Dark skin on ankles: 10 Causes and 17 Remedies

Dark skin patches are common in people who live in extremely hot and humid regions. However, sometimes the reason for this dark skin on ankles is not the heat. Wondering what the reason for this could be. Read this post to find out.

Causes for Dark skin on Ankles:

dark skin on ankles
Dark skin on ankles
Sitting cross-legged:

It has been observed that people in the developing countries still prefer sitting cross-legged on the floor or carpet etc. This brings about friction between the skin and the floor/carpet surface which results in what’s called the callousness or the skin.

In medical terms, this callosity is known as the Hyperkeratosis. Although this does not happen overnight and it usually takes some years to develop, but people are generally not aware of this etiology behind dark skin on ankles.


Dark ankles can also be caused if you wear damp socks or if you wear boots for a prolonged period. The skin like everything else in the universe needs sunlight to keep bacteria away and for the absorption of Vitamin D for bones.

When the skin is kept closed, it can develop many types of skin infections. If you keep wearing boots, it can cause the same friction between skin and the result will be dark skin on ankles.

Venous Stasis:

Clotting of blood also causes your skin to go dark. Venous Statis is a condition whereby the veins, especially the deep veins in the lower legs start forming blood clots. Now this condition itself is brought about by many reasons including:

Driving for more extended hours:

If you remain in a sitting position without being able to move your legs, this can disturb the blood circulation and hence cause dark skin on ankles.

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When you are flying, you have to maintain a sitting posture, and that stops the blood from circulating which in turn leads to discoloration of the skin. Again, in this case, it is the veins of the lower legs that affected the most.

Staying in bed:

If you are hospitalized or bedridden for a considerable amount of time, you are bound to face issues of blood circulation and having dark skin around ankles.

Having a cast on:

Orthopedic casts limit the body movement and thus affect the circulation of blood.

Muscle weakness:

General muscle weakness can also cause high blood pressure in the veins of the legs thus causing venous stasis.

The early symptoms of venous stasis are sometimes confused with edema as it involves swelling in the legs and ankles.

Sprains and bruises:

Bruises and sprains cause the blood vessels to burst in the event of trauma; a blow or a cut to any area of the body. The blood then gets trapped below the skin, and that is what causes a bruise. A sprained ankle is when you injure the ligaments in your foot that could cause pain, swelling and tenderness thus resulting in dark ankles in most cases.

Rocky Mountain Spotted fever:

This weirdly named condition is caused by a bacterium that is transferred to humans by ticks. The primary symptoms of this disease include an appearance on dark spots on ankles, forearms and wrists. Not that it is directly a reason but can be included in the list of reasons you could experience dark skin on ankles.

Remedies for dark skin on ankles:

Having explored the causes, now you can read into some of the most useful and easy home-made remedies to deal with dark ankles. All the remedies discussed below use ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen.


Using slices of raw potatoes for beauty treatments is an ancient practice, but it still is miraculously effective. Women around the world use potato slices to cure dark circles under their eyes.

Well, then why can’t they be used to whiten the dark skin on ankles! Try rubbing potato slices on affected ankles and wash away after few hours. Use lukewarm water for better results.

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Lemon Juice:

Lemon is known for its bleaching ability due to the ascorbic acid present in it. Applying lemon carefully to your skin can lighten the dark skin on ankles. All you should do is wash and dry your feet and apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice on the affected area. Applying lemon juice on dark ankles twice a week will gradually bring whiten the skin.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil naturally can hydrate the skin thereby countering any discoloration of the skin that you may have. You can use one tablespoon of coconut oil dissolved in half a lemon juice to form a liquid and wash your dark ankles with it. See the results for yourself when they dry.

Aloe Vera gel:

Aloe Vera gel is universally known for its healing and skin whitening virtues. You only need as little as a tablespoon of aloe vera paste to lighten the dark skin around ankles and to soften them, if applicable.


Just like potatoes, cucumbers also have the properties to lighten the skin. Therefore, you can try rubbing cucumber slices on dark ankles to lighten them.

Milk and rice flour paste:

A smooth mixture made up of 3 tablespoons of milk and one tablespoon rice flour when applied for 10 minutes daily can work wonders in lightening the dark skin on ankles. Use this for at least 10 days for remarkable results. Apply mixture for 10 minutes per day for 10 days.

Sandalwood and rose water:

Mix equal portions of organic sandalwood powder and rose water to form a considerably think paste. Apply this paste to your ankles and leave it on for about twenty minutes or so. Rinse when dry.

Baking soda and water:

Baking soda is not just a cooking ingredient. It is also widely used for bleaching and other beauty treatments. You can make a paste with baking soda and water and apply on ankles to lighten the dark skin on ankles. Keep the paste on for about 15 minutes and then rinse with clean water.

Cocoa butter:

Cocoa butter is known for treating scars and pigmentation issues. What it does is, it enhances the production of collagen and the regeneration of cells thereby normalizing any uneven skin tone.

Oatmeal and Honey scrub:

Skin experts have always endorsed the importance of exfoliation for removing dead cells from the skin thereby rejuvenating it. Oatmeal is used as an exfoliator. Oatmeal mixed with honey forms an excellent scrub for the skin. Apply it until you get results.

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Castor oil:

An interesting fact about castor oil is that it contains Omega-3 fatty acids which play a huge role in improving our blood circulation. It also contains Vitamin-E which is known for skin cells regeneration. With both these ingredients combined, castor oil makes an excellent remedy for lightening dark skin on ankles.

Gram flour:

Gram flour is another homemade remedy for dark skin that has been used by men and women alike. The most popular home-made face wash for a naturally fair complexion is gram flour combined with milk. You can also use the following mixture to lighten dark ankles.

Combine gram flour, yoghurt, turmeric powder and lemon juice to form a smooth paste and apply on the dark skin around ankles, leave on for about 20 minutes. The recommended use for gram flour mixture is at least 4 times a week.

These are hundreds of home-made remedies for lightening dark skin on ankles. However prevention is better than cure. You should try and avoid the reasons that lead to dark ankles in the first place.

Avoid friction of skin with the floor:

If you prefer sitting on the floor but notice the darkening of your ankles because of this, try alternative seating.

Wear dry clothing:

Under no circumstances should you wear wet clothes or footwear. Not only can it cause the dark skin on ankles, but it can also lead to the development of skin fungi.

Avoid too tight shoes or boots:

Tight shoes can damage the shape of your toes, give you Achilles foot, develop cons and also obscure blood circulation which can cause the dark skin on ankles.

Take a walk:

To avoid blood clotting due to long hours spent in a sitting position, make sure to take a brief walk for at least ten minutes in 1 hour or do some leg, foot exercises. This would keep you refreshed and lessen the risk of dark skin.

Stay clear of ticks:

To avoid Rocky Mountain Spotted fever you should ensure proper protection from ticks and the like during an outdoor activity. For instance, stay in the middle of the tracks as plantation holds most of the ticks and bugs. Once you are back inside, thoroughly examine your body and your clothes for any ticks; ideally take a shower immediately.


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