Pityriasis alba is much like very mild eczema and its white patches are visually similar to tinea versicolor and vitiligo. However, these white skin patches are not contagious, cancerous nor an infectious disease. So, pityriasis alba is not caused by a yeast nor fungus infection.
Pityriasis alba’s patches of white skin appear most frequently on the cheeks. Other common locations for pityriasis alba include:
- upper arms
- upper chest
- around the mouth
These multiple colorless patches are usually round or oval, tend to last for a year or more, and may come and go.
Although pityriasis alba patches won’t tan, they’ll redden when exposed to the sun.
The exact cause of pityriasis alba is unknown. Yet, some triggers for an increase of white skin patches may include:
- poor hygiene
- abrasive clothing
- unprotected sun exposure
- scented detergents, soaps
You are at a higher risk for pityriasis alba if you also suffer from:
The primary pityriasis alba treatment is to keep the affected skin moist, petroleum jelly works best. OTC hydrocortisone cream helps treat any pruritus.
The use of sunscreen will tone down the difference between white skin patches and surrounding tan skin during the summer months. Otherwise, there’s no specific treatment that will rid your skin of the white patches caused pityriasis alba.
Pityriasis alba patches usually clear up after puberty, or at least by adulthood.