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red-brownish spot appeared on my right arms

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Hello. I am a woman, 24 years old and a couple of days ago I've noticed a red-brownish spot appeared on my right arms. I ignored it at first, since it did not itch, nor was it bumpy. But several new patches have appeared on both my forearms. Still no itching and the color is quite faint and the shape is somewhat circular. I've spend hours and hours looking for some pictures that would resemble what I have, but found nothing. I haven't changed my diet at all recently, the spots practically showed up out of the blue.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 30 Doctors Online


If you are not having any other symptoms, those red-brown spots may be most likely either freckles or lentigenes which appear on sun exposed areas like face and hands. Freckles are due to localized accumulation of melanin pigment in upper skin cells called keratinocytes. They usually disappear when keratinocytes are shedded in winter to form new layer of skin. Lentigenes are formed due to localized proliferation of melanocytes which produce melanin. These sun-spots appear commonly on light skinned people who easily tan when exposed to sun. Lentigenes are bigger than commonly freckles and usually do not disappear in winter. Bothe are harmless and usually no treatment is necessary except for cosmetic purposes.

But if there are signs like change in size of spots or texture of skin, you may need to get them examined to rule out melanoma (skin cancer). Any symptoms like itching or redness developing should warrant further examination for any other cause like drug reactions, infections etc. If you have any associated bleeding problems, these spots may be purpura spots due to local leaking of blood vessels either due to deficiencies like vitamin C or vasculitis caused by infections and hereditary disorders. Do consult a physician or dermatologist in case of suspicion for detailed evaluation.

Hope this helps. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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