WHITE PATCHES ON SKIN: PITYRIASIS ALBA

White patches on skin a very common finding.  There can be various medical causes for it. Like pityriasis alba, fungus infection called  tinia versicolor, leprosy, P alba , vitiligo etc. What we are talking about in this article is Pityriasis alba. It usually affects young kids between 2 to 14 years of age.  Most of the tim it involves cheeks. Panic stricken moms approach me often misdiagnosing it as the dreaded white patch disease called vitiligo or fulvery (as it’s commonly called). Fret not, it’s nowhere near that.

CAUSES:

It’s just an indication that your kid is short of essential nutrients. It’s time to take your little one away from junk and push him towards healthy diet. Lack of essential nutrient in diet leads to white patches on skin.

 

Another hypothesis behind their occurrence is dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by taking frequent hot water showers. Reduce that if that is the scenario and switch to lukewarm water. Apply any good moisturizer twice a day. My recommendation would be Aveeno or Physiogel moisturizer. One can use any other good brand too.  Also use only SLS free sops like Dove. SLS: sodium laureth sulphate is a harsh chemical in soaps leaves skin dry.

 

Lastly, too much of sun exposure has been speculated as yet another cause. Apply sunscreens whenever out .Half a table spoon on entire face, to be replied after every three hours is recommended to get full protection. Yes, application of sunscreen is effective and is recommended safe by FDA for anyone post first 6 months of life. Use SPF(Sun protection factor ) 30.

TREATMENT:

Treatment primarily includes switching to healthier diet. Use of moisturizers and sunscreens to cater dry skin and excessive sun exposure respectively. Mild steroid creams prescribed by a dermatologist used for one or two weeks would help too to clear off the white patch sooner. These white patches are not communicable. They don’t spread by touch. They are asymptomatic. Patient doesn’t complain of itching or pain.

 

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