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Dark Dry Spots On Skin

How Is Tinea Versicolor Diagnosed

What is Eczema? – Eczema, Dry skin, and How to Treat

See your doctor if strangely colored patches develop on your skin and you cant treat them at home. Your doctor will examine your skin and may be able to tell if you have tinea versicolor just by looking at the patches.

If a diagnosis cant be made by looking at the skin, your doctor may take a skin scraping. A skin scraping removes cells from your skin for testing by scraping the skin gently. The cells are viewed under a microscope to see if they contain the yeast that causes this condition. Your doctor can conduct a potassium hydroxide microscopy. In this procedure, your doctor takes a skin sample, places it on a microscope slide with a solution of 20 percent KOH, and looks for yeast or hyphae fungi under a microscope.

Your doctor might also take a biopsy, or tissue sample, of the affected skin and test for fungi on the outer skin layer. A sample of the fungus on the skin can also be tested in a fungal culture to see if you have the condition.

Your doctor may also use a Woods lamp to look at your skin. This special machine, which uses ultraviolet light, is held 4 to 5 inches from your skin. If yeast is present, the affected skin will appear yellow or green under the light.

Our Guide To The Many Causes Of Scaly Skin Will Help You Pinpoint Your Problemand Identify The Steps You Can Take To Fix It

Dry skin can happen to anyone, but because your skin loses its ability to retain water as you age, it’s more common as you get older. Additionally, dry skin can crop up anywhere, but some parts of the bodylike the extremities, which don’t have as many oil glands as the faceare more prone to becoming parched.

For a whole host of reasonscold weather, indoor heat, hot water, aggressive washing, and agingskin can allow moisture to escape. When the water content drops below a certain point, your skin becomes dry, scaly, and itchy.

Here are conditions that may be responsible for your dry, scaly skin and some remedies for them.

Dark Dry Patches On The Skin

Fact Checked

Dry skin can be caused by factors as diverse as extreme hot or cold weather and autoimmune system disorders.Frequently, dry skin responds to lifestyle changes and plenty of moisture, but in those with brown skin it can leave areas of hyperpigmentation. Patches of dark dry skin that do not improve with added moisture may need to be examined by a dermatologist.

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What Else To Do About Dry Itchy And Scaly Skin

Moisturizing daily is an obvious solution to dryness, but your entire skincare regimen should help you avoid skin issues. Wash with a mild cleanser, take shorter showers with lukewarm water, and apply sunscreen daily, as UV rays can also lead to dryness.

Opt for moisturizers with ingredients that supplement those found naturally in the skin, such as lipids, ceramides, cholesterol, and hyaluronic acid, Dr. Gohara suggested.

Ultimately, if you’re still having issues with your skin or difficulties with skin conditions, see a dermatologist to determine treatment options that may be best for you.

Do Crusty Patches Hurt

dry scaly skin patches

Although most people can only see skin changes, crusty patches can:

  • Feels soft or painful when touched
  • Stick to clothes, causing discomfort

If you find that your skin changes may be an actinic keratosis, please consult a dermatologist certified by the board to protect your health. If this change is crusty patches, you are at greater risk of skin cancer. Under the care of a dermatologist certified by the board of directors, skin cancer can be highly cured and detected early.

Although severely damaged skin from sunlight or indoor tanning can significantly increase your risk of AK, other things can also increase your risk.

Actinic keratosis begins with thick, scaly, sty skin patches. These color blocks are usually about the size of a small eraser. There may be itching or burning in the affected area.

Over time, the lesion will disappear, expand, remain unchanged or develop into SCC. It is impossible to know which lesions may become cancerous. However, if you notice any of the following changes, you should have your doctor check your spots immediately. If cancer develops, dont panic. In the early stages, cancer is relatively easy to detect and treat.

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Red Itchy Skin Is A Symptom Of More Than One Health Condition

Is your skin red, itchy, inflamed, or painful?

These symptoms can indicate a host of skin conditions, including rosacea, dyshidrotic eczema, contact dermatitis, ringworm, impetigo, pityriasis rosea or rubra, actinic keratosis, tinea versicolor, cellulitis, and seborrhea.

Many skin conditions have no known cause, while others are due to such disparate causes as sun exposure or genetics. A few, like ringworm and impetigo, are the result of your skin coming into contact with a microorganism, like a fungus or certain bacteria.

Jeffrey Weinberg, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City, says all of these conditions are treatable and generally not life-threatening. He adds that while a majority of skin conditions at least those not related to an infection are never completely cured, most can be managed.

Get the facts about 12 skin conditions you need to know about.

Common Causes And Treatments For White Spots On Skin

White spots on the skin can be caused by a variety of conditions, including allergies and nutritional deficiencies.

Generally, a white patch on your skin isnt a cause for concern, says Cynthia Wilson, DO, a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center Carlsbad.

If you have questions or concerns talk to your primary care provider. Skin discoloration can be triggered by a variety of causes, so check with your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.

What causes white dry patches on skin?

The most common causes of dry white patches on the skin are eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and nutritional deficiencies.



Eczema is a chronic, probably genetic, inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to become inflamed or irritated and often results in a patch of skin that is lighter in pigment than the skin around it.

Eczema is especially common in children, says Dr. Wilson. They often outgrow it, but some people continue to have symptoms on and off throughout their lives.

Eczema is always itchy, and sometimes itching will start before a rash appears, most often on the face, back of knees, wrists, hands or feet. The areas may appear dry, thickened or scaly, and sometimes the skin can blister. Many people with eczema have allergies as well.

The right treatment will depend on your age, medical history and severity of your symptoms, says Dr. Wilson. Your doctor can determine what is best for you.

Seborrheic dermatitis


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When To See A Dermatologist

Diabetes can cause many other skin problems. Most skin problems are harmless, but even a minor one can become serious in people who have diabetes. A board-certified dermatologist can recognize skin problems due to diabetes and help you manage them.

Are all dermatologists board certified?

No. See what it takes to become board certified.

ImagesImage 1: Image Courtesy of Clark C. Otley, MD. All Rights Reserved

Images 3, 7, 8, 9: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

Image 2 from DermNetNZ

Some images used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Images 5, 6 and 10: Getty Images

ReferencesCohen Sabban, EN. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus from A to Z. Focus session presented at: 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology March 4-8, 2016 Washington D.C.

Duff M, Demidova O, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Clinical Diabetes. 2015 33:40-8.

Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:1461-70.

McKinley-Grant L, Warnick M, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease. In: Kelly AP and Taylor S. Dermatology for Skin of Color. . The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. China, 2009:481-4.

Melanoma Vs Liver Spots How To Tell The Difference

Causes of dry, affected small skin patch on hand – Dr. Aruna Prasad

Melanoma can also appear as patches of darkened skin that look like liver spots . Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that true age spots are harmless.3 However, having many age spots could put you at greater risk of skin cancer.1

You can tell the difference between age spots and melanoma by observing if the darkened patch of skin changes. Use the ABCDE system to tell the difference between melanoma and liver spots on your skin. Liver spots that become darker or change in appearance should be checked by a doctor.

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Stains Due To Venous Insufficiency

With venous insufficiency, the blood circulation in the legs is disturbed. The pressure in the veins increases and fluid gets into the surrounding tissue and the skin is less nourished. As a result, blood cells get into the skin tissue, decay there and the iron from the blood pigment leads to visible brown spots on the skin. Since melanin does not play a role in this form of hyperpigmentation, but rather deposited iron, the color of the spots is less brown, but rather red-brown to bluish. Chronic venous insufficiency is usually accompanied by spider veins, varicose veins and swollen legs that are sensitive to touch and pain.

When Should I See A Dermatologist About Acanthosis Nigricans

Any time you notice changes in your skin, see your healthcare provider or a dermatologist. Small markings or changes may seem insignificant, but they may indicate a problem. Acanthosis nigricans can be a sign of prediabetes or diabetes. Talk to your provider so you can get the proper care.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Acanthosis nigricans is a treatable skin condition that causes dark patches on your body. It is often a sign of prediabetes or diabetes. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you have an underlying condition causing AN. A healthcare provider can help you get treatment to reduce the marks and help you feel and look your best.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2021.


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How Long Will It Take For Your Skin To Return To Normal

If youre diagnosed with tinea versicolor, treatment will improve your long-term outlook. However, even after eliminating the infection, your skin may remain discolored for several weeks or months following treatment. Your infection may also return when the weather becomes warmer and more humid. If your condition returns, your doctor may prescribe medication once or twice per month to prevent symptoms.

It can be difficult to prevent a recurrence of this condition. If youve been diagnosed with tinea versicolor and youve successfully treated it, there are steps you can take to prevent future infections. These include:

  • avoiding excessive heat
  • avoiding tanning or excessive sun exposure
  • avoiding excessive sweating

You can also help prevent tinea versicolor by using a prescription-strength skin treatment during times of the year when youre most susceptible to it.

There Are A Few Things To Know About Eczema In Melanin

How To Get Rid Of Skin Discoloration/Brown Spots

Eczema can get overlooked in darker skin types because it often presents differently than it does in lighter skin, in which it tends to be red and very visible. In darker skin, the redness is not as apparent and the skin may even look normal even though it feels very itchy. Eczema in darker skin can also have a dark brown or purplish appearance.

Theres one type of eczema that you see a lot in people with darker skin types: follicular eczema. This is the type of eczema I experienced early on, before it flared in different ways during my first pregnancy. Follicular eczema doesnt really look like a rash instead, it looks like goosebumps or small bumps around hair follicles throughout different areas of the body, including the back, abdomen, thighs, and chest. As a dermatologist, a lot of parents bring their kids into my office wondering why their kids skin is so dry and bumpy. The skin in these patients may not even be itchy, but it lets me know that they may have eczema and we should practice very gentle skin care with them to reduce the risk of a visible flare.

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Yellow Reddish Or Brown Patches On Your Skin

Necrobiosis Lipoidica

This skin condition often begins as small raised solid bumps that look like pimples. As it progresses, these bumps turn into patches of swollen and hard skin. The patches can be yellow, reddish, or brown.

You may also notice:

  • The surrounding skin has a shiny porcelain-like appearance
  • You can see blood vessels
  • The skin is itchy and painful
  • The skin disease goes through cycles where it is active, inactive, and then active again

necrobiosis lipodica.

Take action
  • Get tested for diabetes, if you have not been diagnosed.
  • Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
  • See a dermatologist about your skin. Necorbiosis lipodica is harmless, but it can lead to complications.

How Do Brown Skin Spots Develop

As shown above, brown patches on the skin can take many different forms: from small and sharply defined to large and frayed. They appear individually or in groups, some are a little raised, but most are completely smooth. These brown discolorations can occur basically anywhere on the body. They can be congenital or develop only in the course of life

Responsible for such brown discolorations on the skin is usually a local overproduction of the pigment melanin , which gives our skin, hair and eyes the actual color. Other causes can be:

  • smallest bleedings in the legs due to vein weakness
  • Metabolic disorders e.g. due to liver disease
  • Systemic diseases or hereditary diseases
  • Contact with chemical substances such as silver salts or phenols

In addition, there are various factors that can promote an overproduction of melanin: The most important are sunlight, genetic predisposition, metabolism, hormonal influences, ageing processes and skin injuries. Certain drugs may also play a role.

Active cancer prevention: Check brown spots: When should I see a doctor?

The ABCDE rule can serve as a first guide to identify suspicious spots on the skin itself:

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How Different Skin Types Are Affected

The features of eczema differ depending on the persons skin type.

On paler skin, the typical pattern is inflamed, red or dark pink patches, with dry itchy skin, which in severe flares may ooze with small vesicles .

On darker skin, inflammation is more difficult to detect, as it is seen as various stages of hyper-pigmentation and is more subtle, so often redness is not seen. As a result, the severity of eczema can be underestimated.

Post-inflammatory hypo- and hyper-pigmentation are a much greater concern in people with darker skin, as it can take months for this to resolve and the discoloration can sometimes be a greater concern than the eczema itself.

Another feature of eczema, more commonly found in darker skin, is follicular prominence. This is where the eczema appears in small, itchy bumps or papules on the skin mainly on the trunk and forearms. Dry skin and scale can also be more prominent, as its white or grey colour shows up most noticeably.

A UK longitudinal study into ethnic variations in atopic eczema reported that children with darker skin were more likely to develop atopic eczema than their white counterparts and were six times more likely to develop severe eczema.

Extremely Dry Itchy Skin

What causes white spots on face? – Dr. Rasya Dixit

Dry, itchy skin

If you have diabetes, youre more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about your extremely dry skin. Gaining better control of diabetes can reduce dryness.
  • If you continue to have dry skin after you gain better control of your diabetes, a dermatologist can help.

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Can Acanthosis Nigricans Be Prevented

If obesity is causing AN, you can help prevent the condition through weight management. A diet that helps you keep your blood sugar levels in check can also help prevent AN.

Other preventive steps include:

  • Managing medical conditions related to AN, such as thyroid problems and diabetes.
  • Avoiding medications, such as birth control pills, that can cause or worsen AN.

What Causes Mongolian Blue Spots

Mongolian blue spots appear on the skin at or shortly after birth. The spots appear when melanocytes remain in the deeper skin layer during embryonic development. What causes this to happen isnt known. Mongolian blue spots arent related to an underlying health condition.

Sometimes the spots are mistaken for symptoms of a common spinal condition called spina bifida occulta. However, according to the Spina Bifida Association, related spots are red not the grayish color of Mongolian blue spots.

The amount of melanin you have generally determines the color of pigmented birthmarks. People with darker skin are more likely to have pigmented birthmarks.

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

Determining whether the red spots on your skin will require a visit to your provider will depend on the appearance and severity of the rash, your medical history, and any underlying conditions you have.

In general, red flag symptoms along with red spots on your skin include:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Pus oozing from the rash

If you have red spots on your skin and “red flag symptoms,” seek medical care right away.


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