Brown skin discoloration on lower legs: What it is and how to treat it

Brown skin discoloration on lower legs: What it is and how to treat it

Learn about those brown freckle-like spots on feet and ankles, including what they are and how to treat them

If you suffer from brown spots on lower legs, brown blotches on legs, dark spots on ankles, dark spots on thighs, or other leg brown spots, you may be wondering what they are and likely want to know how to get rid of them.

The skin on your legs turning black can be alarming. While these effects may vary, some include discoloration such as a dark dry patch of skin on the ankle bone, and others include more visible darkening of the skin on the legs. Unfortunately, these brown splotches may be more than just a cosmetic nuisance, they could be an indicator of health problems that you should get treated immediately.

What is venous stasis dermatitis?

Venous stasis dermatitis is a skin condition that is caused by problems with the veins underneath the skin’s surface.

When the valves in your veins are weak, they aren’t able to push blood back to your heart, and blood and fluids can pool in your legs, even leaking out of the veins and causing skin discoloration. This is what causes those brown spots or dark spots on your legs and ankles.

Venous stasis dermatitis might start with some minor irritation of the skin and itchiness in the area. Over time, as the condition progresses, your skin may seem thinner and even translucent. At this time, you really need to seek medical help from a vein specialist. The condition leaves you vulnerable to injuries; a slight cut could open a large wound, known as an ulcer. You also could develop gangrene or blood clots.

How to treat brown discoloration on legs or dark spots on lower legs

If you are experiencing skin discoloration on your lower legs, darkening of the lower legs, or dark spots on feet and ankles, it is important to see a vein specialist as soon as possible. The specialist will be able to examine the veins and determine if a blood flow problem is causing the skin changes.

If you have been diagnosed with venous stasis dermatitis, your doctor will most likely recommend that you undergo one or more of the following treatments:

Endovenous laser ablation

Laser technique uses a fiber optic device inserted in your groin to deliver energy that is absorbed by the diseased vein. The heat seals off the leaking vein and stops it from leaking blood into your skin.


Injection of a chemical into the vein to make it scar and collapse.


A Phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure using a specialty hook to gently remove the varicose veins manually that are not too deep under the skin.

Preventing vein problems

To prevent vein problems like venous stasis dermatitis, varicose veins, and spider veins, you should be active everyday, not sit for long hours, eat a healthy diet, and may consider compression stockings and keeping your legs raised.

Brown Spots On Feet? Visit A San Diego Vein Specialist

If you suffer from brown freckles on lower legs, brown spots on the bottom of your foot, or dark spots on lower legs, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical professional that specializes in vein health. 

At Kafri Wellness Clinic, we have over 25+ years of experience working with patients to address vein issues. We also take into consideration a cardiovascular approach toward your treatment to give you as much insight into your health as possible. If you’d like to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help you, please contact us today!

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