I got these ugly scars from picking at my bug bites and ingrown hairs
How Do I Get Rid of my Leg Scars (Lots of Little Dark Spots)?
Doctor Answers (4)
Dark Spots on Legs
This condition sounds like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which results after an injury such as a bug bite, scrape or scratch. The tendency of your skin to form pigment is a condition that is difficult to improve and usually cannot be completely eliminated.
Dark spots on legs resulting from picking at insect bites and ingrown hairs
I did not see any photos and also do not know what your ethnic skin type is, but in general: dark spots on patients with darker skin take much longer to heal than on lighter skin patients. You may have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring. You can try bleaching creams along with Retin-A (tretinoin) or an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) to see if that helps to speed up resolution of the dark spots. They will also gradually improve on their own over time. There are various procedures which can help but you have to be very careful to have them performed by a specialist who really knows what they're doing or otherwise they can make them look worse. I treat this problem all the time and all my patients have improved (no one has looked worse) but it's extremely important to stay out of the sun if you're going to attempt treatments otherwise the sun could exacerbate the hyperpigmentation. Also, there are many other things which may cause worsening of the pigmentation such as photosensitizing medications (ie: tetracycline, Accutane), birth control bills or other hormones or pregnancy or underlying medical condition which causes excess hormone production. I use a combination of microdermabrasion with a long-pulsed KTP 532 nm green laser and a long-pulsed Nd:YAG 1064 nm infrared laser and sometimes a Q-switched Nd:YAG and a Q-switched Alexandrite laser to help reduce the pigmentation and to help with the scarring. The long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser also has the benefit of eliminating the hair follicle so that you won't keep getting ingrown hairs in that area.
Web reference: http://www.eastbaylaser.com/
Bleaching creams and sun protection for dark spots
Dark spots that appear after inflammation (such as a bite) or trauma (such as picking) are not truly scars. They are increased pigmentation. They will fade with time, but you can speed the process by using various bleaching creams like hydroquinone and protecting the areas from ultraviolet light. Superficial chemical peels may also help.
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Dark spots on legs
Dark spots on legs from picking are called areas of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Typically nothing but time works to fade these marks. The good news is time usually does a good job. Bleaching creams have been tried but results inconsistent. Do not do any procedures as this can mkae it worse.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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