Dyschromia L81.9

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Dyschroa; Dyschromasia; Dyschromatosis; Dyschromia; Dyschromodermia

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In Anglo-American literature in particular, a term defined in very different ways for an endogenous or exogenous, solitary or multiple, localised, disseminated or universal (diffuse), non-shrinking colour change of the skin (colouring), mucous membranes, hair, nails (see chromonychia below) and possibly teeth caused by differently coloured pigments (not melanin pigments), either endogenous or foreign to the body.

A "melanotic dyschromia" is not called dyschromia but hyperpigmentation (see there).

This section has been translated automatically.

Dyschromas can be classified according to colour, type (e.g. metal salts) and origin (endogenous or exogenous) of the pigments or according to their localisation:

dyschromasia due to metal salts:

Dyschromia caused by medication:

  • Amalgam
  • Amiodarone (darkening of the skin)
  • Minocycline (with long-term high-dose intake, largely reversible blue-black pigmentation on the face, lower legs and oral mucosa due to iron-containing pigment)
  • Clofazimine (reddish to brown-violet skin discoloration)
  • Imipramim
  • Hydroxychloroquine (malaria prophylaxis; therapy of lupus erythematosus)

Dyschromia caused by metabolic products:

Exogenous (circumscribed) dyschromia:

  • Ochronosis, exogenous: after application of creams with ingredients such as hydroquinone or phenol, which are used by colored people to bleach the skin of the face, pigment deposits may occur in the skin, mostly on the cheeks.
  • Argentum nitricum (caustic)
  • Iron-III-chloride (brushes for local haemostasis)
  • Dyes used for local disinfection (e.g. potassium permanganate, quinolinol, fuchsin, eosin, methylrosanilinium chloride (gentian violet)) or other therapeutic measures (e.g. dithranol for psoriasis therapy).
  • Dyes (used for cosmetic purposes e.g. henna)
  • Jewelry (=black dermographism: discoloration of the skin at the contact point of the jewelry)
  • Tattoos (jewelry or dirt tattoos)
  • Temporary tattoos (e.g. henna)
  • Dirt tattoos (after injuries of the skin)
  • Siderosis (rust formation) of the skin, after penetration of iron-containing metal splinters into the skin.


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020