White Spots on The Skin: Causes and Treatments

It is not uncommon to have white spots on the skin.

So, hey! If you do have white spots on your skin, there is no need for panic.

They may seem strange because they are not as common as black spots or red patches on your skin but truthfully, most white spots are harmless.

There are different types of white spots that can occur on your skin, and each of them have their unique causes, symptoms, and treatments.

So, without wasting more time, let’s take a look at the different kinds of white spots; their causes and treatments.

  1. Sun spots

Sunspots are white spots that develop on your skin when you continuously expose your skin to sunlight. Instead of the usual black spots occurring, white spots appear.

This kind of white spots is common in light-skinned people. It usually affects areas such as the face, arms, and legs.

These spots can also appear when there is a lack of skin pigment; melanin. Usually, melanin is responsible for giving color to your skin. Without it, white spots begin to appear.

Sunspots are not painful, and they do not pose any threat to your health. They are likely to appear when you are past the age of 40.

How can it be treated?

First thing you need to do is reduce the way you expose your skin to the sun. Also, always wear sunscreen.

You should speak to a dermatologist to know the best treatment for the spots; you can try out dermabrasion which physically removes the topmost layer of the skin.

You can also use retinoid creams and steroid creams; laser treatments are also an option. But before you try any of these, speak to a doctor.

  1. Vitiligo

Vitiligo begins to appear on your skin when melanocytes, certain skin cells, stop producing melanin.

It can also be caused by genetics or as a result of some autoimmune diseases, such as hyperthyroidism.

These spots can appear anywhere on your body. Areas that get easily affected are the hands, hair, genitals, and knees.

Though it can occur at any age, it mostly develops in one’s twenties.

How can it be treated?

You need to speak to a doctor to figure out the right course of treatment. But you can try out ultraviolet light therapy, low dose corticosteroid creams, immunomodulators, etc.

If it is severe, you might have to opt for surgical treatments.

Your doctor will help you determine which is best for you.

  1. Eczema

Usually, eczema is characterized by itchy, red rashes with raised bumps. But sometimes, these rashes come as white spots or patches.

The rash can be quite itchy and gets pretty intense at night. Worse still, if you scratch the rash, it can lead to open sores.

Eczema appears on areas such as the eyelids, elbows, face, scalp, wrists, etc.

This is common in children even though it can affect anyone, despite the age.  The causes of eczema are unknown, but it is usually linked to asthma and allergies.

It appears when there is an overactive immune response to an irritant.

How can it be treated?

You can use anti-itching creams and medication for allergies. These should help reduce itching.

Also, you can ask your doctor to recommend topical corticosteroids. There are day-to-day tips that can help too. They include:

  • Moisturize your skin regularly
  • Do not take long baths or hot baths
  • Put on gloves when you use cleaning solvents
  • Avoid allergens (things that can trigger an allergic reaction) in your environments
  • Do not use harsh soaps. Use mild cleansers instead.
  1. Tinea Versicolor

This is a skin condition that develops when Pityrosporum ovale, a natural yeast found on your skin, grows uncontrollably.

This causes your skin pigmentation to change, and lighter or darker skin patches begin to form. You might experience itching, scaling, and dryness of the skin.

Several factors can cause Tinea Versicolor. Some of them include excessive sweating, oily skin, a weakened immune system, hot weather, hormonal changes, etc.

It frequently develops in adults that live in warm and humid climates, and it is common among adolescents and young adults.

How can it be treated?

You can treat them with anti-fungal products. These will help eliminate the spots and reduce the yeast on your skin.

You can also try out topical medications like ketoconazole, clotrimazole, selenium sulfide, etc. It might take a while for these medications to work, depending on how severe your symptoms are. It could be weeks, or even months.

It is advisable you speak to your doctor before trying out any medication.

Also, the symptoms disappear in cooler weather, but can reappear when temperature and humidity increases.

  1. Pityriasis alba

This is a skin disorder that is related and similar to eczema.

It starts as pink spots but gradually becomes white over time, especially when it begins to clear off. It is commonly found in children and teens and more likely to develop on dark skin.

Just like eczema, it is also suspected to be an overactive immune response to an irritant.

It takes on different shapes, and many spots or skin patches can appear at once, especially in areas like the arms and face.

How can it be treated?

Pityriasis most times clears up on its own, especially when children get to adulthood. It might take months, and, in some cases, years. So, treatment is not necessary.

However, your doctor can recommend topical steroids, moisturizing creams, or nonsteroidal creams to relieve the itching and dryness of the skin.

In conclusion,

White spots might seem creepy, but often, they are quite harmless.

I advise you to see a dermatologist immediately you notice white spots, even if it’s just to be sure the kind of spot it is. Then, you can figure out the right step to take next.

Do not just opt for any cream or medication you see; talk to your doctor first. Moreover, some of these spots eventually fade off after a while.

Now over to you…

Have you ever had white spots before and how where you able to treat it? I would love to hear your story.

Also, if you have any questions, leave me a comment. I would be glad to answer them.

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