Is this cause for concern?
Skin discolorations are common, especially on the face. Some people develop red acne patches, and others may develop dark age spots. But one particular skin discoloration might have you scratching your head.
You may notice white spots speckled across your cheeks or elsewhere on your face. Sometimes, these spots can cover a large surface area and may even extend to other parts of your body.
A number of conditions can cause white spots to form on your face, and they generally aren’t cause for concern. Here’s a look at the most common causes and how to handle them.
Milia develops when keratin gets trapped under the skin. Keratin is a protein that makes up the outer layer of skin. This causes the formation of tiny white-colored cysts on the skin. This condition most often occurs in children and adults, but it’s also seen in newborn babies.
When white spots are caused by entrapped keratin, it’s called primary milia. However, these tiny white cysts can also form on skin as the result of a burn, sun damage, or poison ivy. Cysts may also develop after a skin resurfacing procedure or after using a topical steroid cream.
Milia can develop on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and around the eyes. Some people also form cysts in their mouths. These bumps usually aren’t painful or itchy, and the condition typically resolves itself without treatment within a few weeks.
If your condition doesn’t improve within a few months, your doctor may prescribe a topical retinoid cream or recommend microdermabrasion or an acid peel to repair damaged skin. Your doctor can also use a special tool to extract the bumps.
2. Pityriasis alba
Pityriasis alba is a type of eczema that causes a flaky, oval patch of discolored white skin to appear. This skin disorder affects about 5 percent of children around the world, primarily between the ages of 3 and 16.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown. It’s usually seen in the setting of atopic dermatitis. It may be connected to sun exposure or a yeast that causes hypopigmentation.
Pityriasis alba often clears on its own within a few months, although discoloration can last up to three years.
If you’re experiencing symptoms, apply moisturizing cream on any dry spots and use an over-the-counter (OTC) topical steroid, such as hydrocortisone, to relieve any itchiness or redness.WERBUNG
Vitiligo is a skin disorder caused by loss of pigmentation. These patches of depigmented skin can form anywhere on the body. This includes your:
These patches may be small in size initially and gradually increase until white areas cover a large percentage of the body. However, widespread white spots don’t occur in all cases.
This condition can develop at any age, although most people don’t show symptoms of the disease until their 20s. Your risk for vitiligo increases if there’s a family history of the disease.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Your doctor may recommend topical creams, ultraviolet light therapy, or oral medication to help restore skin color and stop the spread of white patches.
Skin grafts are also effective for getting rid of small patches of white skin. To do this, your doctor will remove skin from one part of your body and attach it to another part of your body.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our twice weekly wellness email
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4. Tinea versicolor
Tinea versicolor, also known as pityriasis versicolor, is a skin disorder caused by an overgrowth of yeast. Yeast is a common type of fungus on the skin, but in some it can cause a rash. Tinea versicolor spots can appear scaly or dry and vary in color.
Some people with this condition develop pink, red, or brown spots, and others develop white spots. If you have lighter skin, white spots may be unnoticeable until your skin tans.
This skin disorder can occur in people of all ages, but it commonly affects people who live in humid climates, as well as people who have oily skin or a compromised immune system.
Because tinea vesicular is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, antifungal medications are the primary line of defense. Talk to your doctor about OTC or prescription antifungal products. This includes shampoos, soaps, and creams. Apply as directed until white spots improve.
Your doctor can also prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as fluconazole, to stop and prevent the overgrowth of yeast.Read More