Causes Of Mottling Of The Skin: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Often you come across people who have dark skin patches in various shapes and size on their skin surface. These discolored patches are medically called Dyschromia; common people refer it as mottling of skin. Patches can be of various colors such as brown, dark brown, greenish or purple. The condition may invariably be mistaken as skin discoloration, but in a true pathological sense it has something to do with the tiny blood vessels that lie underneath the skin.

Even though the patient may not complain of pain, mottled skin can be an indication of some systemic condition that needs medical attention.

The unappealing cosmetic appearance can make the patient more depressed and psychologically stressed. The changes in blood vessels lying under the skin which is responsible for mottled skin can occur at any age. It can occur in infants, children and adults alike though the causes may be different. Let us know variety of condition that can lead to mottled skin condition.

Mottled Skin Causes And Symptoms

The blood vessels are tube like structures that carry blood to and fro from the heart. These blood vessels can be arteries, veins and capillaries. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that lie underneath the skin surface.

They are visible in many fair skinned individuals.

Any change in these blood vessels can lead to mottled skin or red irregular spots on the skin which later on turns greenish or purple in color. In fair individuals it is more apparent; however people having dark skin color are equally susceptible to skin mottling.

  • Fluctuation in body temperature seems to be the most common cause for skin mottling.
  • With growing age, many people may get skin mottling.
  • Certain blood disorders can also lead to irregular patches on skin surface.
  • Person taking anticoagulant therapy may sometime find patches on the skin surface.
  • It is also possible in people who have low platelet count.
  • Skin mottling in a newborn child may cause lot of distress and anxiety to the parents. In most cases they are harmless and they disappear as the child grows.
  • Cutis marmorata is another name for skin mottling in infants.
  • In infants and children, skin mottling generally occurs due to the underdeveloped vascular structure or circulatory system.
  • To a certain extent, overexposure to sun for a long duration is also a contributing factor for skin mottling in adults.

Symptoms Of Mottled Skin

Skin mottling in itself is a symptom of underlying condition, it is usually visible in people who have fair skin. This does not mean that dark skinned individual are lucky, the only difference is the patches are less apparent.

These patches usually are red to begin with but as time passes they may turn purple and dark brown. They may occur in any part of the skin surface, but in infants and children certain areas are spared such as genitalia, lips and nose etc. Mottled skin is a painless condition.

Treatment Options For Mottled Skin

Since skin mottling is a symptom of an underlying condition, attending the same can be useful in treating mottled skin.

  • If the cause is due to overexposure to sun, preventing sun exposure is the best alternative. Use of sunscreen that has high SPF factor or wearing protective clothing is beneficial.
  • Age spots in elderly individuals can be treated by dermatologists. They may use laser therapy. In laser therapy, strong light pulses are emitted into the skin, which help in repairing the condition.
  • In some cases doctors prescribe certain cream and lotions for local application.
  • If the cause is cold, prevent it by wearing gloves and other protective gear.
  • Usually there is no medical treatment necessary for skin mottling in children. You can cover him with blanket and warm-ups, to protect from cold temperature.

However when skin mottling is accompanied with serious symptoms such as painful spots or breathlessness and fever you should immediately consult your doctor.

2 Comments

  1. Regina said:

    My skin appears to be mottled probably because I smoke a lot. Can it improve if I quit smoking?

    April 26, 2017
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Besides disappearance of skin mottling, there are several other benefits of quitting smoking. It will reduce the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, hypertension etc. Stop smoking and you will experience positive change in your life, both at physical and mental level.

      September 6, 2018
      Reply

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