Do you or your child have eczema white patches? Spots of skin that seem to have lost their pigmentation? If so, it’s likely Pityriasis Alba, a skin disorder that affects 2-5% of children worldwide.
Pityriasis Alba is a skin condition, often coexisting with eczema, that is characterized by reduced pigmentation in either light skin patches or thin plaque on the face (mostly cheeks or chin), neck, shoulders, arms and much more. It’s often most noticeable after prolonged sun exposure, as the pityriasis alba patches remain pale in color while the skin surrounding it will darken in color.
If your child is suffering from Pityriasis Alba, you’ll want to keep reading this post that shares Dr. Peter Lio’s opinion of Pityriasis Alba as well as Vitiligo!
Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
Pityriasis Alba vs. Vitiligo
Although Pityriasis Alba is quite similar in appearance to Vitiligo, it’s important to note that these two skin conditions are very different. According to Dr. Peter Lio;
“Pigment loss can occur in areas of chronic inflammation, particularly when it is severe. Oftentimes, the hands, wrists, or ankles have chronic damage and actual loss of pigment that is very much like vitiligo. It seems very likely that the chronic irritation causes an autoimmune reaction like vitiligo in those areas, although vitiligo is fairly rare [for eczema sufferers].
Much more common is reduced pigmentation (light spots rather than stark white) which fall under the umbrella of pityriasis alba. This is thought to be underproduction of pigment by the pigment cells when there is nearby inflammation. Usually this is most prominent on the face, upper arms, and trunk, and seems more noticeable in the summer. It is reversible and caused by treatments, but actually improves with treatment.”
Stages of Pityriasis Alba
Unlike other forms of eczema, Pityriasis Alba produces minimal itching or none at all. Typically, this skin condition goes through several stages until it is fully healed.
- Slightly scaly pink plaque with a papular surface
- Hypopigmented (light spots rather than stark white appearance) plaque
- Post-inflammatory hypopigmented skin without plaque
How to Treat Pityriasis Alba?
Unlike Vitiligo, the white patches from this type of skin condition actually go away with time; therefore, no treatment is actually required. However, if the skin is dry or itchy, it’s always best to use a moisturizer or balm that can help restore skin.
A great moisturizer to try for dry Pityriasis Alba is the Organic Manuka Honey Soothing Skin Cream, which is both soothing and extremely moisturizing on the driest of skin.
Can Steroid Medications Cause Pityriasis Alba?
Although steroid medication has been known to cause eczema pigmentation loss sufferers, it is in fact quite rare. There are some cases in which steroid injections into the knee or wrist joint have created hypopigmentation, but it is not so common.
Unlike many other forms of eczema, Pityriasis Alba tends to vanish once adulthood has been reached.
Read more about eczema in our most popular blog posts:
- Our Eczema Elimination Diet Success: How You can Do It Too!
- Our Eczema Trials: Wet Wrap Therapy
- Natural Remedies for Eczema: What Worked For My Son
Does your child suffer from light skin patches and pigmentation loss due to their eczema? Let us know in the comments below!
Bio: Laura Dolgy is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.