injects a toxin and an anticoagulant into the wound, which prevents blood clotting. The wound after the bite itches a lot and does not heal for a long time. It must be treated with an antiseptic and covered with a protective bandage. If the victim shows signs of an allergic reaction, an antihistamine should be taken.
It should also be borne in mind that horseflies carry many dangerous infections, and gadfly larvae can theoretically develop in the human body, such cases have been recorded. Therefore, if a red spot on a leg or in another part of the body hurts for a long time after an insect attack, and general health is disturbed, it is necessary to visit an infectious disease doctor.
Read more: Gadfly and horsefly bite
These highly organized insects, for the most part, do not show aggression towards humans (we will not talk about exotic species here), but if you accidentally invade their home, for example, while relaxing in nature, ants may well bite and get hurt before everything, legs. Black forest ants attack in a crowd, covering the skin with small red spots.
During the bite, they inject formic acid into the wound, which is quite harmless, but can cause a violent reaction in allergy sufferers. The bitten area is swollen, sore, blistered and itchy, and may cause fever and nausea. In this case, antiallergic therapy is required. Sanitizing the skin and applying a cool compress is usually enough.
Read more: Ant bites
These small blood-sucking insects pose the greatest danger in terms of infection with borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis. The peak of attacks occurs in spring and autumn, ticks wait for their victims in thickets of bushes, in a forested area, along the banks of water bodies. Red spots on the legs as a result of a tick bite are not uncommon, usually these insects just crawl under the pants. Hiding in clothes, the tick penetrates under the skin and injects a powerful anesthetic, so it manages to remain unnoticed by the victim all the time it feeds (from one hour to a week). A well-fed bloodsucker falls off the body by itself, unless, of course, it is noticed earlier.
The tick bite looks like a small red spot, in the center of which the culprit's abdomen sticks out. If the insect has lodged for a long time, and an allergic reaction has begun, then an additional red halo forms around this spot. Having found a tick in yourself, you should not try to remove it, you need to go to an ambulance station or an emergency room, where they will help you, prescribe preventive therapy, tell you about the rules for monitoring your health after being bitten and take the tick for analysis.
Read more: Signs and symptoms of a tick bite in humans, what to do?
Video: 10 insect bites you need to be able to recognize:
A common cause of red spots on the legs is chemical or thermal burns. In this case, the victim feels a sharp severe pain, the skin turns pink, then a blister filled with a yellowish transparent liquid - lymph can form at this place. With high-grade burns, things are much worse. One thing to remember: if a burn occurs, it is necessary to apply dry cold to the affected area as soon as possible, for example, a piece of ice or a frozen product wrapped in several layers of clean cloth (ideally, sterile gauze).
Do not pour cold water over the burn unless you have no other choice. Moreover, you can not apply to the wound improvised "folk" means, such as vegetable oil or sour cream - so you will only make it worse. If there is Panthenol in the home medicine cabinet, treat the burn with the drug and cover it with a clean bandage. It is better to consult a doctor after that, since only a specialist can correctly establish the severity of the damage received and prescribe adequate therapy!
Read more: Burn - signs and degrees of burns
Otherwise, this common disease is called "acne" and has several reasons for its development: heredity, hormonal changes in the body, excessive sweating, seborrhea, and neglect of personal hygiene. If a person has acne on their feet, this could be the result of wearing synthetic clothing or using poor quality shower cosmetics. The direct culprits of acne are representatives of the coccal microflora - because of them, inflammation develops.
Red spots on the legs with acne are complemented by white or yellow spots, and many people have a dangerous habit of squeezing them out with dirty hands. The suppuration is repeated many times and spreads further. When it is finally possible to stop the inflammatory process and heal the skin, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation appears on the legs, which we mentioned above - darkening of the skin appears on the site of former acne and red spots. Treatment of acne is complex, even hormonal correction may be required.
Read more: Acne - forms and causes
This disease differs from acne in the presence of severe itching, as well as a variety of symptoms: from extensive uniform redness to small erosions, vesicles and nodules. Otherwise, allergic dermatitis is called contact dermatitis, because it occurs when the skin interacts with an external irritant, be it clothing, a cosmetic product, a medicinal ointment or a chemical.
The reaction starts with redness and itching, then a rash appears on the skin. If it is combed with dirty hands, purulent inflammation may join. The key to successful treatment of contact dermatitis lies in the early identification of the allergen and its exclusion from the patient's everyday life, as well as in the local and external use of antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Read more: Allergic dermatitis in adults and children
This is a hereditary neurogenic-allergic disease, which in modern medical practice is otherwise called atopic dermatitis and belongs to the group of neuroallergic dermatoses, the differences between which are very blurred. The clinical picture of the disease is the appearance of unbearably itchy red spots on the legs, arms and other parts of the body. The rash has a tendency to weeping and peeling, very often complicated by purulent inflammation as a result of infection during scratching.
Neurodermatitis is characterized by periods of remission and exacerbation, and is often combined with other forms of allergy - conjunctivitis, hay fever, asthma. Legs are a favorite localization of red spots with neurodermatitis, they begin to itch even before the appearance of a rash, which sometimes merges into large areas and becomes covered with scabs. But, as a rule, the process begins with the appearance of one scaly patch, consisting of a small red rash and having well-defined boundaries. Treatment of neurodermatitis is very complex and complex, it includes antihistamine and hormonal therapy, a special diet and physiotherapy.
Scaly lichen, or psoriasis, is a non-contagious, chronic skin disease of an autoimmune nature. It is characterized by the formation of red spots protruding above the surface of the skin, often merging into a single mass with chaotic boundaries. On the surface of these spots, plaques of a silvery-white or gray-yellow color are formed, consisting of the stratum corneum of the epidermis. They are very dry, itchy and flaky.
Red spots on the legs with psoriasis are often found - the disease primarily affects the popliteal folds, thighs and buttocks, but plaques can appear even on the soles. Psoriasis has several varieties, the disease has a long, persistent course with numerous periods of deterioration and improvement. Anything from stress to climate change can exacerbate scaly lichen. Treatment for psoriasis is complex, very complex and requires patience.
Read more: Psoriasis - stages, causes, symptoms
In other words, it is allergic to sunlight. If, for some reason, the main radiation passed to the open areas of the legs, then red spots covered with a vesicular rash like small-point burns may well appear on them. These rashes hurt rather than itch. They appear after a few hours and can stay on the body for up to two to three days.
It is quite difficult to differentiate photodermatosis from other allergic dermatitis, but if you know that no other factors could have affected your skin, try to avoid direct sunlight, and if the rash subsides, then the cause is correctly established. Treatment of photodermatosis is UV protection and antihistamines.
This general term means skin lesions with pyogenic cocci. There are both staphyloderma and streptoderma separately, as well as a mixed form of the disease - staphylostreptoderma. It mainly affects young children who touch their sweaty skin with unwashed hands, itch with dirty nails, receive minor injuries and scratches during outdoor games in the yard.
For staphyloderma, suppuration of hair follicles and sebaceous glands is most typical, and with streptoderma, bubbles form on the skin with cloudy contents and a red corolla around (the so-called flikten), then they burst, become covered with a yellow crust and heal. This process can be repeated many times. The group of superficial pyoderma is otherwise called impetigo, antibacterial and restorative treatment.
The disease differs from the contact dermatitis discussed above in that with toxicoderma, the allergen enters the body and enters the bloodstream, and does not come into contact with the body. The manifestations of the disease are very similar: severely itchy red spots are formed on the legs, arms, face and body. They are usually small in size, close to each other and occupy large areas. When scratching, it is not uncommon for the rash to become infected and inflamed.
Most episodes of toxicoderma proceed as an acute allergic reaction. For the successful treatment of the disease, it is very important to determine the cause and prevent the re-penetration of the allergen into the victim's body. Detoxification measures are carried out, antihistamines, hormonal ointments are prescribed.
A collective term denoting a symptom complex rather than a specific disease. There are many types of eczema - idiopathic, mycotic, microbial, occupational, seborrheic, childhood, and so on. They all have a common feature - the nature of the rash. First, erythema (redness of the skin) develops, then the affected area is covered with tiny bubbles with liquid content. These seropapules are opened at the slightest impact, and point erosion occurs in their place. Exudate is released, the skin becomes wet, then gradually dries up, a continuous thin crust forms, which disappears.
It is difficult to confuse pink and red spots on the legs with eczema with other dermatoses, the clinical picture is so bright and characteristic. Treatment of the disease depends on the etiology - both antibiotics and antifungal drugs may be required. As for true or idiopathic eczema, the basis of therapy is antihistamines and glucocorticosteroid ointments.
Read more: Eczema - causes, symptoms, how to treat?
Another collective medical term for pink or red blisters that are swollen on the skin, as after a nettle burn. Allergic urticaria is distinguished as an independent disease, in addition, such a rash is characteristic of some dermatoses. There is also autographism - a form of urticaria, when a person develops blisters after being held over the skin, for example, with a fingernail.
Urticaria is acute and chronic, the course of the disease depends on the cause. Identifying the allergen correctly can be very difficult given the many options available, from food to household dust and even cold. People with chronic urticaria require careful diagnosis with skin scarification tests. Treatment of the disease consists in eliminating the irritant, taking antihistamines and applying ointments containing steroid hormones.
Read more: Hives - Causes and Symptoms
The disease is caused by dermatophyte fungi of two main types, they are transmitted to humans from infected people or pets through close contact. If Trichophyton is the culprit of the disease, they speak of trichophytosis, if Microsporum - of microsporia. Ringworm lesions occur throughout the body, including the scalp, feet, and even nails. Ring-shaped red spots form on the legs, arms and trunk, which sometimes merge into large affected areas, itch and flake. Baldness is common in the front of the skull.
The areas of the body captured by the deprive should be tried not to comb, because this is fraught with the addition of a bacterial infection and suppuration. Treatment consists of oral administration and local use of antimycotic drugs (ketoconazole, miconazole, clotrimazole, mycoseptin, terbinafine, and so on). It is also important to sanitize the patient's home and his personal belongings, otherwise re-infection with fungi will inevitably occur.
Read more: Ringworm in humans
Roseola Gibert (lichen pink)
This is a disease with an uncertain etiology - some experts blame allergies, others for coccal or viral infection. Predominantly young and middle-aged people are ill with pink lichen. The process begins with the emergence of a "mother" plaque - a rounded pink scaly patch with clear boundaries. Roseola can have an impressive diameter - up to 5 cm, very soon it is surrounded by other smaller plaques.
Pink spots on the legs with Gibert's lichen are common, this dermatosis of the thigh and calves is especially susceptible, but the lesion usually spreads to them from the chest or abdomen. Over time, the central part of roseola brightens and turns yellow, and a bright halo remains along the edge, which gives the spots the appearance of medallions. The mild form of pink lichen does not need treatment and goes away on its own. With severe itching, the patient is shown hormonal ointments and antiallergic drugs.
Read more: Pink lichen
Another dermatosis of an unclear nature - among the causes, even the influence of stress and a hereditary factor are distinguished. Lichen lichen is characterized by the appearance of multiple rounded spots of crimson or red-violet color, located in groups on the trunk and limbs. Papules rise above the surface of the skin, have a diameter of several millimeters, often merge into a common mass, almost do not peel off, but itch very strongly. If you look closely, you can see a depression in the center of the papules, in addition, they have a characteristic waxy sheen, clearly visible under side lighting.
There are many varieties of lichen planus that can have additional symptoms. Sometimes spots do not appear on the skin at all, but exclusively on the mucous membranes. If you suspect this disease, you should contact a highly qualified dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. Complex therapy, it may include taking antimalarial drugs and laser removal of lichen lesions.
Read more: Lichen planus in humans
This is an acute infectious dermatosis caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. The favorite localization of erysipelas is the cheeks and legs. There is an erythematous form of the disease, when large red spots appear on the legs or face, and bullous, when blisters with serous contents are additionally formed on the affected area. Primary erysipelas often occurs on the face, and recurrent erysipelas occurs on the legs. As a rule, women of mature and old age suffer.
The debut of the disease is bright - on the third or fifth day after infection with streptococcus, a high temperature rises, chills, body aches, weakness, nausea, headache, swelling of the lymph nodes are observed. After a maximum of half a day, skin manifestations join - first, burning and bursting pain, and then a red spot in the affected area, which can cover the entire cheek or lower leg. The disease disappears after one to two weeks, possibly residual peeling of the skin and PVH. A formidable complication of erysipelas of the legs is lymphostasis, against which elephantiasis can develop.
It is a highly contagious skin disease caused by the mite of the same name, a microscopic obligate parasite that can consume human keratin. Itch mites or itchs penetrate under the top layer of the skin in just 15-20 minutes, mating occurs there, after which the male dies, and the female forms a passage in which she lays eggs, and from them larvae appear. This cycle is repeated many times, the patient suffers from unbearable itching and cannot sleep well at night.
Bubbles, scabies and small red spots on the legs with scabies may appear in the very first place if the focus of infection was there. For example, someone else's pants or underwear infected with a tick were worn. Much more often, the first signs of scabies are observed on the wrists and hands, in the interdigital folds (if the tick has passed from the cuffs) or on the torso and thighs (if the person slept in an infected bed). Treatment of scabies is local, very simple and quick - using sulfuric ointment, benzyl benzoate suspension, Spregal, Permethrin or Invermectin. But it will be useless if the whole family is not treated at the same time and the dwelling is not subjected to large-scale sanitization.
Read more: Scabies - Causes and Symptoms
Blue and purple spots
Defects of such shades are almost certainly of a vascular or hemorrhagic nature: either the vessels have expanded, or blood stagnation is observed, or subcutaneous hemorrhage has occurred. Let's look at the main causes of purple and blue spots on the feet, starting with the most common and obvious diagnoses.
This term means a banal bruise, which any person, especially an eternally hurrying and clumsy one, has ever received. Sometimes the moment of hitting furniture or other piece of furniture is not even remembered, just after a while we notice a blue spot on the leg, which then begins to “bloom”, changing the shade to purple, lilac, and, finally, to greenish-yellow.
How to distinguish a hematoma from other pathologies? Quite simply - it is painful when pressed, it does not itch or flake, there is usually swelling of soft tissues around it. Large, extensive hematomas can cause serious suffering, inside them often accumulate a large volume of poured blood, and it must be removed by puncture. Introducing an infection into the hematoma cavity is fraught with very dangerous consequences, up to gangrene. And a small bruise on your leg can be easily dealt with at home - if you just hit, apply a cold to the bruised area. Local anticoagulants, for example, heparin ointment, contribute to the speedy resorption of the hematoma.
Read more: Hematoma - causes and symptoms
Flaming nevus (port wine stain)
It is a vascular mole formed by a group of dilated subcutaneous capillaries. The wine stain is so named because of its characteristic color, but its hues can range from purple to deep purple. Usually the defect is the only one, it has an arbitrary shape, does not rise above the surface of the skin, brightens when pressed, does not disturb a person. A flaming nevus is a congenital feature that can be noticed even on the body of an infant. As a rule, at a young age, wine stains appear lighter, and darken with old age. They are usually located on the face, but can affect any other area.
It is impossible to cure a flaming nevus with therapeutic methods. As they grow older, the port of wine grows in size with the person. If the defect is very worrisome, you can remove it using a special pulsed laser. The treatment is very effective and allows you to completely get rid of an ugly red-violet spot on the leg or even on the face, moreover, the use of this technology is permissible from early childhood.
With this term, doctors denote what we in everyday life are used to calling vascular mesh or asterisks - that is, dilated subcutaneous capillaries with a diameter of 0.5-1 mm, forming a pattern like a "spider" or located chaotically. Telangiectasias are congenital and acquired, they are among the symptoms of many diseases, but sometimes they manifest themselves, creating a cosmetic defect.
Spider veins appear mainly on the face and wings of the nose, as well as on the legs, especially often on the back of the thighs and lower legs, closer to the knee joints. Women after 40 years of age often suffer from such skin defects, the good news is that the treatment of telangiectasias is not difficult - they are easily removed by sclerotherapy and laser surgery.
The disease is characterized by thinning of the venous walls of the lower extremities, expansion of the vascular lumen, the formation of convolutions and knots protruding through the skin, as well as heaviness, burning and pain in the legs, fatigue when walking and night cramps. Evening itching indicates the beginning of trophic changes. Varicose veins are dangerous for their complications - phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis and venostasis. In the early stages, patients are only concerned about a cosmetic defect. But without treatment, the situation will inevitably worsen. It is possible to remove varicose nodes only by surgery, for this you should contact a phlebologist surgeon.
Determining that the cause of purple and blue spots on the legs is precisely varicose veins is quite simple from the described symptoms. Mostly women of mature age suffer from this disease, especially those who are overweight. But you need to be careful - sometimes in the absence of varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities develops. This is a very dangerous condition, which is manifested by bursting pain, an extensive red or blue spot on the leg, severe edema, and a local increase in temperature. If you do not see a doctor in time, you can lose your leg.
Read more: Varicose veins - causes, symptoms and complications
This disease is otherwise called Schönlein-Henoch syndrome, allergic or rheumatic purpura. Hemorrhagic vasculitis has a mixed, not fully established etiology, mainly autoimmune. It usually occurs after a severe infection. Connective tissues, including the walls of blood vessels and capillaries, are affected, which leads to numerous subcutaneous hemorrhages. Point spots are called petechiae, in the form of stripes - vibexes, small-spotted - ecchymosis, large-spotted - bruising.
The disease begins with the appearance of red-purple spots on the legs, in the ankle area. These formations protrude slightly above the surface of the skin, do not hurt or itch. Sometimes they merge into a common amorphous mass and spread higher, to the thighs and buttocks. After a few days, the spots darken, turn brown and gradually disappear. The course of hemorrhagic vasculitis, as a rule, is benign, but there are also severe forms of the disease, accompanied by articular, abdominal and renal syndrome - their outcome is unpredictable. Treatment is reduced to taking antiplatelet agents, heparin and nicotinic acid, sometimes plasmapheresis is prescribed.
Read more: Hemorrhagic vasculitis
Hemosiderosis, Schamberg's disease, or chronic pigmentary purpura is a disease of unclear etiology, most likely autoimmune, affecting mainly men of mature age. As a result of the destruction of the subcutaneous capillaries, numerous small dark spots appear on the legs - petechiae. They can be reddish, brown or brownish. There are other signs of hemosiderosis: telangiectasias (vascular networks and asterisks), plaques, nodules, and sometimes several types of rashes at once.
Schamberg's disease has a benign course, only subcutaneous capillaries are affected, internal bleeding does not develop. Dark spots on the legs with this pathology do not bother the patient in any way - they do not hurt or itch, but can occupy large areas and thereby create serious cosmetic inconveniences. In this case, hormonal and anti-inflammatory treatment, a hypoallergenic diet, blood purification procedures - hemosorption, plasmaphoresis are indicated.
Idiopathic (immune) thrombocytopenic purpura
In another way, it is called Verlhof's syndrome or primary hemorrhagic diathesis. The reasons for the development of the disease are not completely clear, patients have a persistent deficiency of healthy platelets, and most often women of middle and mature age suffer. The disease is characterized by the spontaneous onset of subcutaneous hemorrhages and cutaneous hemorrhages, as is the case with the above-described vasculitis.
In addition to brown, purple and blue spots on the legs, sometimes similar to ordinary hematomas, patients are concerned about nasal, gingival and uterine bleeding, abdominal pain, hematuria, iron deficiency anemia, fever, and enlarged spleen. Hemorrhage may suddenly occur in the retina or even in the brain. For any, even minor damage to the skin, bruises remain on it, but more often they occur for no reason at all. Treatment of thrombocytopenic purpura is complex, very complex, success and prognosis depend on the severity of the disease.
Video: Immune thrombocytopenic purpura
Yellow and orange spots
Spots of these shades, as a rule, are of a hormonal or autoimmune nature. Among the probable diagnoses, there are also rare diseases of uncertain etiology, and metabolic failures. Before considering them in more detail, we recall that yellow spots on the legs, especially greenish ones, can be explained by hematoma or other hemorrhagic pathology from among those described in the previous section.
Endocrine disease, which is expressed in chronic adrenal cortex insufficiency and hypocorticism. The primary form of the disease develops due to damage to the adrenal glands themselves by any negative factors, and the secondary form due to the fact that the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, for some reason, synthesizes little adrenocorticotropic hormone. There is also an iatrogenic form, which arises from the rupture of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal connection as a result of prolonged therapy with synthetic corticosteroids.
The disease is characterized by a number of unpleasant symptoms, including yellow-brown spots on the legs and other parts of the body, called Addison's melasma. But these manifestations will most likely bother the patient in the last place, since chronic fatigue, weakness, lack of appetite with constant thirst, hypoglycemia, depression, tremor, limb paresthesia, amenorrhea, impotence and other consequences of chronic cortisol deficiency will come to the fore. Treatment for Addison's disease is hormone replacement therapy.
Autoimmune pathology, which is characterized by inflammation of the connective tissues, impaired blood microcirculation and generalized fibrosis. Scleroderma is called systemic, because it literally affects the entire body: skin, blood vessels, musculoskeletal system, internal organs. However, there is also a limited form of the disease, when individual areas of the skin, muscles and bones are involved in the pathogenesis.
If we talk about skin manifestations, then at the first stage of the disease there is swelling of the hands and feet, which is accompanied by erythema and pastiness. Then, as normal connective tissue is replaced by pathological tissue, dense waxy yellow spots appear on the legs and arms, separated from the rest of the body by a purple halo. At the final stage, atrophy of the epidermis occurs - the spots become colorless, dry and thin, like tissue paper, they seem to fall into the skin. In some cases, individual fingers or toes die off. Treatment of scleroderma is symptomatic, it is aimed at relieving the state of health and inhibition of the disease, but unfortunately it is impossible to stop it or completely cure it.
Read more: Bleeding during pregnancy
A rare disease of unknown etiology, the essence of the pathogenesis is the infiltration of the skin and internal organs with mast cells. There are three clinical forms of mastocytosis: cutaneous, systemic, and malignant (mast cell leukemia). Cutaneous mastocytosis is most common, in adults it is likely to become systemic, and in infants it spontaneously heals. The erythrodermic type of cutaneous mastocytosis is characterized by the formation of dense, rounded yellow-brown or orange spots on the legs. Defects are well-defined and very itchy, located mainly in the gluteal folds, under the knees, on the inner thighs and in the perineum, but can go higher, for example, into the armpits.
It is possible to determine that the spots are a manifestation of mastocytosis by the symptom of Darier-Unna - this is a specific reaction to rubbing of diseased skin areas. As a result, the spots instantly swell, like with a nettle burn, and become covered with small watery blisters. Moreover, with another form of cutaneous mastocytosis - papular, when small dark spots are observed on the legs, arms and trunk, the symptom of Darier-Unna is also pronounced, and with the nodular form it is almost not manifested. Treatment of mastocytosis is complex, complex and long-term, success depends on the type and severity of the disease.
Multiple xanthomatosis is an endocrine disorder in which cholesterol and cholestanol are deposited under the uppermost, stratum corneum. As a result, dense, painless plaques of a round shape from yellowish-white to orange are formed, well distinguishable and therefore creating a serious cosmetic defect. The most prominent are xanthelasmas, plaques on the lower and upper eyelids.
Xanthomas can occur almost anywhere on the body, including the palms and feet. The affected areas do not itch or flake off. Yellow spots on the legs with xanthomatosis are usually located in the popliteal and subgluteal folds. Such defects can disappear on their own after the restoration of normal metabolism. Treatment of the disease consists in the regulation of metabolism and a decrease in the proportion of lipid fractions in the blood. Xanthomatosis is a frequent companion of diabetes mellitus, which we will discuss further.
Video: Life is great! Xanthomas on the skin:
Spots on the legs with diabetes
Almost all diabetics have minor skin defects, and about half have pronounced lesions, and the more severe and longer the disease progresses, the higher the risk of serious complications - trophic ulcers and gangrene. Negative changes in the skin and soft tissues in people with diabetes mellitus are dictated by a chronic excess of glucose in the blood and the accumulation of waste products of pathological metabolism.
First, small oval light brown or reddish spots with a diameter of 0.5-1.5 cm appear on the outer lateral surfaces of the feet or the front of the legs. They are often symmetrical and form on both legs at the same time. Then the spots grow, darken and often merge into a common affected area, which is characterized by dryness, peeling and itching.
If diabetic dermopathy is accompanied by polyneuropathy, pain and burning may also occur. Such symptoms most often develop in older and long-term ill men. Diabetic spots on the legs disappear spontaneously after a few years, but may appear again.
True autoimmune pemphigus makes up only 1-1.5% of all dermatoses, that is, it is extremely rare, while it is life-threatening and has an extremely poor prognosis. Against the background of type 1 diabetes mellitus, the development of diabetic pemphigus is possible, which is manifested by the appearance of bullae of various sizes, mainly on the skin of the lower extremities.
These blisters are filled with cloudy yellowish serous contents, they burst, and painful wound surfaces form in their place, constantly weeping and difficult to heal. It is important to prevent infection of the wounds, they need careful care.
The disease is a consequence of a violation of carbohydrate-fat metabolism and is associated with diabetes mellitus in about 75% of cases. The pathological process begins with the formation of bright pink or red nodules surrounded by a bluish border and having a yellow-gray notch in the middle. These formations are localized mainly on the skin of the lower extremities, namely, in the region of the legs.
Over time, individual nodules merge into large dense plaques with a characteristic waxy sheen, as if covered with a translucent film. In the center, they are atrophic and resemble foci of scleroderma, and at the edges they have a brown or purple ridge, slightly rising above the surface of the skin. Diabetic women suffer from necrobiosis lipoidosis about 3 times more often than men. The disease does not go away spontaneously, it is very difficult to treat and often recurs.
It is otherwise called anular granuloma, has an unknown etiology, and is associated with several diseases, including tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, rheumatism and diabetes mellitus. Pathogenesis begins with the appearance of dense, smooth, shiny spots on the legs, arms, chest, abdomen, or back. Formations can have a beige, pink, red or purple hue. They do not flake or itch.
After a few months, the rounded papules merge into a general conglomerate like a plaque with uneven edges that have a brighter color than the middle part. An annular granuloma can reach significant sizes - up to 10 cm in diameter or more. Treatment of such spots on the legs in diabetes mellitus comes down to maintaining normal blood sugar levels and topical application of corticosteroids in case of inflammation and soreness of granulomas.
Read more: Annular granuloma
This is a formidable complication of diabetes mellitus, mainly of the second type. An ulcer can form in the lower leg (on the front or lateral surface) or on the foot (in the area of the toe joints, on the sole). For the second option, there is a separate collective term - "diabetic foot". Why do trophic ulcers occur in diabetes? Firstly, the skin of the legs loses sensitivity, and the person does not notice small cuts and cracks, into which the infection penetrates. Secondly, due to venous stasis, trophic disturbances and chronic oxygen starvation of tissues, the onset of purulent inflammation cannot be stopped by any means.
The formation of trophic ulcers begins with the appearance of a dense, light, glossy eminence, from the center of which lymph is released, then the wound opens and rot inside, sometimes to the bone itself. The inflammation is bacterial and / or fungal in nature, in every fourth case it ends with gangrene and amputation of the affected limb. The reason is that trophic ulcers do not heal, no matter how thorough the treatment is.
Read more: Trophic ulcer on the legs - causes, symptoms, stages and how to treat?
The most dangerous complication of diabetes mellitus is recorded in about 15% of elderly people with a long and severe course of the disease. There are two types of diabetic gangrene: dry and wet. The first type is more favorable in terms of prognosis, with it, part of the lower limb (usually one or more fingers) simply turn black and mummified, and may even be torn away from the body on its own.
Tissue breakdown products still enter the bloodstream, but not in such a huge amount as in wet gangrene, which is much more common, especially if the diabetic is overweight. In this case, black spots on the legs represent constantly weeping foci of decay, toxins poison the body, cause sepsis and death if the affected leg is not amputated in time.
Read more: Gangrene - types, causes and symptoms
Video: Type 2 diabetes and leg complications:
Stains on the legs after hair removal
Removing unwanted hair often results in irritation, rashes, red spots or dark nodules, especially if the skin is sensitive, depilation technology has been violated and the need for subsequent care has been ignored. Let's find out what difficulties a woman can face in striving for perfect smoothness of legs, how to avoid common mistakes or get rid of existing defects.
They most often appear on the legs after hair removal in two cases:
- Hair was shaved off with a blunt blade over unprepared, unstained skin. To achieve the result, you had to press on the razor and repeatedly drag it over the same place. As a result, the stratum corneum of the epidermis was cut off in places, and the ichor, and sometimes blood, is released from there. If then an infection penetrates into the wounds, everything will end with the development of dermatitis - red dots on the legs will itch, peel off or even fester;
- Depilation was carried out with wax strips or an electric epilator for sensitive skin. Such procedures are accompanied by rough pulling of hairs from the follicles, which in itself can lead to redness and swelling. Neglecting to post-treat the skin with special products, rubbing, scrubbing, wearing tights or tight-fitting synthetic pants can aggravate the problem.
Sometimes, instead of red dots, girls complain about the appearance of dark, dense nodules - this is the result of improper use of the epilator. The device injures the hair follicles, their mouth is scarred and narrowed, the hair cannot break through, therefore it curls up into a loop and grows in an arbitrary direction, under the skin. This process is often accompanied by itching, and sometimes painful tingling and even suppuration. The legs become rough, covered with tiny dark bumps and look extremely unaesthetic. There is a special term that describes this attack - the "strawberry feet effect."
In order to prevent ingrown hairs, it is necessary to remove them strictly in one direction, against the growth, holding the epilator at the right angle and running it along the legs from the bottom up. You cannot arbitrarily rotate the device, and if you are uncomfortable getting to a certain area, then it is better to just change your position. After the procedure, do not rub the skin, pat it dry with a clean towel and apply an antiseptic, soothing and regenerating treatment. If you already have ingrown hairs, you can try to get rid of them by steaming and scrubbing, but you should be patient - it will not work the first time.
Do not pick out the ingrown hairs with a needle, do not pull out with tweezers and do not squeeze out with your nails - it will only make things worse, the ingrowth will repeat or there will be a long lasting dark spot on the leg, which will then have to be bleached. It is better to immediately go to an appointment with a good beautician.
Video: how to get rid of ingrown hairs after epilation?
What to do if spots on your feet itch and flake?
To eliminate itching, you must take an antihistamine orally, for example, Cetirizine, Loratadine or Claritin. There are effective remedies for external use that help well with insect bites and any dermatoses accompanied by inflammation, peeling and itching - Fenistil gel, Bepanten Plus, La Cree, Triderm, Akriderm, Beloderm, Mesoderm, Elidel, Sinaflan, Nezulin, Advantan, Elokom, Baneotsin, Skin cap, Radevit, Videstim, Ekolom, Gistan, Pantoderm, Boro Plus, Emolium.
Most of the listed ointments, creams, gels and emulsions have a combined composition - they include antihistamines, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, antimycotic, antiviral, regenerating or hormonal components. You can learn more about this from the instructions. But you need to understand that long-term use of such drugs without a doctor's prescription is highly undesirable.
If the spots on the legs itch and flake due to a fungal, bacterial or viral infection, and you use an antiallergic or hormonal drug for treatment, you will only make things worse - "clog" the symptoms, complicate further treatment, or even worsen the disease.
Better to visit a dermatologist and show him your spots on your feet. The doctor will diagnose, establish the exact cause of the problem and prescribe adequate therapy. You do not need to suffer, sorting out various ointments at the pharmacy and hoping that some of them will finally help you get rid of itching and flaking.
Which doctor should I go to for spots on my feet?
If you come to see your GP or pediatrician, you probably won't be mistaken, since the general practitioner has sufficient experience and knowledge to establish the initial diagnosis. If necessary, he will refer you to a specialized specialist: dermatovenerologist, allergist-immunologist, hematologist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, hepatologist, gynecologist, infectious disease specialist, phlebologist, oncologist, surgeon, cosmetologist - the choice is very wide and depends on the specific disease. The main thing that needs to be done if incomprehensible spots appear on the legs is to really get together and come to the doctor, and not engage in self-diagnosis. Take care of yourself and be healthy!
The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist
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