Table of Contents
If you notice any change in your skin like a sudden dullness or appearing of white spots, it might be worrying and the internet might give you ominous news. There can be several causes of loss of skin pigmentation most of which are not very serious or unknown. Loss of skin pigment can be patchy and temporary or solid and permanent. Here are some of the reasons for the loss of pigmentation which are important for you to know to highlight your skin concern to your dermatologist.
Skin can be damaged due to the sun, bathing in hot water or picking a pimple. Sometimes, it gets damaged enough to form a white scar also known as hypopigmented. It is caused when the skin is damaged enough that it destroys melanocytes in some areas.
Care for the wound when it is healing with oil or scar treatment to help it with repigmentation. There are many topical products too that can help your skin restore pigments but the results are not always perfect.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in pigment loss and its cause is not known. About 05-1% of the population is affected by Vitiligo. In this condition, the pigment making cells in the skin are destroyed by the immune cells of the body due to which white patches start to appear on the skin in different areas. Mostly, the person remains healthy otherwise but sometimes the patient is at the risk of autoimmune diseases like diabetes and thyroid disease.
The treatments of vitiligo do not have predictable results. However, the chances of repigmentation are greater for new patches and on the body and face but the feet, hands and white-hair areas respond poorly. The treatments include light therapy, topical creams, antibiotics and oral steroids, and sometimes surgical skin grafts are performed to repair the skin. Unfortunately, all of these treatments come with some serious risk and side effects.
It is more common in children and teenagers. It is considered to be related to eczema. It results in scaly pink oval or round patches appearing on the skin that leave pale marks when the redness is gone. The patches are more prominent in summer, especially if you have a darker skin tone as they do not tan like the rest of the body.
It is a hypopigmentation condition with temporary loss of pigment. It can be treated in many ways. A good moisturizer will reduce flakiness. For itching or redness use hydrocortisone ointment just for a little while.
Idiopathic Guttate Hypomelanosis
It is a common benign disorder that appears like white freckles on the legs and arms. They only appear in the sun-exposed areas on the forearms and legs in small, round, well-defined, flat, white spots. They are generally asymptomatic and can look like vitiligo. It is more common in women than in men. Its exact cause is unknown as the factors like sun exposure, genetics, autoimmunity and trauma may contribute.
It doesn’t need treatment as it goes away itself. However, there are several methods to treat it like topical retinoids, dermabrasion, topical pimecrolimus, and cryotherapy (freezing). Each of this treatment has different results. It hasn’t been proven that it is caused by sun exposure but it is beneficial to wear sunscreen as it can prevent many skin conditions.
When the natural fungus in the skin overgrows in times of increased humidity, moisture or sweating. It causes flaky discoloured patches on the back, neck, arms and chest. They are not necessarily pale or white as they can pink or coppery-brown.
Anti-fungal products with active ingredients like ketoconazole, selenium sulfide or pyrithione zinc generally keep tinea versicolor under control. People who get this too often get maintenance therapy once or twice a month in the humid and warm periods.
Halo mole is a white ring around it that’s why its called halo. It is more common in children or young adults. They are caused when the body’s immune system reacts to the pigment cells in the mole. Sometimes, it attacks the normal skin around the mole containing pigment cells which cause the white halo.
First off, if you have a halo mole, you should have a full skin examination for melanoma or vitiligo as it could be a sign of something more serious. Halo moles are mostly not too serious so removing it usually unnecessary unless it has some abnormal features