Skin discoloration can be caused by a whole lot of different things, including contact dermatitis, burns, cold or hot temperatures, blushing, exercise, and dryness. For the most part, it's usually nothing to worry about! Sometimes, though, your skin can change color because of an autoimmune disease (like lupus), hormone fluctuations (due to pregnancy or Addison’s disease), taking too many of certain supplements, liver problems, or skin cancer. If you have an autoimmune condition like lupus, you’re likely to become very sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so make sure you lather up with SPF whenever you go outdoors, no matter the season (actually, this advice goes for every single one of us!). Treatment for skin conditions that cause discoloration depends a lot on the specific diagnosis, but you can try topical salves or discuss other options, such as steroid creams, with your practitioner. Some research has supported essential oils, such as lavender and geranium, as natural methods to treat skin flare-ups. If you’ve worked with your practitioner and determined that the discoloration doesn’t signal something more serious, try not to stress too much about it! Skin isn’t supposed to look like airbrushed perfection, and it doesn’t have to appear flawless to be healthy.
- Lupus Foundation of America. How lupus affects the skin. Lupus Foundation of America. How lupus affects the skin.
- MedlinePlus. Skin pigmentation disorders. MedlinePlus. Skin pigmentation disorders.
- American Academy of Dermatology. Eczema/dermatitis. American Academy of Dermatology. Eczema/dermatitis.
- Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Commercial essential oils as potential antimicrobials to treat skin diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Commercial essential oils as potential antimicrobials to treat skin diseases.
- Cleveland Clinic. Pigmentation: Abnormal pigmentation. Cleveland Clinic. Pigmentation: Abnormal pigmentation.