Hemosiderin Staining or Pigmentation

Hemosiderin staining or pigmentation or hemosiderosis is a medical condition in which one presents brown patches on the skin. These are in fact the result of the macrophages consuming the dead red blood cells, leading to the production of hemosiderin.

Hemosiderin staining or pigmentation of the skin is due to deposition of hemosiderin.

Hemosiderin is a pigment that is a byproduct of hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.   Hemosiderin contains iron pigment.

Hemosiderin staining refers to a process where iron from the blood can stain the skin.

Hemosiderin staining happens when red blood cells become chronically congested in an area and die.  When they die, hemoglobin is released.  Hemoglobin contains iron, which is engulfed by local white blood cells.

Hemosiderin staining can develop in the wake of surgery or hemorrhage. These patches also occur as a result of heart failure, vascular insufficiency, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Hemosiderin staining may stay for a long time  after the underlying cause has been resolved.  It may clear after 1 to  2 years.  If the underlying cause is not resolved, there may be permanent hemosiderin staining.


Venous Stasis


Venous Stasis


Soon after an abdominal surgery (September 2015)


Fading – April 2016 (taking a long time to clear up)




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