White Spots on Skin: Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

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White spots on skin happen when skin loses its colour. A number of reasons cause small white spots on the skin. White spots on skin from the sun and white spots on skin due to fungus are the prime reasons. These generally do not pose a serious threat and is self-treatable. Initially small white spots on skin appear which grow in size with time. Read the article to find out how to get rid of white spots on the skin.

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white spots on skin

In this article:

Causes and Treatment of White Spots on Skin
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes White Spots on Skin?
Can White Spots on Skin be Skin Cancer?

A Guide for White Spots on Skin

Causes and Treatment of White Spots on Skin

White spots on skin can develop in any part of the body. A person with white spots should consult a dermatologist to determine the exact cause and find the remedy. These can happen due to colour loss and is a common issue. The reasons why these appear are:

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1. Tinea Versicolor

In tinea versicolor, white spots on the skin occur due to fungus. The uncontrollable growth of fungus causes white spots to appear on the skin [1].

The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Scaling,
  • Drying,
  • Patching

The cause of the condition is unknown, but some conclusions drawn by observing people suffering from the condition, show us that this happens due to:

  • Warm and humid climatic conditions,
  • Oily and sweaty skin,
  • Weak immunity.

Treatment

Treating tinea versicolor is not a tedious task. Using antifungal products to prevent fungal growth is an effective remedy. These products contain selenium, ketoconazole, miconazole and clotrimazole [1]. The white spots normally vanish using these products, but if the symptoms persist, then the doctor may advise taking antifungal pills and strong creams. Depending upon the body conditions, the white spots may take months to disappear and revert the skin in its original state.

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2. Sunspots

Sunspots, also known as guttate hypomelanosis are the white spots on the skin, which happen due to exposure to the sun. [2] These white spots on skin from the sun are harmless and are frequent in people over the age of 40. These white spots on the skin are not suggestive of skin cancer and happen when skin loses melanin. There are no symptoms related to white spots from the sun and tend to appear first on legs and then progress towards the rest of the body. [1]

Treatment

The key to avoid sunspots is cutting off sun exposure. Before you step out of your house, do not forget to apply sunscreen over the exposed body parts. Topical steroid and retinoid creams help to remove the outer skin layer proving themselves efficacious. [2]

3. Vitiligo

Melanocytes are the cells present in our skin responsible for making melanin, a skin pigment. Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the melanocytes and renders white patches on the skin. [3] Vitiligo may also be a result of the genetics of a person. It appears in a person’s twenties. Emotional stress and physical illness are also among the causes of white spots.

Symptoms of vitiligo are

  • Skin pigment is lost and white patches, which afterwards grow in size, appear.
  • Vitiligo also develops in areas exposed to the sun.
  • Common areas include armpits, groin, genitals, nostrils and eyes.
  • Premature greying of hair.

Treatment

Corticosteroid creams are an effective measure. Decolouring the surrounded skin to blend with the affected area. Ultraviolet therapy, surgical treatments to remove the discoloured skin layer in case other medications are not effective. [3] Certain cosmetic products are helpful in hiding the white spots on the skin.

4. Milia

Milia are raised, white bumps on the skin. Our face contains keratin which when trapped under the skin causes milia. [3] It is a self-curable condition. It is most common in new-born babies. Though they are harmless, one should make sure not to try removing it by scraping as this leads to the introduction of germs into the skin.

Symptoms of milia include

  • Sacs filled with fluid on skin,
  • Small white spots around eyes, nose and forehead,
  • Fat build up in immune cells of the body. [3]

Treatment

Milia disappears itself with time. However, if they are persistent then the following options are prescribed. Using retinoid creams to remove milia. [4] Exfoliating facial peels may too prove helpful in getting rid of white spots. [4] But the facial peel should not be a strong one, as this may cause excessive milia to occur instead of curing it. Use mild soaps for cleansing the face.

Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes White Spots on Skin?

White spots on our body are indicative of adding vitamin B12 in our diet. A lack of vitamin B12 causes a loss in melatonin in our bodies leading to white spots. [5] Deficiency of vitamin D and vitamin E also lead to white spots. [6] Therefore, these spots are a sign of building a healthy diet plan rich in these vitamins.

Can White Spots on Skin be Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer. Skin cancer symptoms include reddish, scaly patches on the body. [7] These patches may have an itching sensation and sometimes bleed. Sores which are not able to heal, or lumps appearing on the skin are an indication of skin cancer. The white spots on the skin are usually not a sign of skin cancer. These tell us about an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

White spots disappear on their own, but if they bother you then consulting a doctor is a good option. Many of the treatment creams prescribed are easily available online. Other treatments such as UV light treatment are also a harmless and effective treatment against the white spots. However, they may take sufficiently long to show results, therefore, being patient is the key to such treatments.

Reference

https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/white-spots-on-skin#see-your-doctor

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319887.php

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