There are many types of white spots, and they emerge from different causes, as such they are also treated with different methods and medications.
In this article, I look at four possible causes for white spots, the most common ones, and define what causes them, and provide different treatment options.
Milia is not a dangerous or painful condition, and they are not whiteheads. Milia is common with a lot of people. Milia are small round, hard, white bumps on the face formed in the skin layers when Keratin and dead skin cells get trapped below the skin surface.
Milia are most often seen around the eyes, cheeks, and on the nose and are found in all ages and both sexes. Milia are frequently found on small babies and are called milk spots.
Milia is usually caused by an allergic reaction to soap, cream or from overexposure to the sun.
As a rule, within a few weeks without treatment, especially when the cause has been assessed, such as changing a soap, or stop in the use of a cream, the Milia disappear.
Do not squeeze them or cut them; they are not whiteheads.
Other treatment options include using an exfoliating cream, wearing sunscreen when going out, changing soap, shampoo or facial cream.
If the milia do not go away, you should visit a dermatologist who will either lance the dots to extract the keratin, or will offer to apply a retinoid cream. In some instances, you might get microabrasion treatment or even a skin peel.
2. Pityriasis Alba
Pityriasis Alba is one of those conditions that has stumped doctors for centuries, and its cause is not known. It is considered to be a form of eczema, and its appearance is like a pale pink or red, scaly area with clear to smooth white (hypo-pigmented) patches.
When it occurs, it comes in groups of up to 20 patches, usually on the face and arms and is more noticeable on darker skin individuals or after sun exposure.
Around 5% of the world’s population suffers from this, with the majority of sufferers being children.
As yet, the cause of pityriasis alba is unknown
There is no treatment since the cause is unknown, whoever the patches disappear within a few months, and on rare occasions within a few years. If the patches become irritating, then physicians will offer steroid or non-steroid cream to ease the irritation.
Vitiligo is a melanin disorder that appears in many individuals, with a higher chance of it appearing in hereditary lines. As such, Vitiligo is when the melanin in the skin depletes in specific areas, and this leads to white skin.
Vitiligo is seen in darker skin individuals much easier than in lighter skinned and can occur in anyone at any time; Vitiligo affects around 1% of the world’s population. In most instances, Vitiligo will appear within half the sufferers before the age of 20.
Vitiligo can appear in anyone but is more likely to appear on a person that has a family member with Vitiligo.
According to the medical texts, the melanin in the affected skin has been destroyed by the bodies antibodies, and the skin cannot darken due to no melanin in the patch area.
Vitiligo is very sensitive skin, as found in Albino’s, so you need to cover it with sunscreen, or you will suffer sunburn that can lead to skin cancer. Other than that, there are only cosmetic applications to cover the lighter skin if it affects your mental health.
Some physicians recommend higher strength corticosteroid, which has shown to help restore missing pigment. However, this is not a recommended long-term option due to the effect that such creams have on the body over time.
Other options include artificial ultraviolet (UV) light treatment or phototherapy, and recently laser treatment has shown some success.
4. Pityriasis Versicolor
Pityriasis versicolor is a yeast infection that causes lighter or darker patches on the skin.
Pityriasis Versicolor can itch and looks like a dry patch, and it is more noticeable on darker skin. This ailment occurs in hot and damp (tropical and sub-tropical) climates more common than in cooler climates.
Nearly all the worlds adult population (over 90%) has a naturally occurring yeast called Malassezia living on their skin. This yeast is totally benign most of the time. However, the yeast overgrows in certain conditions, such as in hot and damp conditions, on oily skin, where the individual has a weak immune system, or due to an individual’s hormonal changes.
There are a number of ways to treat Pityriasis Versicolor, sometimes it takes weeks, other times months. These medications include anti-fungal creams and lotions applied to the affected areas, or anti-fungal pills prescribed by a doctor when Pityriasis Versicolor covers large areas of the body.