Q: The skin on my knees and elbows are darker than the rest of my body. Is there a way of treating it?

Darkening of certain skin areas, particularly in Asians, and mainly among individuals of sub-continental origin, is a common complaint. Clinical research does not suggest it to be a ‘disease entity’; it is mainly due to genetic and racial factors. However, rarely, in certain individuals, it could be considered as skin manifestation of an underlying disease or disorder. Consumption of certain oral medications can also precipitate the onset of similar dark skin patches, clinically known as "fixed-drug eruptions". Similar patches can commonly be seen as a residual evidence of post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation of an active inflammatory skin disorder, e.g. psoriasis or eczema.

[Shisha smoking and premature ageing of skin]

Rarely certain variants of cutaneous vasculitis (an inflammatory disorder affecting the blood vessels of skin or the subcutaneous tissue) can have such patches of dark skin as its clinical manifestation.

Such dark skin patches can also be caused through rubbing or frequent friction of the affected areas in dark-skinned individuals.

Recommending an absolutely accurate treatment will be an uphill task for any dermatologist without a proper consultation. Consult an experienced dermatologist who could thoroughly examine your skin and prescribe a suitable treatment in accordance with his/her clinical diagnostic impression.

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is specialist dermatologist and medical director at Dermacare Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.