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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Dermal Hyperpigmentation After Trauma - Can it Be Removed?

 pumpkinlover08 - Mon May 18, 2009 10:56 am

Dear Doctor(s):

20 yrs. ago I got hit with a racquetball to the thigh. What began as a red mark the size of the ball eventually became a blue/gray deep dermal discoloration & spread all the way down my thigh & over my knee & shin slowly, over the course of many months. The discoloration is sort of "see thru" and makes my skin look dirty from a distance. Up 'til about 6 months ago I never had any strange sensations in that area, but toward the beginning of this year my thigh started to feel warm on and off - like a heater is blowing directly on it. And I get little prickly sensations and a TINY bit of numbness off and on. Coincidentally(?), the most-recent odd sensations flared up at the same time as a cold sore (that comes and goes) began to tingle, leading me to believe that perhaps I have nerve involvement in my leg. The discoloration is hideous to me & my self esteem has suffered over the years because of it (I've never worn shorts or a bathing suit). In much the same way, 5 yrs. ago I had to give myself small shots to the belly. Within a few days of each shot, a light blue/gray discoloration developed around each injection site and remained permanently. Lastly, I've had a blue/gray see-thru patch of skin on my abdomen since I was about 6 yrs. old. Although I know I was born with an umbilical hernia, the discoloration isn’t hear my navel and my parents claim the spot was not present at birth. It seems SIMILAR, although not EXACTLY like the "bruise" on my thigh. Coincidentally, all 3 discolored areas are on the right side of my body. The left side seems to react normally to trauma. I'm searching for a way to remove all 3 of these areas of discoloration and restore my skin’s natural color (I'd be willing to try lasers, topical creams, light therapy, etc.) but I'm getting conflicting "diagnoses" from doctors & no-one seems to know what caused the discolorations or what could remove something so deep in the dermis. Everyone is perplexed! One of the hypotheses was that the Iron leaked out of my blood after the trauma and left behind a stain. I've heard yes, it can be removed, no it can't, try Vitamin K, try laser, try UV therapy, it's Scleroderma nothing can help, it's a vascular issue, it was caused by a virus, it’s dermal Melasma caused by Copper overload and I should detox, blood flow has been impaired, it's a nerve issue, the muscle has been traumatized, it's light refraction ... you name it. The dermatologist refers me to the hematologist who refers me to the neurologist who refers me to the rheumatologist who refers me to the cosmetic surgeon - and around and around we go. My question is 2-part: 1) Any idea what disease process this is and what caused it? and 2) What are my options concerning removal?

Yours very sincerely,

Ann-Marie L.
Cleveland, OH
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:12 pm

User avatar Hello,The obvious diagnosis is that you had post inflamatory pigmentation,and nothing serious because the progress has got limited with out any active lesions.That much for the good and the bad part is that once the pigment is swallowed by the phagocytic cells very difficult to make them loose the pigment.Laser may hold the key to therapy. Best wishes.

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