White Patches on Skin

White patches on skin are common medical anomalies. These may occur due to various factors ranging from nutritional deficiency to fungal infection. Though ‘white patches on skin’ is not a serious issue it should be checked by a doctor. Diagnosis of these patches would help to understand the cause. Obtaining treatment through certified doctor would also help in alleviating the symptoms of the condition. White patches on the skin are sometimes referred to as vitiligo. This type of patches can appear on body regions such as arms, feet, facial skin, lips, etc. It is believed that the lack of melanin functioning is what causes such white patches to appear on the skin.  Depending on the cause of the condition, treatment for the dermatologic irregularity can be suggested by a doctor.

White patches on skin due to dermatological issues

Psoriasis and eczema are among the common conditions that causes white spots on the skin. In case of psoriasis the occurring spots are often reddish appearing and may be covered with silver scaly layer which makes them appear whitish. It is recorded that people who suffer from psoriasis also have medical history of outbreak of this condition or have family history of the issue. Eczema is another dermatologic irregularity which may affect anyone. However, it is commonly recorded in individuals with asthma and allergy.  Eczema often causes rashes which appear scaly. These rashes may change color and turn into white patches. Sometimes it may be difficult to distinguish between eczema and psoriasis.’

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 Fungal infection associated white patches on skin


Fungal infection is another medical anomaly that can manifest into skin anomalies. One of the common conditions caused due to fungus infection is Tinea Versicolor.  The white patches that occur due to tinea versicolor are usually seen on the back and torso, particularly the chest region. These patches may become prominent due to suntan. If the skin is not tanned then these patches may appear to be light brown or pinkish in color. It is studied that fungus that causes tinea versicolor may colonize the skin. This means that the fungus may not cause infection but just dwell on the surface of the skin. However, there are certain factors such as hormonal changes, excessive sweating, reduced immunity, etc, that may cause the condition. The condition is often treated using oral or topical anti-fungal medicines.

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Depigmentation- related  conditions

Though white patches are sometimes called vitiligo they may also be manifestation of the condition. In this condition the skin loses its pigment at some regions causing white patches to appear. One of such conditions is Nevus Depigmentosus. The actual cause of Vitiligo is not confirmedly determined yet, but experts assume that this condition can be an autoimmune irregularity. There is no treatment that can cure this dermatologic problem. However, there are certain treatments that can help in reducing the condition and improve its appearance. These treatments are said to be expensive and may take some time to show results.

 Vitamin deficiency 

B12 vitamin deficiency can also lead to white patches appearing on skin. Deficiency of B12 vitamin is common in people suffering with pernicious anemia but it is not limited to such individuals. Even long term vegans may suffer from lack of essential vitamins. Drastic depletion of B12 vitamin may also lead to serious neurological consequences. Hence, if you suffer from white patches it is wise to get yourself diagnosed for vitamin deficiency. This is just one possible cause of white patches on skin; hence, while getting diagnosed bear this as one of the possibilities but go for a comprehensive diagnosis as suggested by doctor.

Lichen Sclerosis

This is medical anomaly which is rarely recorded. The condition is primarily characterized by thin patchy layer of white skin. Though it can affect any body part it is mostly seen at anal or genital region. Lichen Sclerosis is said to be common in women in their post-menopausal period.

Treatment

In mild cases some white spots may ebb away without medical intervention. White patches on skin treatment would greatly depend and vary according to the cause of the condition. For example, if vitiligo is diagnosed as the cause of the condition then treatment is not really necessary. Nevertheless, using cosmetic creams and sunscreen lotions can help in improving skin appearance. People who have fairer skin complexion should avoid tanning as it may only make these patches prominent. In serious cosmetic concerns surgery may be suggested.

If these white spots are determined to be caused by fungal infection such as Tinea Versicolor, then your doctor will probably suggested medicines such as topical anti-fungal creams. He may also prescribed oral antifungal medicines such as Sporanox or Nizoral. In case deficiency of vitamin B12 is causing appearance of white regions on skin then taking vitamin supplements would help. Remember that in any case, it is better to take these medicines according to doctor’s instruction. Voluntary use of these drugs may cause side-effects.

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