Dark Spots on Legs: Causes and Easy Treatments

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Dark spots on your legs are embarrassing and difficult to get rid of. They are the result of an overproduction of melanin.

It can be caused by a number of things, including sun damage and age spots. These dark patches are often unattractive and embarrassing to show off in public.

The good news is that there are many easy treatments for dark spots on the legs, so you don’t have to worry about them anymore!

In this guide, we’ll talk about various causes and some easy treatments of dark spots on legs so that you can get rid of these spots and get clear, shiny legs without any flaws.

Dark Spots on Legs Causes and Easy Treatments

What causes dark spots on the legs?

There are different causes of dark spots on legs. Below are some of the most common ones:

1. Sun Damage

Like the Sun, exposure to sunlight and sun lamps can result in skin cancer such as melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) and non-melanoma skin cancer.

This is because ultraviolet (UV) radiation from direct and indirect sunlight damages your DNA, causing mutations that lead to cancerous tumors over time.

This includes UVA rays which are generally less intense but longer lasting than UVB rays, so they penetrate deeper into your skin layers where they have more damaging effects. They are usually associated with long-term aging of the skin.

2. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area that has experienced inflammation, which can be caused by trauma or injury.

3. Diabetes

Dark spots on legs are common among people with diabetes, who may experience darkening of the skin in affected areas because of changes in the blood vessels that have occurred due to their condition.

4. Melanoma

Melanoma can also cause dark spots on legs because this cancerous form of skin infection binds substances called hemoglobin and melanin, which give color to red blood cells and skin, respectively.

5. Other Causes

Other conditions that may be associated with darkened patches on the legs are arsenic poisoning, mercury poisoning, Addison’s disease, acanthosis nigricans, vitiligo, bradykinesia, or thyroid problems.

The cause for many cases of dark spots on legs may remain unknown, but there are some other possible causes for them as well including other types of cancer, genetic disorders like Addison’s disease (congenital adrenal hyperplasia), Paget’s disease (a rare form of skin cancer that arises from pigmented cells in the epidermis), or paraneoplastic syndrome (symptoms due to cancers).

Home remedies for dark spots on legs

1. Sunscreen

Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Remember to reapply it regularly throughout the day, especially after swimming or strenuous activity that causes you to sweat.

2. Aloe Vera

Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly onto your skin, and allow it to dry before washing it off several hours later. The anti-inflammatory nature of its ingredients will reduce redness and irritation caused by dark spots on your legs.

3. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for dark spots on legs

OTC treatments that may help lighten dark spots include containing hydroquinone, retinoids, glycolic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, vitamin C, cortisone creams, soy extract, licorice extract, or lactic acid.

4. Laser treatments for dark spots on legs

Laser treatments that gently focus beams of light onto your skin in order to remove excess melanin are available at some dermatology offices.

These procedures may be expensive and they typically require multiple sessions before results are visible. You will need to make sure you pick a laser treatment center that is experienced in treating hyperpigmentation.

5. Cryotherapy

This procedure involves removing tissue from the affected area with a special instrument and then freezing the cells, which destroys them. This is done to keep the skin looking smooth and even. [1]

6. Prescription treatments for dark spots on legs

Medications that you can take orally or apply topically to your skin may help lighten dark spots caused by melanin, including hydroquinone, tretinoin, fluocinolone acetonide, corticosteroids, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, mequinol, kojic acid, soy extract, vitamin C, amino fruit acid, licorice root extract, lactic acid, niacinamide, arbutin, resveratrol, or ellagic acid.

Keep in mind that not all of these treatment options are available from a dermatologist, and you may have to experiment with several before finding one that works for your specific condition.

7. Chemical Peels

These treatment options remove the top layers of your skin by exposing them to chemicals that cause the cells to slough off.

They can be helpful in removing dark spots on legs because they help lessen excess melanin.

8. Lifestyle changes to treat dark spots on legs

Finally, it is possible that your dark spots could disappear if you were able to address whatever initially caused their occurrence.

If this is not possible, at least making sure you wear sunscreen every day will prevent new ones from forming as quickly.


Dark spots on legs may be a medical problem or a cosmetic issue, depending on their cause.

The good news is that there are several different treatment options available to you, many of which have been proven effective in clinical trials.

Some of the most popular remedies include sunscreen, over-the-counter treatments, laser treatments, cryotherapy, prescription medication, and chemical peels.
You should seek the help of a dermatologist when having trouble with dark spots so they can help you determine their root cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

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