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A wide range of well being situations and elements could cause white spots to develop on completely different components of the physique.
Frequent causes of white spots on the pores and skin embody:
Reading: Small white spots on skin from sun
Sunspots, or guttate hypomelanosis
Sunspots are white spots the place pores and skin pigment has been misplaced.
These spots often trigger no signs, are 1-3 millimeters (mm) in measurement, and have a tendency to seem first on the legs earlier than progressing to the arms, higher again, and face.
Researchers are usually not certain what causes sunspots. Causes may embody a scarcity of a pores and skin pigment known as melanin. Sunspots additionally appear to run in households. They’re extra more likely to seem after the age of 40 years.
Nonetheless, they’re innocent, and treating them is a beauty challenge.
Whereas overexposure to the solar with out safety can contribute to the chance of pores and skin most cancers, sunspots in themselves don’t recommend the event of most cancers.
Tinea versicolor, or pityriasis versicolor
In individuals with tinea versicolor (TV), the fungus that often lives on the pores and skin’s floor grows uncontrolled.
The fungus causes dry, scaly, itchy patches which might be both lighter or darker than surrounding pores and skin. These patches often develop pretty slowly and infrequently cluster collectively.
Typically, signs of TV might solely be noticeable when an individual has a suntan. The situation is widespread, and signs are inclined to develop into extra noticeable in heat, humid environments.
Pityriasis alba (PA) is a comparatively widespread, non-cancerous pores and skin situation that causes pink, scaly, itchy patches. These patches finally heal and depart behind faint, white spots.
PA tends to develop in youngsters between the ages of three and 16 and often impacts the face, however can even impression the neck, shoulders, and arms.
Researchers are usually not certain what causes PA, however they assume it might be a light type of atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Pigmenting pityriasis alba is a uncommon although doubtlessly under-reported type of PA. It causes bluish-white scaly patches which might be outlined by a patch of very mild pores and skin.
Like PA, pigmenting pityriasis alba principally impacts the face and tends to develop in youngsters.
In individuals with vitiligo, white pores and skin patches seem in locations the place the cells that make pores and skin pigment, or coloration, have been destroyed.
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Researchers are usually not certain what causes vitiligo. It might be an autoimmune situation, the place the immune system mistakenly harms wholesome cells.
White patches are inclined to develop in locations uncovered to the solar and will develop slowly or unfold shortly. Vitiligo appears to run in households, and most of the people first discover pores and skin discoloration of their 20s.
Milia are agency, raised, painless, white, fluid-filled sacs, between 1-4 mm broad that develop on the floor of the pores and skin.
Major milia happen randomly, when keratin, a protein that helps harden the outer layer of the pores and skin, turns into trapped below the pores and skin and varieties a fluid-filled sac.
Secondary milia develop because of trauma from occasions, akin to dermabrasion, tissue harm, blistering, and pores and skin irritation. Secondary milia might also happen as a facet impact of some medicines.
Although very uncommon, a situation known as milia en plaque causes milia surrounded by areas of raised, pink, scaly, itchy pores and skin. Milia en plaque tends to happen randomly in wholesome pores and skin and at the moment has no identified trigger.
Researchers, nevertheless, assume that milia en plaque could also be an indication of discoid lupus erythematosus, a long-term pores and skin situation that causes infected sores and scarring on the face, scalp, and ears.
Most individuals with guttate hypomelanosis have honest pores and skin and have had years of continuous or extreme solar publicity.