ZocdocAnswersWhat is this strange patch of skin above my ankle?

Question

What is this strange patch of skin above my ankle?

Right side of my leg above the ankle there is a patch of weird skin. It is really dry and it is also darker than my other skin. Should I worry? Figured I would just let it go away on its own but my girlfriend is worried about it.

Answer

It sounds like the most likely explanation here is that you have an area of friction on your ankle where your shoes or socks are rubbing against your skin. When this occurs, there tends to be thickening of the skin (sometimes forming a "callus" but sometimes not). With the chronic rubbing, the thickened skin can also take on a slightly darker appearance than the surrounding skin. I suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue, or a dermatologist if you prefer. They can take a look and confirm whether or not they think this issue is just from friction over the skin. If so, they will probably recommend that you wear loose fitting, comfortable footwear, and that you use gentle exfoliation (such as with a pumice stone) as well as a good moisturizing cream. Occasionally, these spots can be a sign of another skin problem that might require more treatment. For example inflammatory conditions of the skin like eczema or psoriasis might produce scaly, dry areas of skin that are different in color than the surrounding skin. These condition can typically be treated with topical steroid creams, as prescribed by your doctor. Good luck, and talk to your doctor soon!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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