White Spots on the Skin: Causes & Treatment

Princess A.
8 Min Read
White Spots on the Skin

White spots on the skin? You may be wondering why they suddenly appear on your skin and the reason they appeared.

Well, understanding the most important causes of skin pigmentation is the best way to answer questions and soothe concerns.

However, in this article, we will take you on regular causes of a white spot on the skin, types of skin spots, its treatment, and many more you need to know about White spots on the skin.

Does a White Spot on Skin Cause for Alarm?

White spots on the skin can be caused by different conditions. They are generally not a cause for alarm, and can also be treated with home remedies.

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What are the Causes and Symptoms of White Spot?

So many health factors and conditions can cause white spots to appear on different parts of the body, which includes:

  • Sunspots
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Milia
  • Vitiligo
  • Pityriasis alba

1. Sunspots or Guttate Hypomelanosis

Sunlight makes life possible, but it can have an unexpected effect on your skin.

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Guttate Hypomelanosis (Sunspots) is a small white spot that occurs after excessive sun exposure.

Sunspots may also appear due to prolonged use of a tanning bed.


Sunspots are benign and painless, often 1 to 10 mm in size. While it is more found in light-skinned people over the age of 40, sunspots can appear on anyone including children.

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Risk and Prevention of Sunspot

Sunspots are harmless and will not affect your health.

However, if you notice a darker spot on the skin while changing in size, shape, or color and becoming itchy or painful please consult a doctor.

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While sunspot is risky, it can also be prevented by avoiding excessive sun exposure, using sunscreen regularly, and wearing a cloth that covers your skin completely.

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Does Sunspot Contribute to skin cancer?

Unprotected sun exposure can contribute to skin cancer. However, sunspots themselves do not indicate skin cancer. But if you are concerned about changes on your skin in the form of sunspots, see your doctor.

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2. Tinea versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin, it may appear as white spots or spots in shades of pink, red, and brown.

It is more visible on tanned skin and may expand over time and the symptoms include itching, dry skin, and scaling.

Risk and Prevention of Tinea Versicolor

Those living in tropical areas are more likely to tinea versicolor, but it can affect anyone. The risk includes excessive sweating, humid weather, weakened immune system, and oily skin.

To prevent Tinea Versicolor, use medicated cleansers during hot or humid times of the year, avoid excessive heat, limit or avoid sun exposure and avoid excessive sweating.

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How can I treat Tinea Versicolor?

There are a variety of treatments available for Tinea Versicolor, depending on the severity of the infection.

Over-the-counter options include drug-resistant detergents or antifungal creams, soaps, lotions, and shampoos that contain:

  • Clotrimazole
  • Miconazole
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Terbinafine

If the infection is more serious, a doctor may prescribe a topical cream, shampoo, or prescription pills.

3. Milia

Milia are solid, painless, white, fluid-filled, and cohesive bags, which vary in width from 1 to 4 mm and develop on the surface of the skin.

Primary milia occur randomly, when keratin, a protein that helps harden the outer layer of the skin, is trapped under the skin and forms a sac full of fluid.

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Risk and prevention of Mila

In rare cases, people develop Mila surrounded by raised, red, scaly, and itchy skin. This can also appear as a result of blistering, sun damage, long-term steroid usage, and skin resurfacing treatments.

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Mila can also be prevented by the Use of oil-free soaps to cleanse your skin, Moisturize your face and areas prone to milia, by also using a facial serum with vitamin E or vitamin A.

How Can I Treat Mila?

In some cases, milia will disappear in a few weeks to a few months. If not, the following treatments may help:

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  • Cryotherapy: This uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the milia for removal.
  • Deroofing: A process where a sterile needle removes the contents of the cyst.
  • Topical retinoids: To help exfoliate the skin
  • Laser Removal: Also known as “laser ablation. ”You might love to check out this Laser Hair Removal and how it works.
  • Destruction Curettage: A surgical removal method.

4. Vitiligo

Vitiligo occurs when some skin cells called melanocytes stop producing melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to your skin, hair, and eyes. No pigment will equal white spots on the skin.

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These spots can appear on any part of the body. Vitiligo is usually the same, although it can appear on only one side of the body.

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Typical areas affected by vitiligo include the knees, hands, genitals, and hair. It can also affect areas with mucous membranes, such as the inside of the mouth and nose.

Vitiligo usually develops in the twenties, but it can occur at any age. The cause is currently unknown. Vitiligo may be associated with genetics or autoimmune diseases, such as hyperthyroidism.

What are the Treatment Options for Vitiligo?

The treatment of vitiligo is cosmetic and aims to restore the color of the affected skin. It can lead to trial and error with many treatments.

Vitiligo can be treated by doctors recommendations, which include the following:

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  • Steroids
  • Immunomodulators
  • Ultraviolet light therapy

5. Pityriasis alba

White pityriasis usually begins as small squamous plaques on the chin and cheeks. They can be round, oval, or irregularly shaped, usually dry and flaky to the touch. The spots may correct themselves or fade to white over time.

The most common skin disorder is in children and adolescents. It is also more likely to occur in people with darker skin. Pityriasis alba may be associated with eczema.

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How can Pityriasis Alba be Treated?

Pityriasis usually goes away on its own, but the recurrence can occur. Treatments used to reduce white spots include moisturizers, topical stimulants, or nonsteroidal creams.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

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