Many times light colored or white patches are a source of anxiety for people. The stigma and fear of leukoderma or vitiligo also propel people to approach a dermatologist. Here we will talk about the most frequent causes of the white patches.
1. Pityriasis Alba
Also known as hypopigmented eczema, It is very common in children.
a) It presents as scaly white patches mostly found on the face.
b) It is more prominent in the summer season or after swimming especially when the patients are exposed to the prolonged sun.
c) They have less distinct borders.
d) There is some association with atopic diathesis ( tendency to have allergic rhinitis and atopic eczema).
e) A good moisturizer and a physical sunscreen are sufficient to keep it in under control.
2. PITYRIASIS VERSICOLOR
a) It represents hypopigmented patches on the chest and the back.
b) It is caused by Malassezia species which is a part of normal human flora.
c) The lesions can be pale brown to red in color.
d) High humidity, diabetes, antibiotic therapy or immunosuppressive therapy can predispose more.
e) It resolves with topical antifungal drugs although the pale color may persist.
3. POST INFLAMMATORY HYPOPIGMENTATION
a) It is usually found after the resolution of some skin injury e.g after inflammation or eczema.
b) It may resolve on its own and does not require any active intervention.
a) Initial lesions can sometimes present as pale white patches but the lesions are depigmented in future.Please consult a Dermatologist to diagnose the type and not all patches are dangerous.