What Is the Treatment for Mottled Skin?

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  • Written By: H. Lo
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Images By: n/a, Belahoche, Danr13, Africa Studio, Piotr Marcinski
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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Mottled skin is a type of dyschromia or skin discoloration in which blood vessel changes give the skin a patchy appearance. In general, treatment options for skin discoloration include topical remedies and laser or light-based methods such as chemical peeling, laser resurfacing and photorejuvenation. Some of the options might work better than others, depending on the cause of the skin discoloration. In addition, the effect of treatment also depends on the affected person and his skin pigmentation. This is because lighter-skinned people typically suffer more sun damage than those who are darker-skinned.

While not the typical treatment method in the sense that it does not cure the condition, topical remedies are one option that a person with mottled skin can look into. There are lotions or skin dyes that bleach the skin, lightening it to disguise the skin discoloration. Cosmetics are also another option that will hide mottled skin. The problem with these options, though, is that they do not permanently get rid of the condition, and even with bleaching, skin discoloration can reappear. It might pay to be patient, though, as sometimes skin will return to its normal color without treatment, so perhaps bleaching or makeup can be a temporary solution to those who wish to wait and see if the skin improves.


Chemical peeling is a procedure that improves skin discoloration, and other skin problems, by exfoliation. An application of the chemical solution, which varies depending on the condition, is left to soak in the skin. Within a time frame of between one day and two weeks, the solution peels off, destroying parts of the skin and allowing new skin to grow. There are three types of chemical peels: superficial, medium and deep. Each type of peel works on skin discoloration, but those who are darker-skinned will not be able to receive a deep peel since it bleaches the skin.

Laser resurfacing sometimes accompanies chemical peeling to achieve better results. The two procedures are similar in that they both remove parts of the skin, but laser resurfacing does not involve chemicals. Instead, it involves the use of lasers, either wounding or nonwounding. A wounding laser gets rid of thin layers of the skin, while a nonwounding laser stimulates the growth of collagen and tightens the skin.

Photorejuvenation is another type of treatment that might help improve the appearance of mottled skin. It is a light-based method in which strong pulses of light penetrate the deepest layer of the skin. With this procedure, the outer layer of the skin is usually not damaged like with chemical peeling or laser resurfacing.


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