ZocdocAnswersWhat causes dark rashes to form around the ankles?

Question

What causes dark rashes to form around the ankles?

What kind of skin condition could give an adolescent girl dark rashes around her ankles? This is happening to my daughter, and she's very concerned. I think it's probably not a big deal, but I don't know what to tell her. Could it just be a type of acne?

Answer

Any time you or a loved one develops a skin condition, it should be assessed by a qualified health care professional. In this case, it would probably be best for your daughter's rash to be first assessed by a primary care physician such as a pediatrician or family doctor. There are very few rashes that specifically effect the ankles. A dark rash can have many different causes. She could have a fungal infection of the skin, a very common occurrence. If she takes birth control pills, she could have a normal discoloration of the skin known as melasma (though it usually occurs on the upper lip). If you daughter has diabetes, she could have a skin manifestation of that called acanthosis nigricans. Acne is possible, but it usually does not cause a dark discoloration, and the ankles are not a typical location for acne to occur. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your daughter's primary care physician. He or she can take a detailed history of any symptoms she has and perform a thorough physical exam her ankles. Perhaps her doctor will want a dermatology consultation for further evaluation of the rash. Good luck.

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