Spots and Scars on Legs and Thighs: Will Skin Peeling Remove Them?

whenever i am bitten by mosquitoes, i would get a red bump which will later turn into a sore. after that sore is heal it would leave a very dark spot. i have a lot of them now and fell very uncomfortable wearing certain type of clothing that will expose them. my dermatologist suggested skin peeling so i would like to know if it will remove them. thanks for your advice.

Doctor Answers 4

Spots and scars on legs and thighs.

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The legs very easily hyperpigment due to trauma, insect bites and the like.  Often what looks like scarring is just "postinflammatory hyperpigmentation" which is pigment that occurs with skin healing.  This problem can take a great deal of time to resolve.  I prefer to avoid any aggressive peels or laser treatments because of the risk of additional postinflammatory pigmentation as a result of the procedure.  You might consider one or more of the following: a retinoid (differin, retin-a), a low potency corticosteroid cream, hydroquinone.

San Diego Dermatologist

Pigmentation from bug bites/scratching

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The problem you have is called "post inflammatory hyperpigmentation", and is a very difficult problem to fix particularly on the legs.  Pigmentation in this area can often last 2 years or longer.  First of all, every time you get a bite, apply hydrocortisone and a bandaid to keep from scratching.  For the spots that are already there, and are healed, try a prescription cream, hydroquinone, just to the spots twice a day.  You can also use a glycolic acid containing moisturizer on the entire leg which will help the spots slightly.  I don't believe peels or laser procedures help significantly with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  However, if you decide to give it a try, make sure you go to an experienced physicians office because it is very easy to injure legs (as you have learned).

Hope that helps.

Madeline Krauss, M.D.

Madeline Krauss, MD
Boston Dermatologic Surgeon

Will skin peels remove dark spots on the legs ?

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Injury to the skin, especially Asian, Brown, East Indian or Black, is prone to hyperpigmenttion after injury, bites, surgery, sclerotherapy ...

Sometimes, it takes up to 3 cycles of skin growth, 180 days each, for the hyperpigmentation to fade, if at all, without adjunctive therapy:

There are some topical creams that we use for patients with hyperpigmentation from a myriad of causes in the legs: from venous insufficiency, following wounding, following surgery, following sclerotherapy ...

We recommend Sclerovase and Scleroquin plus topical creams.

You can add retinoid RR Complex Retinoid Repair Cream as well. 

Scler-x post inflammatory hyperigmentation relief complex is a great supplement to take as well. See link below. 

Pigmentation on legs

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I love the responses from the other dermatologists and completely agree with their opinions on this challenging condition. I usually recommend a lotion containing some type of mild exfoliatiant such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid or urea or a combination of those. Tretinoin can also be helpful but is more expensive and can be a bit irritating. I have seen nice results using these creams but it takes a long time - many months.

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