Dark Spots on Skin

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Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • There is blackened skin on the base of the foot

  • There is darkened skin on the sole of the foot

  • There is darkened skin on the back of the hand

  • There is blackened skin on the epigastric area

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

Dark spots on the skin, or hyperpigmentation, occur when some areas of the skin produce more melanin than usual. Melanin gives the eyes, skin, and hair their color.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Facial edema

  • Edema

  • Infertility

  • Abnormal menstruation

  • Headache

  • Unexplained weight loss of 5% or more in 1 month

  • Recent weight loss

  • Easy fatiguability

Possible causes

  • Atopic dermatitis

    Allergic rashes. Risk factors include genetics, other allergic disease, new skin products, and allergic foods. Cases of childhood eczema can resolve by adulthood, however in some cases it can happen to adults too.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM)

    A disease where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, due to problems with insulin production or resistance. There are often no symptoms until the condition has worsened, hence regular screening is important.

  • Acanthosis nigricans

    A skin condition characterized by dark patches on the skin with a thick, velvety texture, usually seen in the neck, armpits or groin region. It's usually seen in people with high insulin levels, ovarian cysts, thyroid or adrenal glands problems, certain drugs like birth control pills or steroids, cancer etc.

  • Acromegaly
  • Asteatotic eczema
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Friction melanosis
  • Erythroderma

Related serious diseases

  • Venous embolism

    Venous embolism is the condition where a venous clot travels from one location to another. Most commonly this happens when a deep venous thrombosis (clot) develops in the larger veins of the leg and breaks off and travels to the lungs (clot is now called a pulmonary embolism). Causes of venous thrombosis include recent surgical procedure, spinal cord injury or other reason for immobility, fracture of hip or leg or other trauma, cancers, heart failure, stroke, obesity, and inherited risk factors like gene mutations causing blood to clot more easily.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have skin darkening?

  • Do you have itchy skin?

  • Do you have any pain or tingling in the affected areas of the skin?

  • Do you have skin redness?

  • Do you have a fever?

Other Related Symptoms

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Reviewed By:

Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

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