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What causes dark brown discolouration in calf and shin?

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Posted on Mon, 11 May 2015
Question: My shins and half way around my calves have dark brown discoloration. It began and blotchy places on my feet and legs whenever I was in the sun after having heavy radiation in my brain for the remains of a brain tumor removal. My oncologist said it was because of having radiation. My Dad has darkened areas on his shins, but no radiation. I have had ultrasound procedures to check on my veins and arteries if there was any sort of blockages up to my hips ---- result was that everything is good - no problems for someone who is 65.
Every time I get in the sun even with sunscreen, my skin gets darker and more splotchiness in areas of my lower legs and feet that don't have the dark brown skin. Sometimes there is redness and some swelling, but the ultrasound procedures didn't show any vascular problems this Spring. This has been going on for since 2008. Do you have any ideas?
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
sun damage

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for your question.
It is possible that the radiation did cause some sensitivity in your skin. What you describe however sounds like old sun damage. Any of us who have had repeated sun exposures to our skin over years can get some sun damage to the skin. This can show up and dark splotches when we begin to get sun exposure. The best thing to do is to use sun screen. This will minimize the splotchiness.
It is good that you had the ultrasound and that it was negative.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3535 Questions

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What causes dark brown discolouration in calf and shin?

Brief Answer: sun damage Detailed Answer: Hello and thank you for your question. It is possible that the radiation did cause some sensitivity in your skin. What you describe however sounds like old sun damage. Any of us who have had repeated sun exposures to our skin over years can get some sun damage to the skin. This can show up and dark splotches when we begin to get sun exposure. The best thing to do is to use sun screen. This will minimize the splotchiness. It is good that you had the ultrasound and that it was negative. Regards, Dr. Robinson